2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 1, Day 4 – Prideaux Haven to Octopus Islands | NW Explorations


2023 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 1, Day 4 – Prideaux Haven to Octopus Islands

Waking in Prideaux Haven was one of the most spectacular mornings we’ve shared thus far. Unzipping the raft, we enjoyed a warm breeze and one by one sent the goslings on their way out of the anchorage.

As we set off on our 30 nautical mile journey, we watched a group of Bald Eagles soar around us as we fell into line and made our way west towards Octopus Islands. The rising sun made for a stunning show of light rays dusting through the distant mountain peaks, reminding us of just how incredible it is to be spending such quality time in these remote places.

Our narrowest crossing today is our trip through Hole in the Wall, a rapid on the west entrance between Sonora and Maurelle Island. Our ventures north will continue to have us planning and preparing for passages at precise timings of tidal slacks given the amount of water that can move around during changing tides. This is a huge part of the fun that we share as a fleet throughout our flotilla trips, with our lead captain planning our crossings and timing for any rapids, we all share the adventure practicing and even learning skills as a team navigating new and familiar waters.

With crew on bow watch, offering support, and enjoying the dynamics of their team we all make our way through Hole in the Wall with smiles on our faces and excitement bubbling to get anchored and enjoy our evenings in Waiatt Bay.

Entering Octopus Island Marine Provincial Park, we cruised through its entrance at such a low tide that we were able to see creatures along the shoreline and the expansive presence of clam gardens lining the shallows. Clam gardens are areas of sloping beaches that were transformed into soft sedimented shoreline by levels of piled rock and became the optimal clam habitat that they still are. To see such a rich First Nation history is such a privilege, and to study the importance of such a crucial aspect to their livelihoods is quite incredible.

Octopus Islands was made a provincial park in 1974 and a little under 2,000 acres become protected and offer visitors hiking trails, protected anchorages, and serene landscapes. Another location where we find it to be quite quiet in the shoulder seasons and a great place to bring our flotilla as we cruise north and venture through Desolation Sound in the fall months.

Entering the anchorage each vessel found a spot to call home for the night and we all began our afternoons enjoying the sun and preparing for a cocktail party aboard Deception.

With the sun beading down and little winds we invited the fleet over and made appetizers aboard, keeping them chilled on the boat and passed out cold drinks for everyone to enjoy in the sun and even shade if needed. After sharing stories and many laughs, we wrapped up our evening and sent our friends off with a wave goodbye. Tomorrow, we have lay day here in Octopus Islands and as we make our plans for the morning, we all look forward to hiking up to Newton Lake and spending time in the anchorage exploring with our kayaks, dinghy’s, and even taking the occasional dip to cool off.

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