Alaska Flotilla: Leg 1, Day 3 – Pender Harbour to Octopus Islands | NW Explorations


Alaska Flotilla: Leg 1, Day 3 – Pender Harbour to Octopus Islands

It has been another glorious day traveling the Inside Passage, but as the saying goes “the early bird gets the worm”! At 0557 anchors were raised in Pender Harbour and the flotilla cruised ahead to a rather special place in Desolation Sound. My imagination ran wild when I heard of our next anchorage, the Octopus Islands. Nestled in a quiet corner, only navigable by complex, narrow passages with currents that can run up to 12 knots, it was important to have a good navigator.  Captain Brian and Rich expertly navigated the passages as easily as the breeze blowing through. Part of the draw to join a NW Explorations’ flotilla is to take advantage of this seasoned experience in these remote areas. The other skippers could enjoy the tranquil scenery of the glacier carved valleys, some towering over thousands of feet straight from sea level with the comforting knowledge that Captain Brian is leading the fleet. The atmosphere was light, casual, and stress free, even in the most difficult areas to cruise.


Once inside, a wonderland of shallow anchorages and private coves offered by the Octopus Islands makes for a gunkholer’s paradise. The water is so clear you can see the anchor as it sets in 10 fathoms of emerald green water. Vibrant mosses and lichens cling to every exposed rock with rich forests full of cedars and firs that meet the shoreline in an elegant display of beauty. As I sit here at anchor capturing the essences of this wilderness, I can’t help but pause every few moments to take in the gorgeous sunset bathing the islands in a sky of crimson and gold. After exploring 60+ miles, we all felt accomplished and delighted by an amazing day of cruising.  With so much already seen and experienced, it’s hard to believe the adventure has just begun.

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