Desolation Sound

As mentioned in my last post, we attempted a visit to Desolation Sound during last year’s voyage. Made it all the way up there as a matter of fact, but we had no sooner turned the last corner at Sarah Point getting there, when we took one look at the thick smoke (and none of the mountains and islands we’d been promised) and quickly turned around. It dampened our moods for a bit, since we were darn near giddy with anticipation, having heard so much about it.

This year our summer travels started earlier by two-and-a-half months… in the spring! We’re starting to hear about fires burning in BC at the time of my writing. It really comes as no surprise since we’ve had only two days of rain in the month we’ve been out here, and it’s not officially summer yet!

What’s special about Desolation Sound is the grand view of the Coastal Mountain Range of British Columbia, the many islands, and coves and inlets, and of course the wildlife.

Map of Desolation Sound

After our run up to Princess Louisa (last post) we made an overnight stop at Sturt Bay, Texada Island on our way to Desolation Sound. It was a quiet bay surrounded by rocks and tide pools. I enjoyed watching Bald Eagles and King Fishers gliding around, as well as the Harbor Seals who seem to occupy most every harbor, bay and inlet we visit. They spend a lot of time lazily sunning themselves on the rocks, and frequently float along with their heads out of the water, as if curious to know what we’re up to.  I spotted a Juvenile Bald Eagle flying down to the water’s edge as we were leaving in the morning, and managed to catch a shot of him as we motored by. Within seconds he was flying away with a sizable crab in his talons.


Juvenile Bald Eagle


Malespina Strait


Cool tug conversion


Our first destination was Grace Harbor. We anchored there amongst a handful of other boats, and soon after took Sadie ashore to do a short hike to a small lake. I understand it’s a refreshing place to swim in the heat of the summer. We gave Sadie a quick bath with some environmentally friendly shampoo and left. I would love to see a trail carved out around the lake, as it looked quite lovely, but we weren’t willing to do any bushwhacking to make our way around. We hung out for a bit watching dragon flies skittering around amongst the lily pads and marsh grasses.

John and Sadie on their usual “shore break” upon stopping 


flowering water lily


Dragon Fly


On the way we came across an old tractor that had been left to the elements years ago. There were numerous parts and other pieces of machinery tossed off in all directions. Hard to imagine what they were ever used for here, most likely logging.

Old tractor


Tractor has become part of the landscape


After taking Sadie back to the boat we dropped my kayak in the water and while John rowed Zephyr, a cruised along on my kayak with camera in hand.

Common Loon


Grace Harbor


The following morning we headed out to Tenedos Bay, just for a change of scenery. We did our usual hike to what we could hike to. In this case it was another lake which was completely log-jammed. Pretty little bay with the usual seals and water birds. (I’m constantly on the look-out for bears on shore, and whales… Orcas in particular… while sailing/cruising.) We rowed and kayaked as usual.

Coastal Mountains of British Columbia


Harbor Seals, lounging the day away


Merganser pair


We set out in the morning, yet again. Not like we had a train to catch, and we could have “hung out” in each of these bays much longer, but we were heading north, and once we’d experienced a place “enough” we felt comfortable moving on. Our next stop was Laura Cove. My favorite of out stops. We were the only boat in the particular cove we chose amongst many. The water was like glass when we arrived, and didn’t change much in the time we spent there.

British Columbia, Canada

Typical island in  Desolation Sound


The shoreline of Laura Cove


Looking out from Laura Cove


Sadie… awaiting her morning treat. I see this half-face so often… had to capture while I can.

So to expound on the image above… Sadie is aging quickly. She’s survived cancer on her liver (with surgery), and her arthritis is painfully obvious, but she just keeps on… with a little help. John is incredible with her… taking her ashore in the dinghy even if it’s most inconvenient. At this point she requires assistance getting up and down, in and out… from boat to shore.

John lowering Sadie into the dinghy


Sadie is in her happy place, in the bow of Zephyr, with “Pops” at the helm


Sadie’s love for “Pops” is transparent in this shot. She admires, loves and trusts John just as I do.

So while in Laura Cove, we ventured out again as we often do… me in my kayak, John and Sadie in Zephyr… exploring…

In addition to bald eagles, and gazzilions of geese, there’s a great abundance of water fowl. Duck-like birds, and not always your typical mallards. We anchored near a happy troop of Mergansers. They were a hoot to watch as we were infringing on mating season, and they were showing off.

Female Merganser


Female Merganser


Juvenile Bald Eagle


Canada Goose… attempting a take-off


British Columbia Coast Mountains


The man and his boat


Colorful shoreline


Seaweed clinging to shoreline at low tide


I’m always tickled to come upon wildlife I haven’t seen before. Desolation Sound seemed to be a popular place for Merganser. In the case of these two, he may be sporting more color with his green head, but she… is sporting the “doo”!

Merganser pair

Merganser pair… keeping an eye on me


He bails…


She bails too, and like so many water fowl… it takes a bit to lift off


And she’s off…


Common sight… curious harbor seal


Starfish (or sea star)


Coastal Mountains of British Columbia

The following day we headed to Gorge Harbor, which was highly recommended by one of our South Sound Sailing Society friends. From there we would move on north to the Broughton Islands, and ultimately… Haida Gwaii, and eventually around Vancouver Island and down her fierce and wild west coast. (weather permitting)

So much left to see… so much left to share!

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