As I work through my winter maintenance list, I keep thinking
about the great trip last summer...it helps keep things in
Last August my co-owner and I had an unexpected opportunity to
spend three weeks sailing from our home port in Anacortes, WA to
Desolation Sound in British Columbia.
A typical sailing trip of this scope is a week sailing north
through the BC Gulf Islands to Nanaimo, across the Strait of Georgia
to the mainland at Pender Harbor, and up the coast to Desolation
Sound. Then spend a week making short hops from one spectacular
anchorage to the next. Finally, turn the bow south and spend another
week retracing your steps back to the San Juan Islands and home
On this particular outing, we stayed unexpectedly long at
No complaints as it is a wonderful destination in its own right.
Unfortunately, we’d made it just that far when we realized that
we had at least one house battery at the end of its life – not a
good situation for consecutive nights on the hook. We took the
opportunity to upgrade to 6V golf cart batteries and add a separate
starting battery. While there we were treated to quite an airshow.
Several days later, and with considerably lighter wallets, we headed
north again for a fantastic sail across the Strait.
Pender Harbor is always a favorite destination for us, and we
spent a fair bit of time exploring via kayak. The harbor is so large
it would take a week to explore by kayak, but with so many little
inlets, you can only see a bit at a time. We found a nice anchorage
and stern tied to wait out a storm.
There are so many places to go in Desolation Sound, one hardly
knows were to start. We found that different anchorages had very
different flavors. Prideaux Haven is loaded with large powerboats.
Just around the corner Grace Harbor is mostly sailboats with a few
smaller powerboats. Farther inland we found a great little anchorage
off the beaten path that was very private and had a spectacular
vista. A night at Squirrel Cove presented us with a bit of a
surprise. At high tide there is a small waterway that connects to a
saltwater lake. We were able to paddle in to explore it. It was very
quiet, with no sign of every being populated, which is very unusual.
The trip out was a little more exciting as the tide had turned and
there was a couple knots of current headed out the waterway. By
morning the waterway had turned into a small waterfall.
A private anchorage
in Desolation Sound
Heading south we stopped again in Nanaimo, this time Newcaste
Island, which is a provincial park. We did some great hiking around
the island and we always make a few new friends at the reasonably
In three weeks cruising can become a way of life. It can be hard
to learn to walk on land again!
Well, back to work. Maybe I’ll daydream about next season’s
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