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
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.
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
Harbor Seals and Oyster Catcher
If you would like to take the tour
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Enjoy your trip!