Desolation Sound Flotilla: Day 11 – Squirrel Cove to Garden Bay | NW Explorations


Desolation Sound Flotilla: Day 11 – Squirrel Cove to Garden Bay

You couldn’t ask for better weather during our 5-hour cruise from Squirrel Cove to Garden Bay. It was simply fantastic without a cloud in the sky, less than 10 knots of wind, an easy sea-state, and everyone in good spirits after the campfire last night.

Mt. Churchill stood tall and proud on our port side as we motored south. It was a monument to the distance we have come to admire here in Desolation Sound. Every other anchorage offered grandeur views of the peak; acting as a centerpiece of our travels through the maze-like islands the Sound has to offer.

Garden Bay is dominated mostly by a provincial marine park and First Nation reserve. The remaining shoreline was purchased in 1892, including Hospital Bay and Garden Peninsula, by realtor Henry Darling. Though no one knows the exact origin of the name Garden Bay, locals presume it was given the name simply because it was a good spot to garden with so many terraces.

Pender Island is a beautiful place with each bay providing ample room for anchorage any time of year. Grasshopper Bar on the hill provides a stunning view of the landscape from the peaks to shore.  The walk is steep and windy with a high reward factor; a cold beverage always welcomed after a long day of cruising.

The staff at the Garden Bay dock was very friendly and accommodating. After speaking with the bar owner, she agreed to stay open later than usual for any who would like to eat or drink a pint. We got in a little late after a full day of cruising and everyone had food on their minds. It was a generous offer and we were gracious for their services.  We’ve had beautiful views and friendly people which is obviously part of what makes the Pacific Northwest such a fabulous destination for boaters!

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