Desolation Sound 2022: Day 7: Squirrel Cove to Octopus Islands | NW Explorations


Desolation Sound 2022: Day 7: Squirrel Cove to Octopus Islands

Leaving Squirrel Cove into the quiet and still of Lewis Channel sent us on a beautiful start to our morning of cruising. The trek over to Octopus Islands will be a 3-hour journey, and we planned today’s route to pass through a popular rapid by the name of, Hole in the Wall, between Sonora and Maurelle Islands at the closest to perfect timing of the changing tidal calm.

Around 2pm we met the changing tides at the west end of Hole in the Wall at the most ideal moment. With only slight turbulence we all made it through with another feather in our cap, adding to our resumes of boating experience in the Pacific Northwest.

Cruising through scenic narrows on our way into our anchorage, crew kept rock watch on their bows, excited to drop the hook and explore the many stunning inlets of the park. The Octopus Islands are a BC Marine Provincial Park that was established in 1974. The entirety of the park is a little less than 2,000 acres of both inland and shoreside land, and excitingly still working to expand its boundaries!

Since 2004, private donors through the BC Marine Parks Forever Society have contributed over $738,000 to sustain and expand the protection of the island’s anchorage. The area that the park occupies holds significant historical value as First Nations communities utilized its protected shores to construct clam gardens and there are stunning traces of shell middens and settlement flats at the western end of Waiatt Bay.

To celebrate tucking into our anchorage and settling into our raft for the next two nights, a group of us embarked on a kayaking expedition, looking forward to weaving through the parks many islets. With a destination in mind, we cruised through the calm waters and soaked up the warm sun, keeping our eyes out for any marine life looking to join alongside us.

Beaching our kayaks on an island across the water from our raft, we trekked up the granite coastline a short distance to what is known as the Driftwood Cabin, or Driftwood Museum. Our crew was astonished at the sheer presence of such extensive wonder and wandered through the cabin sharing our finds. With dates written as far back as the 1970’s, many crew that have passed through this area have made a point to hang a memorial piece of driftwood dressed in their trusty vessel’s name, signed by the crew that accompanied along their journey into the anchorage.

After relishing in such an aesthetic representation of Octopus Island’s recent anthropogenic history, we all boarded our kayaks again and set back off into the rising tide for a short stroll back to our own floating homes.

As the sun kissed the sky in pinks and yellows, we all readied our crew and cozied our vessels for dinner. Octopus Islands will be our resting place for the next two days and as we spent time taking in our surroundings, we all shared excitement for tomorrow’s full day of exploring more of British Columbia’s Octopus Islands Provincial Park.

P.S. Is Desolation Sound on your bucket list? We can take you there! Email us to reserve your spot on our 2023 Desolation Sound Flotilla. 

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