Mansons Landing thru Desolation Sound

Mansons LandingBC

Mansons Landing Anchorage

0830 hours 6/18/2015 @ Masons Landing N 50º04.509′ W124º58.958′

After a great evening of dinner, discussion of tomorrows destination, sleep, I was up at 0600 hours to quietly make the coffee with Jon and Wendy being quietly awake and rising about 30 minutes later.  Our route for the day would be Refuge Cove to fuel up and take on water.  Then we would head for Tenedos Bay.

Mansons Landing to Tenedas Bay

Mansons Landing to Tenedos Bay

We pulled the hook and pointed the boat south as we motored down the western edge of Cortes Island to Sutil Point.  Turning towards the Baker Passage and passing north of Hernando Island we turned north toward Kinghorn Island and beyond is the Lewis Channel of Desolation Sound. This was my first time to approach and enter Desolation Sound.  The raw stark beauty……The feeling of this place was stark & intimate.  With apologies to all poets I offer the following below.

Shan

Shan

Mountains slicing thru the sky

Cathedral walls of evergreens

Glacier clad peaks releasing waterfalls

A carpet of blue green water

The essence of Gaia

Hope Point Refuge Cove

Hope Point at Refuge Cove

Abeam of Hope Point we came to 31º magnetic and motored the half mile into Refuge Cove.  Here we had the opportunity to fill up with diesel, take on potable water, fill our propane cylinders and have ice cream & chips.  This is your last opportunity for these items and garbage disposal , for a fee at the barge, until you leave Desolation Sound.

DSCN0548

Refuge Cove from the store

By 1400 hours we headed back out to Hope Point and pointed the boat on a 133º magnetic course past Martin Island across the sound towards the southern tip of Mink Island. Then onto a northerly course for the last 4 miles to Tenedos Bay.

Tenedos Bay Anchorage

Tenedos Bay Anchorage

There are two bays, a NW bay and a SE bay, for anchoring. Above is our approach to the SE bay.  Finding a spot to drop the hook and do a stern tie was not a trivial matter for us.  When all was completed it was 1 to 2 hours later!  We spent a wonderful evening with food, good wine, star gazing and quiet.  Tomorrow we will head to the Wildernest at Toba Inlet.

Tenedos Bay to Toba Wildernest

Tenedos Bay to Toba Wildernest

0830 hours 6/19/2015 @ Tenedos Bay N 50º07.394′ W124º41.460′

A relaxed morning for all.  There is the sense of we’re here lets be less driven.  We have approximately 15nm to the Toba Wildernest up the Homfray Channel.  Ken fixes breakfast for the entire crew.  Pancakes, blueberries, maple syrup, butter.  A feast for breakfast.  With seal heads popping up to see the visitors we lounge with food & coffee while watching seals.

1000 hours we pull the anchor, Jon & Geoff, with Ken at the helm.  We motor out on a reciprocal of our entry course until we are past Ray Rock and then turn to 310º M to pass the southern tip of Otter Island into the Homfray Channel.

Look South down the Homfray Channel

Looking South down Homfray Channel

As we head up the channel we pass two bays that have potential anchorages. Forbes Bay, the lower, and Atwood Bay the more northerly bay.

AtwoodBayHomfrayCh

Atwood Bay off the Homfray Channel

Jon, Irene and Wendy on scenery watch

Jon, Irene and Wendy on scenery watch

As we approach Channel Island directly off the bow we are at the confluence of the Homfray, Price, Toba Inlet.   Our destination for the night.

Toba Wildernest

Toba Wildernest with Channel Island in the background

This place is a true gem.  Showers, bathrooms and a dock and stunning views.  We were welcomed by Ranger Kyle.  He shared his knowledge about shell fish with Irene and Geoff.  Kyle, his wife & nine year old daughter have homesteaded this place for seven years.  The off season solitude must be both wonderful and immense.

Irene & Ranger Kyle

Irene & Ranger Kyle

0600 hours 6/20/2015 at Toba Wilderness Marina N50º19.440′ W124º47.742′

My iPhone alarm sounds and I’m up to make coffee and start the day.  Sunrise is 0430 hours and sunset is 2200 hours this far north.  Its 52ºF, little ripples on the water fairly still.  By 0815 hours everyone is up and stowing gear in the nooks and crannies of the boat.  Today, we need to be disciplined in our departure time, 0900 hours, since we will transit the Yuculta Rapids on the west side of Stuart Island before we reach Big Bay for the evening.  Our estimated arrival at the south end of Stuart Island is 1300 hours and slack water at Yuculta Rapids is 1400 hours.  Starting today we will be leaving Desolation Sound and going to the Broughtons which are north east of Queen Charlotte Sound.  There are three passages to go from the north end of the Georgia Straits to Queen Charlotte Sound.  The most direct, the Discovery Passage, has significant tidal currents and fewer places to pull off if things are bad.  The passage using the Calm, Cordero, Chancellor, Welborne, and Sunderland Channels  decreases our exposure to the Johnstone Straits.  This is our choice for the transit to the Broughtons.  There is a middle passage but it offers more exposure to Johnstone Straits.

Toba Wildernest to Big Bay at Stuart Island

Toba Wildernest to Big Bay at Stuart Island

0900 hours

We slip out of the Wilderness and head SSE between the mainland and Double Island.  We change our heading to 265ºM to follow the Pryce Channel to the north tip of Raza Island and into the Raza Passage.

Raza Island on port and Passage

Raza Island on port and Passage

We enter Calm Channel and turn to 308ºM as we head toward the southern tip of Stuart Island. 1215 hours we are off the southern tip of Stuart Island with another boat right at the southern tip.

Stuart Island South Tip

Stuart Island South Tip

Jon & I discuss our strategy for Yuculta Rapids.  We agree on the following.  We will go close to slack water time and  follow the other sailboat. Jon will be at the helm and I’ll be on the deck with binocs.  I’ll be looking for whirlpools, boats yawing, and turbulent water.  Everyone is killing time in their own way until 1330 hours.  1330 hours we pass harbor point nav light and follow the other boat at a respectful distance as we reach the Whirlpool point nav aid.

Whirlpool Point Yuculta Rapids

Whirlpool Point Yuculta Rapids

No yawing, frothing just slack water.  We hit it dead on and our goal was “no drama”  with that we pulled into the Big Bay Marina at 1500 hours.  We have a layover until 1200 hours when Teri arrives on a float plane.

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