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Old 17-06-2019, 08:11   #1
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Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Hi.

We will be sailing during two weeks in British Colombia the first two weeks of July with a 33 ft sailboat. Our plan is to sail from Nanaimo to Princess Louisa and then to Desolation Sound.

We adapt as we go, but I am always preparing a plan and route that I never respect

Based on coastal guide and chart we did select anchorages along the way, but I am open to any suggestions, ideas of places to see that may not appear in guide (they are so many possible places is hard to choice ^^).

Also, it will be our first sailing experience in the area (we are based in Florida) so any recommendations are welcome !

Thx you in advance.

Chris
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Old 17-06-2019, 08:45   #2
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Consider bringing a shore tie line, 300' or so. quite a few anchorages here where you are expected not to swing.
Note that we have a large tidal range here, about 17' max.
Winds are fickle, make sure your motor is ready to be used.
some places will be silly crowded (prideaux haven, tenedos bay) where just a few miles further you can be on you own.

there are nice anchorages in Jervis Inlet between Nelson and Hardy islands.


here are 2019 tide (and current) tables: https://www.waterlevels.gc.ca/eng/data/predictions/2019



enjoy!
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Old 17-06-2019, 08:53   #3
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Thx you. Yes we are planning a stop in one of these two anchorages
Hardy Island (Musket Island) or Ballet Bay. We are using Active Captain for info about anchorage.

Since it is a boat we are renting I will check concerning the line before leaving. Hopefully they are providing.

C.
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Old 17-06-2019, 09:15   #4
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Try and get one of the mooring bouys just before the dock at Princess Lousia as the dock gets really busy and noisy. The mooring bouys are about 5 minutes by dinghy to the dock,
Stern tie will be needed in most of the Desolation sound areas this time of the year.
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Old 17-06-2019, 09:17   #5
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

I would maybe think about skipping Princess Louisa since you only have two weeks, it's pretty and all but it's kinda out of the way and would make for some loooong travel days. Probably motoring the whole way as well, as you have to time some rapids at the end and the wind is often very fluky.

Think about maybe heading right to the copelands/desolation and then taking it easy and slowly sailing everywhere, it's all so close once you get there you can afford to wait for the wind and have a lovely relaxing time. A lot of the spots there are so nice you'll want to spend several days in one place as well, lots of swimming, hiking etc.

Oh, and have fun shore-tying, it's essential in a lot of the places and it's, um, a lot of 'fun', esp the first couple of times.
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Old 17-06-2019, 09:20   #6
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Got to agree about the time it takes to get to Princesss Louisa it is a long motor (sailing it usually not on due to fickle wind). Once you get there it is spectacular though.

Spend more time in Desolation or further north.
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Old 17-06-2019, 09:31   #7
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

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Originally Posted by alctel View Post
I would maybe think about skipping Princess Louisa since you only have two weeks, it's pretty and all but it's kinda out of the way and would make for some loooong travel days. Probably motoring the whole way as well, as you have to time some rapids at the end and the wind is often very fluky.

Think about maybe heading right to the copelands/desolation and then taking it easy and slowly sailing everywhere, it's all so close once you get there you can afford to wait for the wind and have a lovely relaxing time. A lot of the spots there are so nice you'll want to spend several days in one place as well, lots of swimming, hiking etc.

Oh, and have fun shore-tying, it's essential in a lot of the places and it's, um, a lot of 'fun', esp the first couple of times.
Yes, it is as well our conclusion. We were looking for 2 options. The second one being to concentrate more on Desolation Sound area and have more time for exploring.
The idea is the following.
A first stop in Smugger cove, then Hardy Island before heading to Savary Island and then entering the area of Desolation Sound. That will let us 5 -6 days in that specific area.
On the way back we are planning a stop in Mitlenash island before going down to Lasqueti Island.
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Old 17-06-2019, 09:35   #8
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Mittlenach is difficult for sailboats as you will have to anchor quite a ways out as it is too shallow close in and there is no really safe place to anchor or stay overnight - I used to work for parks and looked after Mittlenach.
Jedediah Island is a good option if going to Smugglers Cove, nice walking around the old farm and island trails, Stern tieing nearly mandatory though.
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Old 17-06-2019, 09:40   #9
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

We are also transplanted East Coasters and love DS.

I second bringing some light line to stern tie, make for better sleeping at night.

Make sure you have a 2019 tide and current table for the area, it gets "frisky" here.

We use Best Anchorages of the Inside Passage and have found it to be a great source. I found a very lightly used one on ThriftBooks.com and instead of $40 paid $7.00.

You are going to love this place!
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Old 17-06-2019, 14:37   #10
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Honestly, you really can't go wrong anywhere, it's all very pretty - some places will be packed however!

Von Donop inlet is great as well, very pretty and with a fair bit of room, watch out for the rock halfway down the passage though.

Pendrell Sound is huge and you can always find space - it also has probably the warmest water in the whole PNW. Although being from FL it's probably not as much of a novelty .

If you are confident anchoring, there are tiny nooks everywhere.
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Old 17-06-2019, 20:25   #11
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Get yourself a used copy of Waggoner Cruising Guide off the auction website. 2010 or newer. Has all the information you’ll need. I like the Discovery Islands area. Not as crowded.
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Old 18-06-2019, 03:57   #12
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Thx you for all the information ! Very useful. I already had the Wagoner guide and just bought the other one.
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Old 18-06-2019, 08:30   #13
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

Quote:
Originally Posted by maijipo View Post
Yes, it is as well our conclusion. We were looking for 2 options. The second one being to concentrate more on Desolation Sound area and have more time for exploring.
The idea is the following.
A first stop in Smugger cove, then Hardy Island before heading to Savary Island and then entering the area of Desolation Sound. That will let us 5 -6 days in that specific area.
On the way back we are planning a stop in Mitlenash island before going down to Lasqueti Island.
If you want to shorten the trip north, go from Smuggler to Van Anda (anchor or stop at the Texada Boat Club's dock), then head straight into Desolation the next day.

The Copelands have lots of nice nooks and chains to stern tie to. Roscoe has a bar but if the timing of the tide is right its well worth a stop. If you want a nice night out as a break, The Laughing Oyster (in Okisollo), or Gorge Harbour are nice albeit expensive. I second Von Donop...it's our favourite anchorage there.

Just got back from 30 days up there...it really is a most lovely place.
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Old 18-06-2019, 08:58   #14
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

You should definitely stop at mitlenatch. there is anchorage close in, on the north side and the east side. It is a small low island, so not much protection but absolutely fine as a day stop. It's one of my favorite spots.


I agree that louisa and desolation in two weeks is too much.


Smugglers and hardy island are only about 10 miles apart - you can make hardy from Nanaimo.
Smugglers is a nice little (little!) anchorage and you absolutely need to stern tie. that was my first stern tie experience. If you do go please keep an eye out for some bits of skin and kneecap i left on the rocks by one of the tie rings. i'd like them back.


I like your idea of heading up one side of texada and down the other.
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Old 18-06-2019, 09:04   #15
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Re: Desolation Sound and Princess Louisa sailing

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The Copelands have lots of nice nooks and chains to stern tie to. Roscoe has a bar but if the timing of the tide is right its well worth a stop. If you want a nice night out as a break, The Laughing Oyster (in Okisollo), or Gorge Harbour are nice albeit expensive. I second Von Donop...it's our favourite anchorage there.

Just got back from 30 days up there...it really is a most lovely place.



copelands are great and most folks blow right by them. great little anchorages, beautiful clear water and lots of life. and a short dinghy ride to the bakery at Lund!


Laughing Oyster is not in Okisollo, it is in Okeover inlet. we ate there once and nobody was impressed but that was once and lots of people seem to like it. Gorge is an excellent resort, very welcoming to cruisers - it's run by cruisers. easy to while away time up there.
Both are kinda pricey, the 2pc fish'n'chips at the gorge is a good deal as it is almost a meal for 2. they always have good drink specials going and free live music.
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