Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Desolation Sound

I think I'm finally starting to like Desolation Sound, which is kind of a bummer because we just left there headed for bigger and better things.  Years ago my experiences in Desolation Sound included being too new to sailing and overwhelmed by the responsibilities of a new skipper and later that same year being overwhelmed by how many boats and people can be crammed into small anchorages.  Add to the crowds the fact that many boaters seemed to have an exceptional lack of boating  skill, common sense, common courtesy, or any combination of these.  I could do without the mayhem of Desolation Sound in the summer.  Having now visited twice in the early season before the other boats show up, I'm warming to the place.  We spent several days in Squirrel Cove, sharing it each night with one other boat, and during the days with ducks, geese, eagles, and seals.  We dragged our rowing dinghy "Poor Tender" through the tidal rapids into the inner lagoon for some peaceful exploration, and generally hung out and enjoyed nature.
Our next stop was Roscoe Bay, another beautiful, completely protected bay surrounded by mountains.  The tricky part of Roscoe Bay is getting in.  There is a gravel bar across the narrow entrance that dries at low tide, so you need to consult the tide tables, do some third grade math, and come up with a time that you won't feel the thud when your keel hits the bottom.  My math is usually pretty good, but I'm not overly patient and drifting around outside the entrance when I could be anchored inside enjoying a glass of wine makes me push the timing.  The depth sounder stopped it's downward plummet at 0.8, and because we have it set for meters of water under the boat, I thought 2.5 feet was a reasonable margin.  Inside the bay we had the place to ourselves for several days.  More bird watching, more seals, some good hiking trails, another positive experience.  Probably the highlight of our stay in Roscoe Bay were the jellyfish. Normally our interactions with jellyfish involve trying to scrape their remains out of the washdown pump we use for hosing down our anchor, but here they literally filled the bay and were beautiful to watch.  The signs on shore say they are Moon Jellyfish, and this is a normal occurrence in the bay each year.
Our third stop was right in the heart of Desolation Sound.  Prideaux Haven is considered the quintessential Desolation Sound experience.  There are several anchorages all close together, all well protected from the weather, with good to stunning views of the surrounding snow-capped mountains.  Folks we had met in Victoria were anchored in Melanie Cove and invited us to dinner, so we threaded our way through the rocks and anchored nearby.  Another couple days passed with only our two boats in the anchorage, along with the requisite ducks, geese, eagles......  Maybe this isn't such a bad place after all.


  1. Poor tender likes Desolation Sound too!

  2. Love the jellies...not so much when diving, but from that vantage they look very cool indeed!