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Kismet Anchored, Laura Cove, Desolation Sound

Lots Of Rocks In Laura Cove

Laura Cove Reminded Us of Cruising Ground Closer to Home, the North Channel, Ontario, Canada. During our three days in Laura Cove, we swam next to the boat every day in the clear, warm water. We hiked a little, took dinghy rides around Prideaux Haven to explore and visit with other boaters we knew who were also staying in one of the coves for the Canadian holiday weekend. We liked our spot. There were three other boats rafted off the narrower tip of the rock and a few more on the other side but there wasn't any room for another boat to stern anchor in our vicinity. We took a dinghy ride over to Melanie Cove, still lots of boats anchored there, as we said earlier it was a lot busier over in that cove than it was at Laura Cove. On one dinghy excursion around Melanie Cove we came across fellow Ranger Tug owners, Tym and June, on Circle T (above-left), and…

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Kismet Anchored, Laura Cove, Desolation Sound

Anchorage in Laura Cove For Canada’s Civic Holiday – Another Hike To Unwin Lake

We found a nice anchorage in Laura Cove, so we set the anchor and tied lines to the big rock. Lisa prepared lunch to take out on a dinghy exploration of the surrounding area. We ventured out of the cove into Homfrey Channel turned the outboard off and floated around while having lunch with a spectacular mountain view surrounding us off in the distance. Afterwards I dropped Lisa off at the boat and continued on, by dinghy, to a hiking trail located off Melanie Cove. I'd read about this trail somewhere and how it leads up to Unwin Lake, the fresh water lake we'd hiked to and swam in the day before when staying in Tenedos Bay. As I neared shore, I looked for a well worn path leading into the brush and I fairly quickly found a homemade sign indicating the path to Unwin Lake. As low tide had already passed (tide swings are around 10 feet) I knew I had…

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Kismet Cruising To Melanie Cove, Desolation Sound

Cruising To Prideaux Haven

Prideaux Haven is the area made up of Melanie and Laura Coves. As you can see from the photos it was a spectacular day for cruising in Desolation Sound. This area is a very popular anchorage in Desolation Sound and since we knew ahead of time we were going during Canada's Civic Holiday, a three-day weekend, we knew it would be a busy place. As we neared Prideaux Haven, we followed a few boats into Melanie Cove and found it to be quite large and filled with boats of all shapes and sizes, many rafted together. This seemed a little too much company for our tastes, so we decided to keep moving to check out the adjacent, and smaller, Laura Cove. Float planes were busy all weekend bringing and taking people to an from boats. They landed out in the open water of Homfray Channel and if you had a ticket to fly you just dinghyied out to the plane at a predetermined…

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Pancakes And Blackberries

“What Day Is It?” – Tenedos Bay Anchorage

After our swim at Unwin Lake we followed the river and small rapids back to the dinghy. Just outside the woods in the open sunlight by the park entrance, where our dinghy was tied up, we came across a slew of blackberry bushes loaded with precious ripe berries. Risking bee stings and thorn torn hands and legs, we harvested enough for blackberry pancakes the next morning. But first, when we arrived back to the boat, sitting in our Tenedos Bay anchorage, a batch of martini's were in order to wind down a very enjoyable day. Lisa then whipped up one of our favorite dishes, red beans and rice. By this time in our trip I'd have to say we've become very VERY relaxed. Over a stack of blackberry pancakes the next morning, I asked Lisa, "What day is it?" and she said, "I don't know!" After spending five travel days trailering our Kismet across country, followed by a few days of preparations,…

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Backpack Unwin Lake

Hiking to Unwin Lake For A Refreshing Swim

Soon after we got the boat stern tied to shore at the anchorage in Tenedos Bay, we grabbed our bathing suits and towels and hopped into the dinghy for a short ride over  to Unwin Lake for a refreshing swim in the 75˚ water. There are no real beaches up at Unwin Lake, its all natural with lots of logs and rocks. We found an outcropping of boulders that provided us a bit of privacy and a shallow pool of water on a rock ledge, before it dropped off for swimming. We lingered eating apples and enjoying the mountain view on the shore of Unwin Lake. Refreshed from our hour swim and with clean bodies we made our way back down to the bay following a rushing stream of water.

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Tenedos Bay Anchorage

Tenedos Bay Anchorage – Desolation Sound

From Refuge Cove it was a short 7 to 8-mile hop over to Tenedos Bay. Once in the midst of Desolation Sound every port, cove or bay is no more than a days cruise from your starting point. This close proximity between points of interest allowed us to take our time, linger longer, leave later, and cruise slowly while still arriving early to any spot on our scheduled route. Tenedos Bay provided a tree lined canyon and well-protected spot just a short dinghy ride to the trail that leads up to Unwin Lake. Our chosen anchorage provided a tree lined canyon where we stern tied to shore in calm water. Tenedos Bay is one of the recommended anchorages John and Tracy, on Sea Change, gave us during our chart review in Ganges. Not only does it provide a beautiful, natural setting to anchor, but with a short trip across the bay in our dinghy we were able to hike up…

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Refuge Cove, Desolation Sound

Fueling and Provisioning at Refuge Cove – Desolation Sound

Refuge Cove is a relic of a past time. We haven't been out cruising in Desolation Sound that long, this being our fifth day, but we missed getting fuel while we were at Gorge (it was busy when we left and we didn't want to wait). So when we left Teakerne Arm we thought we'd head over to Refuge Cove, a fully functioning marina and year-round community, centrally located on West Redona Island in the heart of Desolation Sound. We wanted to fuel up and top off our water supply. Refuge Cove is a relic of a past time. We marveled at how the store still stands in one piece on top of the ancient barnacle covered pilings below. The cove provides a seasonal home to 20 families, and home to half that many during the off-season. While there we had a quick trip through the little store and were pleased to find quite a selection, more than we thought…

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Freshwater Lake, TeaKerne Arm, Desolation Sound

Teakerne Arm – A Waterfall And Fresh Water Lake

Teakerne Arm – A Waterfall and Hike to a Fresh Water Lake Leaving Grace Harbour, we had a short cruise to Lewis Channel before we made a turn up into Teakerne Arm and another anchorage in the British Columbia wilderness. In the open waters I kept seeing a distinctive peak off in the distance, it seemed to appear from behind and above the waterside hills, fjords and mountains as if it was following us as we worked our way around Desolation Sound. With a little research I found Mount Denman (the pointy tipped mountain in the middle of the photo below - taken from just outside Melanie Cove) to be 6,299 feet high, it rests at the end of Desolation Sound and is considered Canada's Matterhorn. At the head of Teakerne Arm one is greeted by a cascading waterfall spilling into the saltwater away from Cassel Lake, a fresh water lake just above the falls. We continued past the falls and…

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Boats Anchored, Grace Harbour, Desolation Sound

Our First Night Out In Desolation Sound – Anchored in Grace Harbour

First stop, Grace Harbour. Striking out on our own to explore Desolation Sound. We left Gorge Harbour mid-morning to find yet another perfect boating day awaiting us. History states that Captain George Vancouver first sailed the waters of the Sound in 1792, thinking the landscape remote and forbidding, he named it Desolation Sound. We think he must have had a run of bad weather to have taken such a gloomy stance on such a diverse and stunningly beautiful area, but we'd have to admit that the name has a certain draw to it. With Cortes Island behind us we headed for Desolation Sound Marina Park, a large dedicated group of islands, along with a bit of mainland BC, set aside as a marine park in 1973 for the benefit of recreational boaters, campers and hikers. Our goal for the first day out was to head to an anchorage in Grace Harbour, a well protected cove a large sheltered bay located in…

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Ranger Tugs Cruise, Gorge Harbour, Desolation Sound

Gorge Harbour at Last – Desolation Sound

We could not have had a better weather day to cruise from Comox to Gorge Harbour, BC, the last stop for the Ranger Tugs group cruise, after a little down time and one last party at the marina, we'll all go our separate ways to explore Desolation Sound. As we all slowly trickled out of the marina, glassy water awaited us, the kind every boater dreams of for a first rate cruising day. We also got our first glimpse of some snow capped mountains off on the horizon. A short way out we crossed paths with the fishing boat we brought shrimp from last night (below). Gorge Harbour at Last! Upon our arrival to Gorge Harbour Marina Resort, on Cortes Island, we were officially considered to be in Desolation Sound. Desolation Sound is a group of islands that reside at about the 50th parallel north, between Canada's Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia, Canada, at the north end of the…

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Captain's Review On Kismet, Ganges, B.C.

Local Knowledge is Important When Cruising Desolation Sound

When setting out to explore new cruising grounds it’s important to have a plan, ours is created first by doing as much research as we can from charts and guide books followed up by input from other cruisers we know, ones with a great deal of experience in the area we are headed to. However, over the years we’ve learned the best way to make sure you hit the high spots of an area are to talk with a boater who lives and cruises there. We Sought Local Knowledge Before and During Our Cruise in Desolation Sound. With that in mind I made it a mission to gain as much local knowledge as I could before and during our Ranger Tugs 2013 Desolation Sound trip so we could maximize our experience during our one-month in British Columbia. The first part of our plan was to poll as many Canadian Ranger Tug owners in Ganges during our two-day stay, ones that…

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Ranger Tugs Captain's Meeting, Comox B.C.

Fresh Shrimp Tonight in Comox, British Columbia

Leaving Nanaimo, we decided not to cruise with the pod on our way to Comox. It was an easy run with calm seas and sunny skies. Once settled in at the dock, there were more Ranger Tug owners to meet and hot showers to take. Happy hour consisted of another Captain's briefing on the outer dock. Jeff reviewed the events of the day and covered what would happen the next day. Cruising runs like we've done the last two days takes a lot out of you. Not much lingering on the dock in Comox after happy hour tonight. After reviewing our supplies, a trip to the grocery store seemed in order, so we asked Don and Brenda, on Kenji Maru to walk up with us. Comox has a full-sized grocery store not more than a few blocks from the marina. This being our first time in this area, we're not sure where the last big grocery store will be. When…

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Ranger Tugs Desolation Sound Cruise, Naniamo, B.C.

Rafting Up in Nanaimo, BC

From Ganges to Nanaimo, we could choose to join one of the pods or cruise on our own. After two days of socializing with other Ranger Tug owners at Ganges, the time came to organize the three-day cruise to our mutual destination of Gorge, BC. After that point we will all be on our own to explore as we will, Desolation Sound and surrounding areas. But first we had to get our “gaggle” organized. This is the third year Ranger Tugs has organized this Desolation Sound Cruise for their owners, we think they have all their ducks all in a row. Our first Captain’s Meeting was held during the second night at Ganges, on the dock just before happy hour. Jeff, V.P of Sales and Marketing at Ranger Tugs and the ringleader, had organized, along with key experienced boaters, a system for leaving the dock to leave for Nanaimo (Na-ni-mo) in the morning, which comprised of  groups with a “lead boat” and a…

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Forty-Five Ranger Tugs Gather at Ganges, British Columbia

Ganges Harbor, on Saltspring Island, is a short 10-mile run from Montague Harbor and the gathering point for the boaters participating in the Ranger Tugs 2013 Desolation Sound Cruise. We left early for Ganges, with yet another blue skied day with just a light breeze and fairly calm waters. We looked forward to meeting up with about 45 Ranger Tugs and their owners for five days of socializing, pot lucks, and finally taking three days to cruise together up to Desolation Sound, and this was just the Ranger Tug boats, we would meet up with a group of Cutwater's (about another ten or fifteen) in Nanaimo for the cruise to Comox. We met folks from Illinois, Georgia, Texas, California, Utah, Nevada, Oregon with most being from Washington and Canada's British Columbia, even Ganges. We wanted to arrive early so we could get our boat washed up and looking pretty, but much to my surprise and dismay I found out the…

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Positioning Ourselves In Prevost Harbor Off Stuart Island in the San Juans

Peaceful Night On the Hook in Prevost Harbor From Anacortes we headed straight to the northern end of the San Juan Islands to spend one night on the hook in Prevost Harbor before we checked in at customs in Bedwell Harbour, British Columbia. Stuart Island was just south of  Boundary Pass and Bedwell Harbor and just short of a heavy fog bank that just seemed to hang around the western edge of Stuart Island. As we arrived in the harbor, we immediately spotted this Fathom 40 trawler (below - just like our previous boat, same color too), we cruised by to say hi to the owners, thought maybe we'd know them, but we didn't. Fathom yachts are beautiful boats and easy to handle. We loved ours, but find we can do even more cruising with our trailerable Ranger Tug. We can cruise as we did before on a bigger boat, but also trailer and launch her in many desirable inland lakes, such as…

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Kismet's Captain Jim Chart Review

Preparing, Packing and Planning for Our Trip West

Planning for the trip west! After spending this past winter holed up at home in northern Michigan remodeling our kitchen, we feel we're more than ready for some new cruising adventure. We are preparing, planning and packing to head west soon to begin another fun boating season. First we'll visit the Flaming Gorge Reservoir on the Green River in Northeast Utah/Southern Wyoming. Then we'll continue on to Puget Sound in Washington State, there we'll put in at Anacortes and cruise north into Canada's Gulf Islands, Desolation Sound and more. Check back often, the fun is soon to start.

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