HomeDesolation Sound Voyage

Post Three, Part II - With Scott to Desolation Sound

This is my (Karen's) version of our trip from Nanaimo to Desolation. As you can see, I don't have the restraint that Scott has--I've added a few more pics to highlight the main ones. I also have created two pages. Since these 10 days couldn't stretch into two months for me, I feel I have a lot to say and show about a shorter period of time. Hope you enjoy another trip through our Desolation Sound voyage. Cheers, K

San Juan Island DeHavilland Flying to Nanaimo

This was my first time flying in a seaplane, and I'm addicted. We took off from Kenmore at the top of Lake Washington, and an hour and 15 minutes later I was in Nanaimo. The entire flight was spectacular--taking off and landing on the water, banking in tight turns that leave you peering into the clear blue depths to check out animals, boats, and kelp beds, and flying over land that stretches out as a rolling, beautiful map. It's the first time I've ever thought I would like to learn to fly a plane. This is a picture of San Juan Island.

Small pics: Elegant DeHavilland controls; my six-seater plane
San Juan Island

Gata Luna Welcome

After Scott picked me up and we taxied back to the Nanaimo marina, this was one of my first glimpses of Gata. I like this pic because she looks so tranquil, airing out in the sun, and ready for the next adventure. Scott had the boat shipshape and ready for new crew. We headed out to reprovision, and that evening we celebrated Scott's birthday and toasted adventure.

I also like this picture because getting to Nanaimo was a homecoming. Over many years of travelling, we've lived out of a truck, a tent, a Vanagon, and numerous great apartments. Probably sounds obvious, but I learned early on that home is wherever Scott and that domicile are on the map.

Small pic: Outside a Hudson Bay historic site
Historical couple Gata Luna Welcome

BC Ferry Leaving Nanaimo Harbor Scott setting course Crossing the Strait

Our first day of sailing took us across the Strait of Georgia, and as we rounded this point leaving the harbor, we saw this ferry. From the cockpit of a 27-foot sailboat, ships this size never fail to impress. We saw other sailboats on the strait motoring (!), but we held 7.5 knots full sail on a beam reach all the way across. I read a book. Scott made a hot lunch. Otto the autopilot kept vigil for the easy parts.

Small pic: Scott setting a course for Otto; headland coming out of Nanaimo Harbor
Heading out

A View from Smuggler Cove Marine Park

Smuggler's Cove is a fantastic marine park where we spent our first night out after crossing the strait. We got in mid-afternoon, then stern tied and went hiking. Here's a view of Malaspina Strait from the north point of the park. Also check out a fantastic Smuggler's Cove sunset or a little video of rowing the inlet at dusk.

Crossing the Strait of Georgia that day was my first real big-water crossing, and I was very comfortable, for two reasons, I think: 1) I have been looking forward to "bigger" sailing since I took a week-long, live-aboard sailing course in June 2004, and 2) I have complete confidence in my captain and sailing companion. In the same way I devoted myself to a graduate program during the past two years, Scott has devoted himself to learning everything about sailing. He knows every square inch of our boat, having repaired or improved 90% of it in some way. He also has taken sailing courses for the past two years, studying everything from sail trim, to weather, to charting and navigation, earning an advanced piloting certification. He also is a certified vessel safety inspector--so he knows what a solid boat looks like, and he can also identify trouble. As a first mate, I was in capable hands.

Small pic: Starfish at Smuggler's Cove
Starfish Sailboat on Malaspina

Dremel Use Life on Board: There Must be 50 Ways to Use a Dremel

As we motored up Malaspina Strait, Scott again showed his ingenuity for creative tool use aboard ship. Now that I know the secret, when he gets back home, that Dremel is MINE. I will be able to give myself perfect pedicures for life.

Desolation SoundDesolation

This is one of the first views we had of Desolation Sound Marine Park, after coming around Sarah Point. Scott is checking the chart to confirm our destination of Galley Bay. I like this picture because it shows one of the most pleasurable things about sailing: You are so often surrounded by grandeur, even while doing the most mundane things.

Dinner TimePrideaux Haven

Prideaux Haven did not disappoint. We anchored in the main cove, then jumped into the kayaks to explore the nooks of the islets around us. Through crystal-clear water, I saw a bottom covered in grass and starfish. On the shore, we bushwhacked in vain through lush, mossy forest to find a trail--but it was still wonderful to get exercise. Later, sitting in the cockpit sipping iced white wine, I wrote in my journal and watched and listened to kingfishers go about their ritual of calling to mark territory, then diving for fish.

Roscoe Bay and Llanover Mountain

Next stop, Roscoe Bay. We snuck in just in time--the entrance is questionable for keelboats at low tide--and set out for our single hike of the trip, a 12km hike round-trip up Llanover Mountain. It was fabulous to stretch our legs, and the best part was that we could swim in a fresh-water lake afterwards.

Small pics from the top of Llanover Mountain: It's just a jump to the left; bring your knees in tight; let's do the time warp again!
Roscoe Bay
Let's do the time warp again! Put your hands on your hips It's just a jump to the left

Desolation Sound Voyage, Part II--Karen's Post, Cont.

Copyright 2005
Scott & Karen Semyan