After a snug night amongst the Octopus Islands, we sailed on through the “hole-in-the-wall”, a narrow passage that produces some exceptionally high currents. But not for us. We timed our passage for slack water and had barely a ripple. As we exited, we were well and truly in Desolation Sound, a lovely cruising area and not just for us. The crew of Arctic Star spotted a couple of humpback whales feeding leisurely in Calm Channel.
As we cruised along at our stately 8 knots, we noticed a fleet of high-speed whale-watching boats buzzing up and down the various inlets looking for the local orca. One even stopped to ask us if we had seen the whales. Just to the east of Cortez Island we ran into the whales and the whale watchers. There were perhaps 10 orca, including some majestic, tall-finned bulls. There were at least that many boats watching them. We cruised past directly to clear the scrum of whale-watchers and headed up Malaspina Inlet. Amazingly, this is the third time we have encountered orca this trip. We have had great whale luck.
Mid-August in Desolation Sound is prime cruising season and there were lots of boats of all shapes and sizes taking advantage of the natural beauty of the area. We opted to head for Theodosia Inlet to regain the wilderness feel of our time in Northern B.C. The narrow entrance held two dozen common mergansers, but no challenge for our experienced skippers. Once we reached the inner harbor, we found we had the entire anchorage to ourselves. Dinghies and kayaks were launched around the fleet, all the better to explore our private harbor!
The trip bird list now sits at 54 species, closing in on record territory. Dave on Thea particularly liked the red-necked grebes.