Cruise to Desolation Sound this summer

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Re: Cruise to Desolation Sound this summer

Post by Chinook » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:52 pm

We've cruised the waters, but got there the long, slow way. If you're limited on time, you can save 4 days or so. The Broughtons are a fun place to cruise. Be sure and stay at some of the small, local marinas. The folks there are super friendly, the rates are reasonable, and you'll enjoy the experience. Stop by your neighborhood Good Will store, or go through your closet, so you have a pair of red shoes along. You can stay at the Port Hardy Marina and exchange the red shoes for a meal at their Red Shoe Restaurant. Another must is the Echo Bay Marina. Pierre puts on an awesome pigfeed or prime rib roast dinner, depending on the day, and the nearby museum is very worthwhile. Lots of local First Nations sites in the area, worth reading up about ahead of time. Hope you get up there.

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Sailboat: MacGregor 26X
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Re: Cruise to Desolation Sound this summer

Post by RADOM » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:47 am

We trailered to Telegraph Cove last summer and spent 2 weeks in the Broughtons. There is a good ramp at Telegraph (except at extremely low tide) and a large gravel lot for parking. The location is perfect for accessing the area. We spent some nights at marinas:
Alert Bay
Pierre's - Echo Bay
Sullivan Bay
Lagoon Cove

and some nights on the hook:
Purves Cove
Cypress Harbour
Drury Inlet
Turnbull Cove
Laura Bay
Kwatsi Bay
Goat Island Anchorage

Echo Bay and Sullivan Bay have groceries for re-provisioning. Fuel is available at most marinas, so we never worried about that.

Typical summer weather is morning low cloud or fog that lifts and clears by noon. It will be cool in the summer, even if it is sunny. When we were there, it was 30 degrees C (86 F) in Campbell River (70 miles to the south east) but only 19 degrees C in the Broughtons (66 F). If there is a wind blowing, it can feel quite cool.

Cell service is spotty unless you are right in Queen Charlotte Strait. Even though the marinas advertise wi-fi, don't count on it. If you do manage to connect, it is glacial and really only for checking text emails.

You will not be disappointed. Pacific blue sided dolphins were a daily sight. They would often come and play in the bow wake. We saw several black bears on the beach (although no Grizzlies, even though we dinghied up the Ahta Valley at the end of Bond Sound). Humpbacks and killer whales were spotted both times that we crossed Blackfish Sound. We drifted and watch them surface all around us. Spectacular.

The previous time I was up there, we only had 1 week. Two weeks is more appropriate to explore the area if you have the time.

Sailor Dale
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Sailboat: MacGregor 26M
Location: Oregon City, OR

Re: Cruise to Desolation Sound this summer

Post by Sailor Dale » Sun Mar 04, 2018 10:39 am

Thanks RADOM and Chinook for the great info!

C Buchs
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Re: Cruise to Desolation Sound this summer

Post by C Buchs » Wed May 09, 2018 4:32 pm

We have dates for our first San Jaun Islands trip by boat!! We are planning for July 12-17. We want to make it to Butchart Gardens. Probably leaving from Anacortes. Does that sound like too far to go in the time we have? Any suggestions on route?


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