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Boat Entering Malibu Rapids, Jervis Inlet, Canada

Dinghy Ride to Malibu Club for Ice Cream

Craving a Refreshing Cold Confection at Malibu Club One of the things we had come to enjoy while cruising in the Pacific Northwest this year was our time exploring away from the boat by dinghy. We would try to get as much information about where to beach our dinghy so that could do a nice hike and maybe encounter a freshwater lake or woodsy waterfall. On our last full day at Chatterbox Falls we decided to spend the day taking a dinghy ride from the dock at the falls all the way back to Malibu Rapids (5 miles) to visit the Malibu Club, a summer camp for high school students. First off though, we needed to clean up somewhere and we’d heard about a waterfall that might be just the ticket. Off we went, scouting out the shoreline for signs of a possible waterfall and preferably a small pool of water to splash around in. Thirty minutes later we came…

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Kismet Anchored, Pendrell Sound, Desolation Sound

Swimmingly Warm in Pendrell Sound – Desolation Sound, British Columbia

We left our anchorage at Octopus Islands late morning, during slack tide, to head to Pendrell Sound. Just as most days during this trip, we had sunny skies and calm waters for our day's cruise. "How was the swimming at Pendrell Sound?" We often get asked this question in regards to how a cruising territory meets some fairly typical cruisers desired water activities. The reason I bring this up in this post has to do with our stop in Pendrell Sound. British Columbia's Desolation Sound is located within close proximity to the 50th parallel. As a reference the only place above this parallel, in the United States, is Alaska. With that said you'd think the water would be too frigid to go swimming. Not so! If you look at a map you'll notice Queen Charlotte and Johnstone Straits are situated north of Desolation Sound, while the Strait of Georgia is to the south. In the middle sits Desolation Sound where the meeting of…

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Boats At Dock, Toba Wildernest, Desolation Sound

Something Special About Toba Wildernest

We found Toba Inlet to be some of the most beautiful areas in Desolation Sound. When we were there the water was that greenish color, almost like we'd see in the Bahamas. It seemed to have phosphorescent glow about it. As we approached Toba Wildernest Resort, we enjoyed a parade of boats passing us as they left the marina. Lots of boats coming and going from Toba Wildernest. As we slowly approached the marina dock I radioed Kyle, who gave me instructions to dock on the inside of the T dock closest to shore. My immediate concern was if there would be enough water being that close to shore. With Kyle still on the radio, I asked him if there was enough depth for our two-foot draft. His comment was that there was more than enough. Once tied up I noticed the distance beneath our boat was whopping 40 feet. I missed it the first few times, maybe you didn't, the…

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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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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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