Desolation Sound 2023: Day 2: Sidney to Pender | NW Explorations


Desolation Sound 2023: Day 2: Sidney to Pender

The morning was beautiful as we all pulled off the dock in Sidney. Sun rays came through the clouds and birds glided across the calm water. We had the current at our back as we made our way up to Gabriola Pass. Gabriola is a narrow passage that must be timed right with the tides. The current the pulls through at the high of the ebb and flood is usually around 8 knots: not something you want to fight. The fleet pulled through Gabriola right at slack. Thanks Captain Chris!

The gulf islands are largely comprised of sandstone and limestone. The sandstone cliffs hold beautiful patterns from a very cool kind of erosion. The patterns of holes that kind of look like honeycomb starts when the sandstone absorbs the sea. The salt crystals are left in the stone as the water evaporates and the salt expands which spread the grains of sand apart. The holes begin to form and then algae start to call those space home which slows the weathering of the rock and the holes become more and more distinct.

We had wonderful weather crossing the Strait of Georgia. The light breeze was at our back and the sun kept it warm on deck. We even saw a humpback making its way in the opposite direction. Humpbacks migrate between the Pacific Northwest and warmer climates. Some go to Hawaii in the winter, and some go to Mexico. There are typically a few individuals who will over-winter in the area, but their breeding grounds are in warmer waters.

The fleet made their home for the night in Pender Harbor. A spattering of rain settled in as we all set anchor, and it created a cozy feeling as we all made dinner and enjoyed our first evening off the dock.

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