ALASKA 2016: Leg 7 – Squirrel Cove to Madeira Park | NW Explorations

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ALASKA 2016: Leg 7 – Squirrel Cove to Madeira Park

We cruised the western edge of Desolation Sound today, a region terribly misnamed by Vancouver long ago in the midst of a depressive funk. Although it is true that this area is not as productive in terms of marine life as some of the other areas in the region, it is far from desolate! The round dome of Kingcome Island sat in the foreground, set against the mountainous backdrop of the massive cascade mountains, almost entirely devoid of snow so late in the season, but still breathtakingly tall. Cortes and Twin Islands complimented the view to the west, and to the south the broad Strait of Georgia and the stony Malaspina Peninsula rounded out the vista.

We made for the peninsula, passing Sarah Point at midmorning and continuing south along the coast, past the quaint community of Lund, the soaring steam-shrouded stacks of the paper mill at Powell River, and finally past Nelson Island and Agamemnon Channel, which guard the entrance to Jervis Inlet and the magical Princess Louisa Inlet beyond.

Madeira Park is one in a series of interconnected coves that go by many names; Pender Harbour, Gunboat Bay, Garden Bay, to name a few. The shore of these coves are lined with gorgeous waterfront homes and small private marinas. The anchorage in the middle of the bay provides a great view in all directions as well as a front row seat for what is invariably a wonderful sunset. It is also only seconds from the dinghy dock, which on a hot day like today is invaluable, as it is only a couple minutes to the cafe, which serves up some of the largest ice-cream cones on the planet.

The afternoon was a long, warm one, and we set out to explore the estuary at the head of the bay. Herons stalked in the long grass and kingfishers flitted screaming from perch to perch. Back aboard in the early evening, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the crew of Ajax had happened upon a bake sale, and had, luckily for us, purchased more blackberry pie than they knew what to do with! All in all, not a bad day!

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