Posted by: cherylyoung | June 8, 2013

DESOLATION SOUND MARINE PARK POSSESSES A MAGICAL MAGNETISN THAT DRAWS VISITOR FROM AROUND THE GLOBE

 

Desolation Sound Marine Park possesses

 a magical magnetism that draws boaters

 and paddlers from distant shores.

Most of those who arrive aboard ‘stinkpots’

tend to congregate in popular anchorages,

such as Prideaux Haven, Tenedos Bay, and

 Grace Harbour, much as ‘fifth-wheelers’

converge on RV parks. Be a little more imaginative

and you’ll find plenty of isolated bays and campsites

throughout Desolation Sound’s more than 37 miles

(60 km) of coastline.

Safe anchorages in Desolation Sound Marine Park,

at the confluence of Malaspina Inlet and Homfray

Channel, include:

 

Grace Harbour
A long and narrow sheltered bay located on Gifford

Peninsula in Malaspina Inlet. The inner part of Grace

Harbour is completely protected from all winds

 and seas.

There are a few wilderness camping spots at the end

of the bay, and a series of hiking trails.

Follow the trail at the northern end of the harbour

to a small, peaceful, freshwater beaver lake.

Facilities include pit toilets and an information shelter.

Galley Bay and Isabel Bay or other bays provide

anchorage for cruising boats and landing spots for

kayakers wishing to explore ashore or set up camp for

 the night.

 

Thors Cove
Thors Cove is outside the Park – with a southeast wind

blowing up Okeover Inlet and out Malaspina, this same

wind will blow up Lancelot Inlet as a southerly and

almost diretly into Thors Cove as a westerly.

The best protection in these circumstances can be

found in the extreme south end of the cove or directly

behind a tiny inlet near the south end.

 

Theodosia Inlet
The current runs quite quickly through the narrow

twisting  channel which opens up inside Theodosia.

Theodosia Inlet is almost a lagoon – good anchorage

 is availablethroughout the Inlet as well as behind

 this islet.

Wootton Bay
Several temporary anchorages are possible near the

 head of Wootton Bay with good protection from the

nightime westerly but somewhat exposed to anything

from the south or southeast.

 

Mink Island
Mink Island is outside the park boundaries but is

still a very popular anchorages in Desolation Sound.

The outer anchorage is fairly deep and completely

 open to the east. Shallower, more protected anchorage

 is possible behind a small islet near the head of

the cove.

 

Tenedos Bay
Bold Head shelters this beautiful bay south of Prideaux

 Haven, in Homfray Channel. Favoured anchorages in

Tenedos Bay are inside the island on the bay’s northern

shore, or at the head of the bay, near Unwin Lake.

A pleasant stroll along a trail leads to Unwin Lake,

 an ideal fresh and warm water swimming spot.

 

 Facilities include campsites, pit toilets and an

information shelter.

Kayakers and campers can explore nearby Mink,

 Curme and Otter Islands.

Prideaux Haven
Strategically located as a base for boaters to explore

 the Sound, this anchorage is an elongated bay dotted

with islands, small coves and passageways.

 

 Prideaux Haven is one of the most beautiful

 anchorages in Desolation Sound.

 This is a marvellous place to explore by kayak,

paddling among small coves, inlets and islands.

Ashore, interesting tidal pools and marshes will

enthral you with an abundance of marine organisms,

 birds and waterfowl.

Melanie Cove and Laura Cove are favoured

anchorages for boaters, although anchorage is

available at a number of locations along the shoreline.

 

Because of pool tidal circulation, the anchorages of

Desolation Sound Marine Park are no-discharge

zones;

visitors must use holdings tanks or shoreside facilities

where available.

 

Boaters should also bring their own drinking water

 and boil any surface water prior to consumption.

The park contains several parcels of private land.

Kayakers should note in particular that the land

 at the head of Portage Cove is private, and there

 is no access across the Gifford Peninsula at that point.

 

The pristine waters of Desolation Sound are surrounded

 by steep evergreen mountains, all teeming with the

 wildest of wildlife.

 

 One of the prime attractions of these waters is their

 warmth in summer months, which makes them ideal

 for swimming and snorkeling.

 

 The scenery is less severe than many of the other

sheer-sided waterways along the central coast,

although just as majestic.

 

 Snowcapped peaks of the Coast Mountains soar from

the tideline to heights of 7,875 feet (2400 m).

 

Many yachtsmen regard the Desolation Sound area as

not only the most beautiful and varied cruising area

in BC, but equal to, if not better than any other area

 in the rest of the world.

 

In the variety of spectacular scenery, warm summer

climate, abundance of shelter and anchorages, this

area is a microcosm of all that is best about salt water

cruising in British Columbia.environment nearer in

spirit to the protected waters of the southern Strait of

 Georgia.

 

 What Desolation Sound provides that the southern

Gulf Islands don’t is an astonishing breeding ground

for shellfish, principally oysters.

 

Whoever penned the time-honoured expression

‘When the tide is out, the table is spread’ must have

 been inspired by these nutrient-rich waters.

 

Camping areas ashore abound, and the forested

parkland comprises extensive trails and small lakes.

 

There are two approaches to Desolation Sound, either

from Lund or nearby Okeover Arm Provincial Park at

 the head of the inlet.

 

 A boat ramp is located at each location.

 

 Paddlers will find less marine traffic in Okeover Inlet

 than along the west side of Malaspina Strait.

 

For more information, consult the BC Marine Parks

 Guide, the official guide to BC’s coastal marine parks.

 

Public boat ramps on the northern Sunshine Coast

 are located at Saltery Bay Provincial Park, at

Okeover Arm Provincial Park, and in Lund.

 

Private ramps are located in Powell River.

 

 Location: Desolation Sound is located at the northern

 end of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, accessed

 from the tiny hamlet of Lund, the northernmost

 terminus of Highway 101, which begins 14,880 miles

/24,000 km to the south in Chile.

 

Lund is locatedonly 104 miles/166 km north of

Vancouver, but it takes over five hours (including

two BC Ferry rides) to get there.

 

 Further south is Powell River, the largest town on the

Sunshine Coast.

 

 Desolation Sound can also be accessed by boat from

 Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island, Heriot Bay on Quadra

 Island, and from Campbell River on the east coast of

 Vancouver Island.

CHERYL YOUNG REALTOR AND BLOGGER

WWW.CHERYLYOUNG.CA

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