British Columbia Desolation Sound

Prideaux Haven, Desolation Sound Marine Park

Sunday, September 11, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

Chatting with Bill and Sylvia in Homfray Channel.

David feels like he's spent more time working on Salubrious than in Prideaux Haven, so the two of us spent the afternoon paddling around in the kayaks discovering more breathtaking views up Homfray Channel.  As a bonus, Sylvia lent him her kayak which is longer and more stable in the water making it easier to paddle and more efficient so we were actually able to stay together.  But on the downside, now he doesn't want to have anything else to do with his kayak and is ready to toss it overboard.

We started our journey alongside Cobblestone Island which acted as a temporary cemetery for the First Nations who lived in the area.  When someone died, the body was washed by a specially designated group of people.  They dressed it, placed it in the fetal position and laid it in a bentwood box which they put in a tree on the island.  At the end of a year, they'd take the boxed remains down and cremate them during a special ceremony.  But all native artefacts have since been removed (or moved) and no evidence of this remains today.

From Cobblestone Island, we paddled out the entrance to Laura Cove and alongside Roffey Island.  When men from Vancouver's expedition visited the island in June of 1792, they mistakenly thought the village there had been abandoned because the band had moved to their summer home and, as they poked into piles of "filthy garments and apparel of the late inhabitants," they were attacked by a multitude of fleas which they were unable to get rid of until they had boiled all their clothes.  According to native lore, the people hadn't fled.  They had been transformed into the fleas which Vancouver's men found there.  Again, there's no evidence of Roffey Island's former life today, either the native village or the subsequent homestead which came in the early 1900s, but we did discover a small, private anchorage tucked around a corner that's worth looking at on the chart.

On our way back to the boat, we ran into Bill and Sylvia who were out exploring in their dinghy and floated around Homfray Channel together chatting before going back to Cambria for a late-afternoon nap (David) and knitting session (me).  With only one more day to enjoy Prideaux Haven before moving over to Roscoe Bay tomorrow afternoon, we both were a little down and had a quiet evening aboard.

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