Desolation Sound Flotilla: Day 4 – Madeira Park to Princess Louisa Inlet | NW Explorations


Desolation Sound Flotilla: Day 4 – Madeira Park to Princess Louisa Inlet

Leaving Madeira Park was absolutely stunning. The sunrise cast rays of light as it filtered through the thin fog that hugged high on the mountain tops surrounding the entrance to the bay. It was early, the coffee pot had been drained once before by the crew and we were on our second round by the time we left the anchorage. There is something rather special about early morning departures on the water. There is a sense of calm among us knowing we will put some miles aft and make good headway north towards one of the most well known destinations in British Columbia, Princess Louisa.

Captain Jordan spotted some flotsam in the water. After a short debate among the crew, the engines throttled back and the Captain steered Deception towards a large block of debris drifting in the channel. With a quick jab Brian hooked a massive styrofoam block with all sorts of barnacles and muscles clinging to the bottom of it. We believed it must have been from a dock nearby since there were a number of logs and 2x4s floating in the water. Other cruisers had reported a lot of debris floating around in the area. It felt good to do our part and pick up the foam and plastics as we traveled through the channel. Now Deception can’t be mistaken for any other boat within the flotilla as the foam block was secured to the transom like a badge of honor.

Rounding the corner inside Princess Royal Reach the waters were calm and the mountains reflected an almost mirror-perfect reflection. Ahead was the Malibu Young Life resort where Ross and Evie on Deception were engaged. It’s a special place to those kids who attend the summer camp.  Towering walls of granite loom 2,000ft over the camp in a setting that must be experienced first-hand to appreciate the full spectrum of beauty Princess Louisa offers.

The entrance to the inlet is a bit tricky at the Malibu Rapids. When the current is at it’s strongest the water creates a standing wave like something out of a white-water rafting adventure. Luckily, the flotilla timed the currents perfectly at slack water. We motored to the back of the fjord where there is a provincial park with a public dock. You can tie your boat up and watch the water cascade down Chatterbox Falls as you sip a cold beverage from the fly-bridge. We are very fortunate to have amazing weather and the grace of good company to share this magical place.

After a short walk to see Chatterbox Falls up close, it was about time to be thinking about dinner. Captain Jordan invited everyone aboard Deception for a pot-luck and drinks. It was truly a feast with each boat providing large platters such as lasagna, white bean chili, rice, garlic bread, seafood, and ample amounts of wine. S’mores were roasted over a fire down by the waterfall when the sun finally set over the mountains. The crackling of air pockets trapped in the sap of the logs created a fine ambiance to the starry night. Constellations were very bright and the half moon gently rose over the canyon walls bathing us in a fine silver light. The group slowly diminished as others walked back to their yachts to rest after a long, but enjoyable day of cruising in the Pacific Northwest.

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