Desolation Sound 2022: Day 8: Octopus Islands Lay Day | NW Explorations


Desolation Sound 2022: Day 8: Octopus Islands Lay Day

Waking to a crystal-clear day in Octopus Islands, we sipped on our coffee and snacked on our breakfasts readying for the day’s adventures. A beautiful fog rolled in around 8am, and the fleet watched the stunning haze float over us. It felt like the perfect welcome into the October fall season and by 9am we were back to clear skies and a group of us loaded our gear and lunches up for a day in Quadra Island’s forested trails.

Making stops along the way, we snagged crew on their vessels that were able to anchor out on their own in the quiet Waiatt Bay. During the fall season boaters can experience wide open anchorages that are frequently packed with visitors due to school and work seasons kicking off for the fall. We feel quite lucky to be able to spend time in such popular places in such serene quiet.

Heading to our trail head at the west end of Waiatt Bay our hiking crew was all smiles having so much fun alongside each other during our dinghy rides into shore, all bubbling with anticipation for our afternoon together.

One of our all-time favorite hikes along our Desolation Sound Flotilla is the comfortable walk over to Small Inlet that then leads us through such stunning scenery up to our final destination, Newton Lake. The Octopus Islands are a piece of Quadra Island’s eastern coastline, and the island’s history dates back to time immemorial with the settlements and presence of First Nation communities that were met by George Vancouver’s expedition in the 1800s but was coined with its modern name during the expeditions of Spanish Mariners in the late 1770s, after a Spanish naval officer with the last name, Quadra.

Stepping out into Small Inlet, we scoured the beaches for treasures and ogled at the bright greens and calm waters, watching the tide creep back in. Small Inlet stands as its own marine provincial park that encompasses the lake we will be spending our afternoon at, eating lunch and soaking up the fall sun at the lake’s edge.

On our way up to Newton Lake we came across quite a few stunning bunches of mushroom species, making us really excited to see such fresh growth as we were worried that with the little fall rain BC has received, we wouldn’t see much of our little forest friends scattered among the undergrowth.

Making it to the lake after a little less than a mile of hiking, the warmth settled around us with little winds across the lake and the sweet scent of warm cedar and fall flora all felt so welcoming. We found seats on a large granite rock overlooking the bright blue lake and took out our lunches for a quick and comfortable group picnic. A few of us decided to swim, and gosh did the dip feel refreshing! Practicing with our camera’s ability to take pictures on a timer, we were able to capture a picture of the entire hiking crew, a true treat!

Heading back down the trail we took our time and appreciated the different perspective, our eyes sweeping the trail for more fun finds hiding amongst our feet. With another stunning lay day in the books, making it back to our vessels after the afternoon’s outing made for a beautiful evening of enjoying the rest of our time in the quite anchorage. We all tucked in and prepared for tomorrow’s brief jaunt over to Gorge Harbour’s dock for our 9th day aboard our 2022 Desolation Sound Flotilla.

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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