A Cellular Holiday

Desolation Sound has provided a therapeutic cellular holiday,world data system reboot, and an opportunity to entirely miss all media coverage of the first political convention this summer. It was wonderful. I highly recommend it.
Although, for Connor’s sake, we did use the sat phone once to contact Uncle Steven and get a game developers contest theme forwarded in time for Connor’s entry. Yes even at anchor in a fiord, Connor manages to keep working.
Meanwhile we have explored the southern end of Desolation, including Prideaux Haven, Pendrell Sound, and now back near civilization in Manson Bay. Each anchorage offers different scenery and activities that occupy us through the days of seemingly endless daylight. From our Hawaii routines, it is hard to make dinner before dark, so that means dinner at 10 pm most evenings. And even then I think you could take a walk or read a book by the twilight.

The one beer twilight cruise.

Prideaux had a great hike through a mossy forest to a shimmering lake so clear you could see the old logs sunk twenty feet below the surface. Of course Kathleen and I went swimming, but Connor said that was defying the most natural fear of large dark things underwater. Invigorating!
Pendrell Sound was a winding fiord surrounded by five thousand foot snow capped mountains that prevented any intrusive cell phone activity for a week of kayaking up and down the shoreline. At one salt water lagoon, we ran the rapids back and forth with the tidal flow each evening. Amazingly, the oysters can be gathered easily at low tide and brought back to the boat for appetizers on the grill. As I write this, no sign of numbness has yet to appear, so I think I can still play the trombone, and they were delicious. Kathleen is our fully licensed Canadian seafood collector, but the elusive crab defy our attempts. Our salmon trolling rig is now prepared, and hopefully a catch is on the horizon.

Kayaking at Oyster Cove, Pendrell Sound.

As you can imagine, a glacially carved fiord has steep sides under water as well as above. Anchoring therefore requires facility with the stern-tie technique. Equipped with our 300′ floating line, we dropped the anchor a couple of boat lengths from the steep shore and backed down until the crew is yelling about seeing the rocks behind us. At this time, young Connor jumps into the kayak with the line in his teeth(not really), and paddles to the rocky shore, then scrambles up to the tree line and picks a suitable candidate to wrap the stern line around and bring it back to the boat. All the while I keep the boat centered between the anchor and the tree. Then the geometry lesson begins. Tighten up the anchor rode and we may not hold in place. Tighten up the stern line and we may be too close to shore at low tide. Factor in that the tidal range is fifteen feet twice a day, our multiple adjustments gave us plenty of practice and discussion.

Pendrell Sound anchorage with a stern tie.

Finally, we swam in these cold waters off the boat, because the sound has enough lag time in the long days of sunlight that the water temperature is actually measuring 73F. Chilly by Hawaiian standards, it was still great, and it gave me a chance to check the running gear and tighten the prop zinc.

All good here. Probably heading back into the hinterlands soon after a rendezvous in Campbell River with friends and family.  More on that later.  Wishing you all the best.
John, Kathleen and Connor

This entry was posted in Laysan, Laysan: Northwest. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Cellular Holiday

  1. Steve says:

    That looks very cool! No pun intended.

  2. Sybil says:

    So jealous! Wish I was there!!!

  3. Laura Thielen says:

    Your pictures are great. The area looks both foreboding and wonderful at the same time. What a difference from Hawaii. Tom and I will head inland from you to do the Northern Loop on August 15.

  4. Phillip B. Olsen says:

    Nice pix.
    If you get to Glacier Bay, there remain lots of calving glaciers making big waves. Stay c;ear…

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