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BC Ferries
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10 Best Bets for Touring the Breathtakingly Beautiful Coast of British Columbia
© Rich and Pat Middleton. 
Content and photos may not be reproduced in any format without the expressed permission of the authors.  


Just when you think that nothing could be more beautiful than what you've already seen, there it is.
Desolation Sound.


Kayakers in Desolation Sound


If You Go
Overview Map of the Sunshine Coast

Tourism Contacts and
Sample Itinerary




Return to:

Waterway Cruises Directory


Our Three-hour Discovery Tour of Desolation Sound

Desolation Sound is world-renown for the beautiful snow-capped mountains, and wooded islets and inlets that make it one of the most popular cruising destinations in the world. Erik, our pilot and guide whose native name means “drummer boy” added his own passionate slant which helped to make the tour memorable. 


Some 10,000 years ago, Desolation Sound formed the bed for 6000 feet of glacial ice. Near Redonda Island, the glacier scraped a valley nearly 2200 feet below the present surface of the sea.

Rock fissures in the islets in Desolation Sound reflect the strain of over 1 mile of glacial ice on the granite.


Erik showed us pictographs of red ochre painted on the rocks, and told of Clovis points found along the coast in fossils of large mammals, which to him meant that the earliest hunter/gatherers not only crossed the Bering strait but also took canoes down the BC coast. 

Our favorite moment was observing a special south-facing rock overhang which was lively with reflected ripples dancing on the ceiling of the overhang. It was located in such a way that it would catch the sun throughout the entire day.

Erik also spoke about the decline of salmon fishing in the Strait of Georgia and the associated sounds. He felt Salmon fishing declined as herring roe was sent to Japan as a sort of caviar. As the herring fishery was depleted both whales and salmon had to move elsewhere.

We also had great fun birding with Erik, watching for Oyster Catchers, glaucous gulls, pigeon guillemots, harbor seal pups, and bald eagles on the rocky islets dotting the sound. A merganser swam by with chicks on her back. Young Murreletes in the bay were still unable to fly. The Murreletes nest in old growth trees well inland. Newborns fly 80 miles to Desolation Sound and will not fly again for three months.

Well-camouflaged Harbor Seals and Oyster Catcher





If you would like to take the tour yourself, contact:

Terracentric Coastal Adventures Ltd.
PO Box 146
Lund, BC  V0N 2G0


Village of Lund, BC            

 The village of Lund has the unique designation of being the northernmost point of Hwy 101. The same highway terminates at the southern point of South America as the Pan American Highway! It is the last BC coastal village accessible by road.

The historic Lund Hotel and the Sunset at the end of the World Restaurant both offered local dining. We had breakfast before our 3-hour Discovery Cruise at Nancy's cafe located in the Terracentric Coastal Adventures building overlooking the harbor.

Lund is also the jumping off point for boaters wishing to explore beautiful Desolation Sound. We were advised that it was important for visitors to finalize details for any treks, boat trips, hotel, supplies, and other eco-activities, BEFORE arriving in Lund. 

There are hiking trails, and numerous fresh water lakes to hike into. And, yes, there are grizzly, cougar, wolves. Erik says they are not a problem for campers or hikers.
Salmon do fear them. :-)

Historic Powell River


The logging industry along the BC coast has some significant ties to logging history on the Mississippi River, though the heydays occurred some 20-40 years after Weyerhaeuser had stripped Wisconsin and Minnesota of their vast white pine forests. Weyerhaeuser also stripped the forests of BC. Today logging is strictly controlled by the "Crown" which also owns much of the deeply forested land. Bids are solicited on any lots that become available for logging. The modern requirement is that lots must be completely cleared of ANY logging debris, so that replanters can immediately move in and start the reforestation process. A concern expressed by a retired logger we met, was that the clean-up requirement also robs the new forest of nutrients that would have been available to replenish the soil as the slash rotted.



 Log raft in Desolation Sound.

This same logger expressed little enthusiasm for the preservation of "old growth" trees.

"Trees die from the inside out," he explained, "and are then useless for anyone's use." They endanger the forest around them when they fall and wood is no longer saleable.

"Trees regrow," he insisted, "Limestone does not."

There is a walking trail out of Willington Beach park that has old growth trees along an interpretive trail. The logging museum in the park is very interesting and there is a heritage museum with a small entry fee just across the road from the park.

Be sure to drive through the old company logging town at Powell and watch the shoreline of Malaspina Strait for modern day  "log booms."  Logs are sorted by size for rafting down the Strait at these booms. We often saw rafts of lumber s.l.o.w.l.y towed by tugs making their way down the strait. It's been 100 years since we've seen a lumber raft on the Mississippi!

Powell River is 30-40 minutes south of Lund on Hwy 101. Saltery Bay Ferry terminal is 30-40 minutes south of Powell river.

CLICK Here to see our Sample Itinerary.

CLICK Here to see map of the Sunshine Coast

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  Enjoy your trip!


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