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Spencer's Spit Anchorage

Spencer Spit – Last Stop in the San Juans

What’s nice about Spencer Spit is that one can choose which side of the spit to anchor or catch a mooring ball on. Spencer Spit, situated on the eastern side of Lopez Island in the San Juan Island chain, is a Washington State Marine Park, which means the area has mooring buoys, beach campsites, and hiking. We’ve never anchored or moored here, so we choose this spot as our days end destination, after we departed our yacht club friends at Garrison Bay. What’s nice about Spencer Spit is that one can choose which side of the spit to anchor or catch a mooring ball on, depending on the expected wind direction. We had no concerns about wind that day and spent a calm night on the hook, we never got off of the boat. The next morning it was extremely foggy, but I figured with the aid of our radar, and only eight miles to travel that, it would not…

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Kismet Cruising To Powell River, Canada

The Storm in Malaspina Straight

The waves we encountered in Malaspina Straight were steadily increasing in height and uncomfortableness. Leaving the calm of Pender Harbour behind us, we headed out toward the Malaspina Straight, pointed southwest towards the Gulf Islands. We were aware of the storm that was to arrive later in the day and, based on the weather reports, we thought if we left early enough in the morning we’d miss the high winds, as it’s only about 36 miles across to Nanaimo, on Vancouver island, our planned, end of the day, destination. No such luck! Not long after we left the calmness of the protected harbor, the waves we encountered were steadily increasing in height and uncomfortableness. You know things get rough when Lisa is not taking photos, but instead is holding on in anticipation of each roller coaster ride type wave. In turn, Lisa really knows we’re in trouble when the captain looks worried, it hasn’t happened often, this was really only…

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Ranger Tug Kismet Docked, Chatterbox Falls, Canada

Chatterbox Falls… Hear it Roar!

After our slow cruise through the magnificent granite-walled gorge, we could finally make out Chatterbox Falls roaring at the head of Princess Louisa Inlet. The fall is part of the Loquilts River, which empties into the inlet. It had been raining for several days before our arrival to Princess Louisa Inlet and although Chatterbox Falls flows all of the time (along with 60 or so others during the spring season due to the sun melting the snow-pack high on top of the mountains) the rain produced many smaller waterfalls. They looked like shiny ribbons on the gorge walls. The smaller falls were exceptionally prolific when we first arrived due to the recent heavy rainfall. In fact many of the smaller falls we saw upon our arrival had pretty much dried up before our departure, three days later. As we approached the dock, located just to the right of the falls, we were happy to see there was still space at the…

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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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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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