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Brissy 06-30-2015 10:57 PM

Desolation Sound advice
Looking for some tips/advice on an Itinerary for a 10 day/9 night boat trip from Vancouver return.
I have read a lot of posts and i realise that by heading up to Desolation Sound we are bypassing months worth of great cruising, though as we are travelling from Aus and this may be our one chance to do this and we think we are happy to put the extra miles in to get up to this area.
The boat we are chartering is a ranger 27 and we would get away around 9am from granville Island, date is mid Sep.
The agent supplies guidebooks/charts etc and i have done a bit of research also but thought id ask those who have been there done that for ideas.
I would hope pending weather to make as many miles as possible the first day with a top up of fuel in Powell river on the way, after day one the pace can go back to a more sedate rate.
Any sights, anchorages, dangers, attractions, fishing spots you can suggest, how far up should we go?tips on possible areas we may see Orcas (humpbacks by the thousand but Orcas are tough to see down here) we would expect to anchor/moor most nights and not use marinas and jetties.
Sorry if our plans are a bit vague but i didnt want to get to deep into it until i had heard some ideas from others. Cheers Mick.

Marin 07-01-2015 12:39 AM

There are lots of cool favorites. Some of ours are Cortes Bay, Grace Harbor, Prideaux Haven, Roscoe Bay, Refuge Cove, Squirrel Cove, Von Donop Inlet, Heriot Bay, Rebecca Spit.

Xsbank 07-01-2015 06:51 AM

Vancouver - Smuggler RON; Smuggler - Lund refuel, cinnamon buns and fresh bread, Prideaux/Melanie Cove for one or more nights. Roscoe Bay/Black Lake, Pendrell Sound, Walsh Cove, Von Donop, Gorge Harbour; Choice of Ballet Bay, Jeddediah, Garden Bay(pub) or Buccaneer Bay, home.
Fuel and cinnamon buns at Lund are optional but worth the stop. If you can't get on the fuel dock tie to the breakwater where it says no tying.
I might pass Pendrell or Walsh to get another night somewhere else. Gorge has a resort with a good restaurant if you want a break from your own cooking.

Forgot to mention mid-September it may be too cool to swim, Roscoe or Pendrell may be the exception.

Have fun!

Brissy 07-02-2015 06:07 PM

Thanks Marin and Xsbank, appreciate the help, cheers Mick

Xsbank 07-02-2015 09:41 PM

You're welcome! There are lots of other iterations but that's one we like. It's a good one to show out of town guests. Enjoy!

Edelweiss 07-02-2015 10:26 PM

Tip 1: Besides maps and charts, make sure you have a good guide book which describes the various anchorages and the safety precautions for entering each bay.
For example, Roscoe bay is a beautiful cove and excellent anchorage. But about half way in, where the entrance narrows, it is deadly for those who attempt to enter the bay on a low tide and strand on the granite bottom.
Also at Squirrel Cove Grocery store - I recall the main dock shallows, but was ok, however the small dock just North of it goes dry on low tide.

Tip 2: In smaller bays, stern tying to shore is common practice. When taking the dingy ashore, have a pair of sacrificial athletic shoes to wear, bare feet and flip flops don't standup to the sharp rocks covered with oysters (no exaggeration).

Tip 3: Locals advised us not to eat the oysters from inside the bays with anchorages. (Probably good advise.)

Tip 4: Have fun :thumb:

Xsbank 07-02-2015 11:54 PM

If you intend to fish, you will need a license, even for crabs and oysters. The oysters are dangerous in many locations due to pollution and "red tide" so you need to research the rules lest ye be busted by a Fisheries Person or perish from ugly shellfish. Some fin fish, like rockfish, lingcod etc have very narrowly defined and strict limits.

Vipond's book is good, as is "The Sailing Directions" for aiding local knowledge.

As long as the weather is good (the Westerly wind has been a nuisance this year) you will have a hoot.

Moby Nick 07-03-2015 09:55 AM

We trailered our 28ft Shearwater Yawl from Rockford, Illinois up to Madiera, BC for a week cruising Desolation Sound a few years ago and had an outstanding experience. Our original intent had been to cruise the San Juan Islands offshore from Bellingham Washington, however, an internet friend on Vancouver Island persuaded us to target waters farther north. He gave us good advice.

This was before we traded our auxiliary sailing Yawel for an Albin-25 Swedish Motor Cruiser.

One great aspect of Desolation Sound (and other water south of the Discovery Islands is that while the rise and fall of the tides is about 12 feet, the ebb and flow is very manageable due to that area lying about midway between the ends of Vancouver Island. The tidal flow in the vacinity of the San Juans, in and out of the strait of San Juan De Fuca (south end of Vancouver Is) is a force to be reckoned with. As Midwesterners, we are not very experience with extreme tides.

OFB 07-03-2015 12:36 PM

Mid September could have you in some fog. Just be prepared. September is my favorite time for Desolation. Also Refuge Cove and the likes can be limited in operations at this time of year. When transiting off Jervis inlet be aware of the Qualicum wind forecast. There can be some interesting waters between Welcome pass and Grief Point. between Texada island and the mainland. I also enjoy Hotham sound off Jervis Inlet if weather has you stuck in Pender or Secret Cove. Copland Island Marine park is also a favorite hold up for weather or just relaxing. Hike into some of the lakes for a fresh water swim in September can be outstanding. IMO

Random thoughts.

Nomad Willy 07-03-2015 01:15 PM

Yes September. I won't go near there in the summer but fall may be great. If you see another Willard take a second look.

Conrad 07-03-2015 03:08 PM

Mitlenatch Island out in the strait can be a great visit, although not usually great for overnighting. Very dry - even has cactus - but is a breeding ground for many different birds. Often see sea lions up on the rocks and always see seals. Just remember to stay on the marked trails.

If you monitor channel 7a you can hear the whale watching crowd discussing the whereabouts of orca, Dolphins, humpbacks etc. if you're not too late in the season.

Brissy 07-04-2015 07:24 PM

Thanks so much to the above good people, the advice and tips are very much appreciated.

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