Sum It Up Sunday the Discovery Islands

Cortes Island at a Glance

Sunday, December 21, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

Sunset in Carrington Bay, Cortes Island

When it comes to Cortes Island, we like the west side anchorages – Manson Bay, Gorge Harbour, Carrington Bay, Von Donop Inlet.  And this week, we hit them all . . . more or less. 

The first big storm of the fall season was on its way and we wanted better protection than Gorge Harbour offers, so we left Saturday afternoon and harbour-hopped up the island, stopping in the often overlooked Carrington Bay for a night.  The protection and holding aren’t very good, but we like it there:  It’s quiet.  It’s beautiful.  And there’s plenty to do, starting with hiking along the well-maintained trails and exploring the saltwater lagoon. 

The rapids at the lagoon entrance in Carrington Bay, Cortes Island.

The lagoon in Carrington Bay, Cortes Island.

Sunset in Carrington Bay, Cortes Island.

The weather was forecasted to take a turn for the worse early Monday morning as a group of low pressure systems were due to hit the area and neither David nor I were in the mood to have our sleep disturbed, so we moved up to Von Donop Inlet – a veritable hurricane hole – for a few days.  This wasn’t our first visit to Von Donop.  We stopped in several years ago during a heat wave and found the anchorage stifling.  That, along with warnings of aggressive wolves and a shallow entrance that required a rising tide to get in and out, landed Von Donop in our “not worth the effort basket”.  But we were wrong.  It’s a lovely, quiet spot outside the busy summer months and an excellent anchorage to ride out bad weather . . . and get some more hiking in.

The public wharf in Squirrel Cove, Cortes Island.

There’s been a definite change in the weather over the past week and we’ve gone from hot, sunny days to cool, wet ones which helped lead to our next major decision:  Instead of spending time in Desolation Sound, we’re going to head south where it’s a bit warmer.  Neither one of us is interested in hiding from storms every few days only to bash our way down the Strait of Georgia – something we’re famous for doing – so we’re going to go while it’s nice enough to enjoy a few stops along the way, starting with a trip back down to Gorge Harbour on Thursday to meet back up with our buddy-boat, Salubrious.

The entrance to Gorge Harbour, Cortes Island.


Unfortunately, David hurt his knee when we were in Von Donop Inlet and spent most our time in Gorge Harbour resting.  In search of something to do while he recuperated, I dinghied over to Mansons Landing and walked along the School to Sea trail to the Co-Op store and mini-market.  It was a nice day, so I went to Hague Lake for a look around.  Normally crowded with local residents and tourists, I was surprised to find nobody else there so I did the only reasonable thing and dove into the cold but refreshing water.  It was fantastic!  David, who tends to miss out on all the excitement, went to the hot tub in Gorge Harbour to soak his knee – a much better choice considering his condition, but not nearly as much fun. 

Hague Lake, Mansons Bay, Cortes Island.

Hague Lake, Mansons Bay, Cortes Island.


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