Desolation Sound 2023: Day 1: Bellingham to Sidney | NW Explorations


Desolation Sound 2023: Day 1: Bellingham to Sidney

It was a beautiful day in Bellingham and as everyone gathered on their decks, preparing lines, gear, and themselves, we all felt the excitement grow. One at a time each vessel pulled away from the dock and started to make their way out into Bellingham Bay to start our journey up to Desolation Sound.

There were smiles all around as we made our way through the San Juan Islands toward the Canadian border. Along the way we saw many birds and many harbor seals. Harbor seals are quiet and can often be spotted looking at you with their big dark eyes before ducking back down beneath the surface of the water. They are also often spotted hauled out on rocks where they rest and warm up.

This area is also a wonderful place to see many bird species! Cormorants were also spending time on the rocks with the seals. These marine diving birds are great swimmers but lack oils in their feathers that make them waterproof. After a period of time diving and catching meals, they have to sit and dry out. Often on sunny days you will see them resting with their wings held out to catch the rays of sun. When this is the case their feather, which usually appear black, take on an iridescent shade of green.

Right before crossing the border, we pass the infamous Spieden Island. In the 70’s this island was turned into a big game hunting resort and many exotic animals from all over the world were brought to the island. To this day you can still see sheep and deer that evaded hunting, grazing and wandering the hill sides of their island home.

After a beautiful day of cruising, we pulled into Sidney where seagulls and great blue herons were plentiful. After everyone fulfilled their provisioning needs, we gathered in the NW Explorations office that is in Sidney and enjoyed time getting to know each other a little better.

The sunset sent us back to our boats to get ready for our journey across the Strait of Georgia the next day.

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