Garden Bay to Gorge Harbour

Garden Bay to Gorge Harbor: 52.3NM 

It’s one of those mornings when I’d like to laze around but our float plan has us going over 52 nautical miles and the weather doesn’t sound like it’s going to be that great in the afternoon.  


The clouds give the pine trees a morning hug in Garden Bay.  

So up with the anchor and out we go, turning right to head up to Desolation Sound and beyond. 


Karen practices her twin screw maneuvering techniques. 


A classic yacht heads south and we make our way north. 


Passing Grief Point marked by the red and white tower. Appropriately named, today it provided no grief at all.  

This is a long stretch in Malaspina Strait, adjacent to the Strait of Georgia and occasionally just as mean, something we found out last year to our dismay. Anyway, the forecast was for Southeasterly Winds, which are always worth keeping a close eye on, but Bob was confident we’d be fine. We started off with beam seas, which made us roll a bit and caused Bob to turn off the autopilot, but after a while it settled down. I skippered for about 2 hours while Bob took a catnap.  


Karen at the helm.  

The most interesting thing we heard was a mayday call from an 85-foot motor yacht that struck a rock near Cortes Island. It is very rocky around here and constant vigilance is required. Anyway, the Canadian Coast Guard didn’t mess around, the boat was taking on water and in danger of sinking. They put out the mayday, and within a few minutes, a dive boat was on the scene with a pump, helping keep the boat afloat. We saw the boat later in the day, being towed to Lund by the Coast Guard for repairs. While striking a rock and holing the hull is everyone’s worst nightmare (especially in this 58 degree water), it was really good to see the quick response and how all the nearby mariners pitched in to help.  

Our day was to end in Gorge Harbour, a fabulous anchorage on Cortes Island (but away from that rock I mentioned earlier) that is completely protected from winds. 


Nice trawler style yacht resting in Gorge Harbor. 

We stayed here last year and found the restaurant, the Old Floathouse, to be so good, we decided to return. We took a spot at the docks, met the owners of a lovely Krogen 42 trawler and were invited aboard for a tour. They had a kitty on board but I didn’t see it, I think it was hiding in the flybridge when we were there. We did some laundry and met two nice people who kept feeding money into the dryer for us so we didn’t have to stand there all afternoon and watch the moss grow while hoping our clothes would eventually get dry. 


Rainy walk back from the laundry at Gorge Harbor.  

That was really nice of them, because it rained during the afternoon and then a giant rainbow appeared, which we would have missed if stuck in the laundry room. 


Rainbow over Gorge Harbor dock.  

Had a superb dinner at this small restaurant away from civilization, with cuisine that could hold its own with anything Philly has to offer. I had the best wild salmon in orange confetti sauce (Grand Marnier and orange zest) and Bob had fresh halibut. It was great, and our friends from the laundry were there too, so we bought them dessert and swapped a few stories. 

Wonder what tomorrow will bring?