Another late start to our day with a departure time of 0900. However that didn’t stop us from having a lot of fun. The sun was high in the sky as we meandered through Prideaux Haven. It was gorgeous being so close to the cliffs by Otter Island where the passage was no wider than a few boat lengths. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the breeze was light. Our first stop was Galley Bay.
It was an adventure setting the anchor in 100ft of water and rafting the other boats to Deception while we tendered everyone to the beach to start harvesting the shellfish. Ross and Evie had collected mussels, clams, and oysters in Galley Bay about ten years ago, so we knew it was a good spot. There were a fair amount of people who have never dug for clams or shucked an oyster so the experience was rewarding.
Next stop, Squirrel Cove! A short hop and skip from Galley Bay, the flotilla entered the protected bay in less than an hour. One of the boats had fouled their dinghy painter line in one of their props. A quick call to action and the boys were off in the dinghy to dive on the boat. Brian slipped into his neoprene wetsuit and grabbed a scuba tank with his mask and flippers. Within minutes the line was clear of the prop and no damage was done. A perfect example of why there is safety in numbers, especially cruising in these remote waters.
At 1430, a hike was lead into the heart of Cortes Island. The forest was ancient, with fir and cedars over five feet wide. There were hundreds of these magnificent trees scattered along the trail. The mushrooms were starting to pop out of the woodwork everywhere. The wind could be heard stirring the canopies of the trees. Frogs could also be heard off in the distance. Downed alders were evidence that the beaver population in the area was thriving.
Brian lit a warm fire on the shores of the small un-named island that lay in the middle of our anchorage. Everyone eventually showed up in their dinghies, which was fun to see. The shoreline was covered in bright, squishy moss, and big oysters laid just underneath the water’s surface. It was a very pretty little island and a good opportunity to roast some marshmallows. The crew of Eldean is from Australia and had never had a S’more and boy, did they like them!
At last, it was time to douse the flames and say goodnight. It was a fun day of oyster picking, clam digging, jigging, fishing, hiking, and laughter. Everyone left one by one from the island to rest their sleepy heads. A successful day of cruising in Desolation Sound, and surely one to remember for a long time!