Desolation Sound 2021: Day 3: Ganges to Pender Harbour | NW Explorations


Desolation Sound 2021: Day 3: Ganges to Pender Harbour

Waking up well rested in Ganges Harbour, there was a feel of both relief and giddiness across the marina having all checked off the most pressing tasks on our list for a smooth trip into Desolation Sound. All the boats and their crew are now cleared through customs and stocked up with provisions, looking forward to a golden sky and passing rain shadows.

Desolation Crew rounded the docks and tidied up to set off and made sure each boat safely untied, heading out into the stunning morning glow for us on Deception to fall in line close behind. The route we took offered all the boats a scenic route of vast open ocean and distant Secretary Islands off the Southeast coast of Vancouver Island. Making way through Trincomali Channel, we took time to chat about some nautical history on British Columbia’s many islands and search hard for the extensive marine life through both Galiano and Valdez Islands.

As our channel narrowed, we snuck into a single file line and made our way through Dodd Narrows. With each of our boat’s skippers having a more confident hand behind the wheel the traverse was well executed and we made great time into Nanaimo.

Cruising through a bustling bay was a fun sight to see, watching the BC ferries come in and checking out the massive shipping vessels anchored right outside the bay boundary. As we made our way towards Winchelsea Islands, it was brought to our attention that Whiskey Golf Military area was active, and we proficiently altered our course through the Strait of Georgia. The chop was minimal on our crossing, but the rollers couldn’t help but make their appearance. Deception kept a great eye out for logs and objects in the chop and allowed for the flotilla to really take on the crossing with as much ease as possible.

The cruise into Welcome Pass was just what we needed. Chatting about the patterns of derby related landmark names of Thormanby Islands and points off of Sechelt Islands, it was neat to unpack a bit of the local history. The sheltered inlet offered us a smooth transition into Pender Harbour as we made our way up Malaspina Strait.

We came into Pender Harbour in the late afternoon, making for a lovely golden hour anchor and time to do some housekeeping as we all settled into our spots for the night. Groups decided to rest on their vessels or even take advantage of heading into town for one of their last nights of coastal dining. Tomorrow, we will head up to Grace Harbour and be comfortably away from a marina until we touch down in Gorge Harbour on Monday the 4th.

After we all tucked in for the night the rain drizzled on our hatches for a few hours while the boats softly spun. Would we really be in the Inside Passage if we didn’t fall asleep to rain for many of our nights here?  That is one of the most beautiful things about living here in the Pacific Northwest, our rainforest climate makes our sunshine coasts that much brighter. It’s truly an incredible season to be exploring one of the most beautiful places in North America.

P.S. Is Desolation Sound on your bucket list? We can take you there! Reserve your spot on our 2022 Desolation Sound Flotilla today. 

2 thoughts on “Desolation Sound 2021: Day 3: Ganges to Pender Harbour”

    1. Hi Sandy, thank you for the kind words about our boats. In regard to the courtesy flag, that is a very astute observation. Looking through our photos from previous year’s flotillas, I see a mixture of usage, so it looks like there isn’t a definitive “we don’t fly them on any vessel”, or “we fly them on every vessel” with our guests. I will bring this to the attention of our lead captain(s) for future trips, because your point is a valid one. Thanks again Sandy, for taking the time to bring this to our attention and helping maintain our unique and wonderful maritime heritage.

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