British Columbia Desolation Sound

Prideaux Haven

Wednesday, September 07, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

Cambria motoring towards Desolation Sound (photo by Bill Emmens).

Our time in Gorge Harbour was short and we left before noon to make our way to Prideaux Haven – the jewel of  Desolation Sound.  With its large and well protected harbour, warm and sheltered waters, open vistas and scenic islands, Prideaux Haven is guaranteed to be crowded with yachts in July and August, which is exactly why we waited until September to visit it for the first time. 

Only 13 nautical miles as the crow flies and 23 nm by water, it was a long day, but as Desolation Sound came into view ending in a wall of high, rounded mountains that are part of the Coast Range that carries on to Alaska, our excitement grew.   Though the view has become familiar to us over the past three seasons, it's difficult not to be humbled by the knowledge that tens of thousands of years ago, mighty glaciers smoothed their rough peaks -- excepting Mount Denman, which stood above the ice at 6,500 feet – before their meltwater flooded the maze of valleys they had carved and created a labyrinth of waterways edged by steep-sided mountains resulting in one of the world's foremost cruising grounds. 

And we weren't disappointed.   It's no exaggeration when I say that Prideaux Haven is one of the most beautiful anchorages we've ever seen with it's string of islets, lagoons, secluded bays and views of thesnow-capped mountains.   Though more crowded than expected, there was plenty of room to anchor and we took a spot at the head of the bay open to the view of Mt. Denman and the Coast Range with Salubrious anchored close by and settled in for the night.

People come from all over the world to explore these waters and the fact that they're part of our own backyard, so to speak, is still mind-boggling.   Unlike the miserable man we met in Rebecca Spit a few days ago (and so many others), we're not on holiday for two weeks – this is our life; this is how we live.   And for that, we're eternally grateful.  That's not to say it's all fun and games, because it's not.  Cruising is a difficult and, at times, a dangerous lifestyle.  But we believe we're living our lives to the fullest, and that's more than most people can ever hope for. 

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