Desolation Sound Sailing Trip – Log 8

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21 June 2013

Wolf starts the motors and there is not salt water cooling in the starboard engine so he tightened the fan-belt and all is well again. We exit the Powell River harbour at 8:20am and immediately head north.  Westview marina lies to the south of the ferry terminal and offers extensive mooring facilities including easy access to the cute little town of Powell River. This is where the first pulp & Paper mill in Western Canada was built. Recently the breakwater has been extended to facilitate more transient boats heading to and from Desolation Sound. Once again gray clouds cover the sky but we are grateful that it is not raining.

Soon after exiting the sky clears – the current is in our favour and that sea is as clam as a lake. It is difficult to believe that this is the same angry sea we crossed yesterday. I stand at the bow and look across the expanse of water towards Comox and the sea smiles innocently back at me, so all is forgiven and we are once again friends.

At 10:00am we are motoring along the northern shores of Savary Island; a 4 mile long sandy island that lies approximately east and west.  A ferry-taxi carries passengers to and from the mainland. The beaches are long and wide allowing the sun to bake on them when the tide is out making the water in the shallows a pleasant temperature for swimming.  We would love to stay and explore this island but Desolation Sound beckons and we make a mental note to return some day.

Yay! We enter Desolation Sound at 11:20am and head down Malispina Inlet. Protected from most prevailing winds the inlet offers numerous bays and coves to anchor in. We head into the passage with a 4kt current pushing us so that the speed over ground climbs to 8.5kts. We scream past the Copeland Islands which dot the Western Coastline. The strait can be dangerous if careful attention to the chart is neglected and also confusing if one does not refer back to the charts often.

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Back in the dingy we head for the falls. We try to find a landing spot for the inflatable – the shoreline is rocky and barnacle covered with masses of oysters, so trying to find a smooth rock or a patch of sand is proving difficult. Finally we are able to pull up alongside a flat ledge and we scamper ashore through a small track into the dense forest. The sight that greets us is spellbinding. I only hope that the photographs are able to do it justice.

I can’t resist the temptation to stand under the falls but Wolf wants to video it so I keep my clothes on and allow the force of the cool water splash over me. On the way back to the dingy we cross over a really slick muddy section and I take two really hard falls, one onto my new replaced hip. We come back to the boat and I change into dry clothes and wash my muddy ones.

We read about Grace Harbour in the cruising guide and notice that there is a fresh water lake about 1km through the marine park and decide that since we are here we might as well take a look. Oh my Gosh, the trail takes us through real dense forest with a track overgrown from a year of not being used. It is just the start of the summer and perhaps the park rangers will clear it again before this place gets over-run with boaters. In the meantime we trudge through mad that squishes through our crocs giving me the creeps. As we near the lake we hear grunts and immediately think “Bear” so we start talking loudly and wolf whacks two rocks together to chase it. We feel rather vulnerable.

We reach the lake which has been created by a beaver. It is referred to as black lake because of the peat concentrate which discolours the water. I take another fall on the way back and feel an absolute ass. But this time we find the sides of the mud a little less daunting and soon we are back on Karibu. Two more boats come in for the evening which is spent reading and lazing.

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