A beautiful sunny morning started the first day of the 2017 flotilla to Desolation Sound. Conditions were optimal, the energy on the docks could be felt through the air as people busied themselves with loading luggage, provisions, and finalizing checklists. Orientation was held the evening before in the Bellingham Yacht Club’s banquet room, setting the stage for a trip of a lifetime. Two weeks spent meandering the straits and fjords of one the world’s premier cruising destinations would make any sailor giddy with joy.
Our first stop was a comfortable stay on the public dock in Prevost Harbor, Stuart Island. The island has an extensive network of well-maintained trails. Originally, the plan was to hike to the lighthouse at Turn Point, however after an hour of hiking we were still less than halfway. Instead, the school has a small museum and library with a souvenir store that is on the honor system. Simply take what you would like, hats, shirts, or post cards. To pay, a check is mailed to the store owner off island, no cash needed. It was a simple and honest system that was refreshing to see.
5:30PM rolled around, and we all gathered on Deception for a small cocktail party before dinner. It’s a great way to break the ice on the first day and socialize with others who enjoy cruising as much as you do. Randy and Jack from Grand Adventure took the kayaks out for a spin inside the anchorage. The water was glass calm, presenting perfect conditions.
After a lot of exercise, cocktails, and a hearty dinner, it was easy climbing into bed, looking forward to a full night’s rest. It has been a great first day with beautiful weather and great company.