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Bear Sighting in Downtown Chemainus, Vancouver Island, Canada

Multiple Bear Sightings in Chemainus! Always on the lookout for something new to experience, we decided to visit Chemainus on our return trip south, through the Gulf Islands, on our way back to the U.S. The name, Chemainus, originates from the native shaman and prophet “Tsa-meeun-is,” which stands for Broken Chest. Legend goes that the man survived a massive wound to his chest and then became a powerful leader, his people took his name to identify their community, Chemainus First Nation. Later founded as a logging town, in 1858, the town is now famous for 39 beautiful painted murals that grace the downtown buildings depicting the town’s history. Apparently the murals helped rejuvenate the town in the early 1980s when the larger sawmill was replaced by a smaller, more efficient version. We had to dodge a lot of logs along this stretch (above and below), probably because of the sawmill in Chemainus. After a beautiful cruise from Nanaimo, we tied up at…

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At Anchor in Departure Bay for One Night

Out Into the Strait of Georgia Again, Heading for Departure Bay! We left Jedediah Island refreshed and confident in heading out again. We continued our crossing of the Strait of Georgia the day after being literally blown off the water. As you can see Lisa's taking photos again. While this day looked much better it was still a little stormy when we started out. However with some blue sky showing up on the horizon. The water conditions were still a little lumpy, but comparing it to the day before, it was a walk in the park, so to speak. By the time we completed the last 10 miles of our crossing we had protection from the leeward side of Vancouver Island, making the last 15 mile run down to Nanaimo very pleasant indeed. We ducked into Departure Bay and worked our way down Newcastle Island Passage. We found there a peaceful anchorage just off of Newcastle Island Marine Park, where we…

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Chatterbox Falls, Canada

Princess Louisa Inlet Provincial Marine Park – The Inner Sanctum

Princess Louisa Inlet Provincial Marine Park Called Suivoolot (Sunny and Warm) by the Sechelt Nation Natives We felt that sunny warmth today. Princess Louisa Inlet and Provincial Marine Park was created in June 24, 1965. Sitting on the other side of Jervis Inlet with Malibu Rapids acting as the dividing point, the park is a 5-mile long spectacular fjord. The park is urrounded with 3,000 foot high, waterfall littered, snow-tipped mountains. The inlet boasts about a 1,000-feet of water depth and measures no more than a half-mile wide. At the end of Princess Louisa Inlet is the equally stunning 120-foot tall Chatterbox Falls. The Princess Louisa Inlet and Provincial Marine Park is only accessible by boat or plane, there are no public roads. The only access a boat has is through the Straight of Georgia by way of Jervis Inlet and finally the terrifying Malibu Rapids. Boaters consider Princess Louisa Inlet to be the Holy Grail of cruising! After making our way uneventfully through Malibu Rapids,…

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Rock Formations, Hardy Island, Canada

Positioning Ourselves at Hardy Island for the Run Up to Chatterbox Falls

The Anchorage at Hardy Island is Located at the Base of Jervis Inlet We were somewhat protected by Texada Island as we cruised 21 miles southeast from Powell River to Hardy Island. The anchorage at Hardy Island is located at the base of Jervis Inlet. We are positioning ourselves for the cruise up to Princess Louisa Inlet, Malibu Rapids and finally Chatterbox Falls. Entering Blind Bay we found calm waters ideal for anchoring in a narrow, well protected, cove within Hardy Island Marine Park. As we were scouting for a spot to drop our hook we came across a small black bear strolling by the waters edge. The bear was just as startled as we were. He immediately hightailed it up the rock cliff and into the  woods never to be seen by us again. This would end up being our only bear sighting during our PNW cruise. The real reason for anchoring at Hardy Island was to position ourselves for…

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Fishing Boats, Lund, Canada

Leaving Desolation Sound for the Village of Lund, British Columbia

 Headed to Lund – Entering the Sunshine Coast... After two glorious weeks of picture perfect boating weather and sensory overload during our exploration of Canada’s Desolation Sound, the time had come to start working our way south/southeast. We had a calm but overcast day to exit Desolation sound from our anchorage in Roscoe Bay. Up next, was Jervis and Princess Louisa Inlets and the much talked about Chatterbox Falls, but first we had to explore a few of the little fishing villages along British Columbia's "Sunshine Coast." Our first stop was Lund (below), a busy, picturesque, seaside village, 120km north of Vancover, only eight miles south of Desolation Sound. The village has only about three-hundred year-round residents, but is host to a lot more during the warm weather season. Not only is it close to Desolation Sound Provincial Marine Park but also the Copeland Islands, Okeover Inlet and tropical Savary Island. During our brief stay in Lund, we learned a lot…

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Squirrel Cove Town Dock, Desolation Sound

Fighting Rapids at Squirrel Cove – Desolation Sound, British Columbia

We left Pendrell Sound this morning to motor over to Squirrel Cove. Several boaters recommended this spot as a very well protected anchorage and since our weather turned a little sour we decided the cove might just be the ticket for a good night's sleep. The photo below not only shows a pretty typical type of cruising boat in Canada's Desolation Sound but some of the huge logs boaters have to contend with when cruising this area. Squirrel Cove is a popular anchorage for cruisers! The cove provides a very protected anchorage for a large number of boats and, as a bonus, there's a small village nearby, Squirrel Cove – we love an opportunity to get off the boat. That's just what we did shortly after we got settled at anchor; we jumped into the dinghy and headed toward town. The wind had really picked up outside the cove and it was a pretty rough, one-mile ride in our little…

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Kismet Stern Tied, Walsh Cove, Desolation Sound

Cruising Homfray Channel to Walsh Cove, British Columbia

Anchoring in Walsh Cove while waiting to get dock space at Toba Wildernest. One of the beauties of cruising in Desolation Sound is that when you leave one place you have plenty of spots to consider for your next days docking or anchorage. We left Laura Cove after the three-day holiday weekend and headed northeast up Homfray Channel. We passed Homfray Lodge, a stop recommended by some friends, but we decided to pass on it and continue cruising as we were hoping for a black bear sighting. We had heard bears were often sighted along the shoreline of the channel, however, after striking out on the bear sighting, we cruised up to Wildernest Lodge and radioed in to reserve a spot on their dock for the next day and night, we then proceeded on our way to Pryce Channel, down into Waddington Channel and finally into Walsh Cove where we decided to anchor for the night – all this within…

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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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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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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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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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