We rafted up with some people we met at Pender Harbor
Roughing it on the boat
Chatterbox Falls and Princess Louisa Inlet were very beautiful. We spent one evening there and had a great time hanging out with the other boaters. Water temp was around 74 degrees and we cruised around in the outrigger canoes which was a lot of fun.
To Desolation Sound
We left Princess Louisa Inlet on the morning slack as we wanted to stop by and see the Sechelt Rapids on our way up to Desolation Sound. We went into Secret Bay at Egmont and hiked to view the rapids. This is the place where the kayakers surf the 8 ft waves generated by the tidal flow through this narrow inlet.
Provisioning for Desolation Sound in Lund. What a cool little harbor. 100 people live here year round and 800 in the summer. Very nice facilities at .50/ft per night.
Got a bit of rain during our visit to Desolation Sound- quite a bit that night, but it cleared up the second day and we had a great trip around East and West Redonda Islands. Great scenery and calm conditions on the water.
George headed out for a paddle
Sunset at anchor
Heading out of Melanie Cove
Cruising through Desolation Sound
Calm water in Lewis Channel
Our Second Crossing of the Straits of Georgia
On this crossing we ran from Lund all the way to Saltspring Island where we spent the next two days- a total of 120 miles. We timed it so we got to Dodds Narrows at slack tide and cruised on down to Ganges Harbor in very calm conditions.
We had to keep an eye out for logs throughout the trip and saw many that made you cringe thinking about hitting them. But I found that you really had to keep a sharp eye out at the entrance to narrows. We hit a small piece of flotsam while entering Dodds Narrows going south and had to raise the motor to remove a piece of bark that had sandwiched around my lower unit. Fortunately there was no contact with my prop. I saw so much crap in the water up there I would be reluctant to operate my boat in the dark unless I was only going about 5mph, if that.
Savory Island to the right. Heading out into the Straits of Georgia
Dodds Narrows at slack tide
Smooth ride back across the Straights
Entrance to Dodds Narrows and logs in the water
Salt Spring Island and Victoria
Entering Ganges Harbor with my trusty lookout
Down in the front row....
After our 120 mile run from Lund to Ganges on Saltspring Island we decided to stay a couple of nights at one of the marinas and sample the restaurants available in town. It was nice to just take it easy. The morning after our second night we left for Victoria and cruised through the islands as we made our way south.
In Victoria Harbor I contacted the the Harbor authority by radio and requested moorage at the Causeway dock. They obliged and told us they could fit us in if we didn't mind rafting up. We told tham that was no problem so they ended up putting us right in front of Parliament and the Empress Hotel. We were smack dab in the middle of the city with the street performers putting on shows till about 11:00pm. A bit noisey but a lot of fun.
Victoria is a very nice city and we really enjoyed our visit.
Heading out from Victoria we followed one of the whale watching boats out to see if we could see some Orcas. We found them off San Juan Island near Mosquito Pass and they were very cool to see up close. At one point we had one pass within 30 feet of the boat and got some great video. The pod moved south past us and they were quite active with a lot of breaching and jumping. That was definitely a high point on the trip.
We went into Roche Harbor and through customs without any problems and proceeded to the north end of Orcas to visit friends of George's who had a house on the island. It was great having a guide to show us all around and we had a nice visit.
The next afternoon we made the run back to Whidbey Island and to the docks.
All in all a great trip. The area is a boater's paradise and offers many places to see and stay. I liked the fact that if the wind is up on one side of the island you simply go to the other side to find calm water. The islands are close together and you have the ability to run all over with a power boat. We found that to be a huge advantage over visiting the area by sailboat. The San Juans and Gulf Islands really are a boater's playground and if I lived in this part of the country I would be up there all the time.
We traveled a total of 649.6 miles in twelve days and covered a lot of ground. We definitely got a macro-view of the region which was fine, but we look forward to visiting again when we really have the time to explore.