After a few sunny days to regroup on the dock in Campbell River we set out for a 5 day trip into Desolation Sound. Accompanied once again by my Uncle Gerry, Aunt Betty and their friends Nicki, and Norma we motored out with a forecast that that required sun glasses even to look at on the Internet. What a week we had. Starting out of Campbell we set across to Savary to pick up Norma and from there cruised off into Desolation sound. Calm seas, very little marine traffic, a truly awesome time to cruise on the BC coast. Our first evening found us in Tenedos Bay with only one other boat to soak up a cloudless evening. Up to the lake and into the water for a dip, what a treat in October to have a swim in the clear Unwin Lake and have the sun warm your bones as you climb out. No slowing our guests down as they proved that age has nothing to do with adventure. No surprise of course to us as Gerry and Betty had just returned from the seniors summer games with no less than 4 gold medals and a silver as well in table tennis.
Day two and we pulled the prawn traps with a nice haul for dinner and set off up Homfray Channel and into Toba inlet. Water falls, towering peaks calm waters and a variety of seabirds made the day slip away all too fast. Back tracking down Toba we slipped between East and West Redonda and set the hook in Walsh Cove. No company tonight as the sun disappeared over the ridge and left us alone on a glassy hook. A shore excursion in the skiff revealed the native pictographs first discovered in 1792. A feed of prawns and some north coast halibut left our guests literally purring over their dinner and their day in the wilderness.
Day three we woke to the sound of the loons and another cloudless sky. Storing the anchor we idled down Waddington channel and poked our nose into Pendrell Sound. The sun peaked over the ridge and warmed our guests as they sat on the flybridge watching for whales and identifying the seabirds. Around the south end of West Redonda we cruised into Teakerne Arm and set the hook for a walk up the trail to Cassel Lake. The dry weather had slowed the waterfall but the views from the cliff were still impressive. Into the lake for another swim in October, who would have thought it. Returning to the boat we set off for Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island where we anchored up for an appy of fresh oysters on the grill and a salmon dinner.
Day four we continued our circumnavigation of Cortes gliding past Mansons landing, and slipping into the Gorge for a stop at the Gorge Harbour Resort and Marina. Some great changes since our last visit years ago with new docks, wonderful landscaping and a new pool and hot tub. We all stretched our legs and admired the setting making note to return for a longer visit. Leaving the Gorge we journeyed a short distance to the beach at Shark Spit on Marina Island. What an incredible beach to walk on a sunny day. Collecting some moon snail shells, strolling the spit, and soaking up the sun on a log it was great stop for an hour of relaxation. Leaving the spit we traveled Sutil Channel and into Von Dunop marine park for the evening. Alone again on a mirror of glistening water we watched the sun slip away after enjoying yet another great day.
Day five and the end of journey much to our guests dismay. Continuing around Cortes we rounded Bullock Bluff and entered Lewis Channel enroute to drop Norma off on Savary and then return to our slip in Campbell River. With nothing but sunny skies behind us no one could ask for anything more, well maybe just a little more like a whale or dolphin sighting. Wait, the water foamed ahead of us, focusing the glasses dozens of fins filled the view finder. Whitesided dolphins, dozens of them leaping and feeding on schools of small fish. We eased the boat in their direction and they raced towards us some riding the bow wave others too busy feeding. A spectacular sight on glassy waters on a sunny day. Satisfied now that it couldn’t get any better we said goodbye to Norma and her beautiful spot on Savary island and made way for Campbell River. Rounding Cape Mudge the tugs and barges, water taxi’s and fishing boats made us realise that we were back to civilisation. Turning the bow towards the marina a shining black fin caught my eye as it glistened in the afternoon sun. Maybe the trip wasn’t quite over yet. Sure enough more fins appeared and a pod of resident orcas gave us a wonderful show as they chased the chum salmon in Discovery Passage. Too good to be true and a wonderful finish to another awesome day. Thanks so much to my Aunt Betty and Uncle Gerry who truly due inspire us with their energy and appreciation for each day. Their good friends Nicki and Norma were the perfect compliment to our crew and we hope to see them all again very soon.