Before we left Vancouver we anchored in False Creek over the Easter weekend. There’s something exhilarating about being at anchor in the heart in a big city; the juxtaposition of being free of charge and off the grid yet at the zenith of civilization where everything is scheduled, controlled and recorded on camera. We buzzed around in the dinghy getting our provisioning done at Granville Island Market while enjoying the vibe of the city.
By Easter Monday we were ready to leave and this time we headed north for Princess Louisa Inlet and Desolation Sound. Princess Louisa Inlet lies at the head of Jervis Inlet and the tides determine the timing of a trip up. The Malibu Rapids control the entrance to the inlet and we needed to be there at slack tide, preferably high water so that we could ride the flood for the six hour passage up the fjord. The tides and planets and ducks lined up last Friday and, as luck would have it, it was a beautiful, clear, blue sky day to boot!
We left Egmont soon after 6am and as we rounded the bends from Prince of Wales Reach to Princess Royal Reach to Queens Reach we penetrated deeper and deeper into the snowy mountains. We navigated the rapids, described by the skipper of the boat ahead of us as “rolling around like a pea on a plate!”, and were soon tied up at the float in Princess Louisa Inlet at the foot of the Chatterbox Falls. In fact, because of all the rain we’d been having we were surrounded by waterfalls and occasionally an ice dam would break with a loud crack and an avalanche of snow would tumble down the wall of the inlet.
The trail up from the dock to an old trapper’s cabin was was not maintained but the path was marked with red tape and reasonably easy to follow. It was a strenuous climb up 1650ft with scrambles up slippery mossy rock falls but was worth the effort. The remains of the cabin was perched on a ledge beside another huge waterfall and it was inspiring to sit there and imagine the lonely life of the trappers who built it 150 years ago.
Now we’re on our way to Desolation Sound. We still have only seen one orca in English Bay. Hopefully we will see a few more and get better photos before we leave the PNW.