We had a great summer, once again, managing to get away for a solid 7 weeks. On top of that we had a long awaited venture further north than usual, and this time we made it. After a relatively quick dash to Desolation Sound our flotilla left Squirrel Cove to take on the infamous rapids between us and the Broughton Islands.
Following Jack Dale’s excellent suggestions the rapids turned out to be largely non events, in fact we dealt with more adverse current in more open areas, however these rapids are not something to trifle with and transiting at or very near slack is always advised.
Heading up towards Bute Inlet, rapids around point on the left.
Day one was getting through the Yucaltas, Gillard, and Dent rapids, which constitutes a 5 NM run through the three of them. Fighting the tail end of the flood, using backeddies in the Yucaltas, we got through Gillard a half hour early and hit the Dents pretty well spot on.
Path from Squirrel Cove to Forward Harbour, with 5 rapids to transit
This took us to Shoal Bay, a rustic resort that has a very popular public dock. One thing we noticed right away was the colder water.. Desolation’s 68 -70F immediately gave way to 53-55F, the boat cooled down immediately, esp in mornings. It was often warmer on deck in the early am.
From Shoal Bay we moved a short way to the Cardero Island anchorage, a delightful spot where we caught up with the rest of our group before heading through Greene Point and Whirlpool rapids to Forward Harbour – the serious rapids were dealt with.
Due to forecast afternoon gales (common in summer, and esp good weather) we had a 5 am start to try to catch the ebb and a bit less wind through the unavoidable stretch of Johnstone Strait. This transit, too, was uneventful and the typical morning grey, low cloud predictably cleared and brightened to a sunny late afternoon, a pattern that was nearly a daily event throughout.
Entering Havanna Channel from Johnstone Str.
The day ended at an abandoned resort area on Minstrel Island, once a vibrant social hub of the area. Sadly falling down and overgrown, the docks remain and cruisers make good use of the free moorage. Exploring the tumbledown buildings and surrounding area is a neat way to spend some time, always keeping an eye out for local bears.
After a supply stop at Lagoon Cove, we moved up Tribune Channel to Kwatzi Bay, an almost Princess Louisa-like bay half way through Tribune. Here we anchored at the base of the steep slopes. We visited the nearby marina, which was quite busy and had some very nice crafts and clothing in the floating store.
Clouds clearing in Tribune Channel
Kwatzi Bay.. morning and afternoon..
Lichen/moss filled trees are common here.. very pretty
Our overall meanderings in the area north of the rapids: