Sailing Desolation Sound on a Wooden Schooner | Adventures on Someone Else's Boat
A few weeks ago now, we headed out to Desolation Sound with our boat neighbours Mae and Marty, and our friend Sid. It was the beginning of another social lockdown due to the pandemic and we decided that it would be the perfect time to get away from civilization- plus we had a beautiful week of weather coming our way.
Marty and Mae's boat is named Wind Gypsy and she is a 48 foot wooden schooner encapsulated in fibreglass. For those of you who don't know, schooners are boats with two or more masts where the forward mast is shorter than the main mast. In this case as well, both masts on Wind Gypsy are forward of the cockpit. She also has two head sails. This meant that in light winds we had four sails raised. You can imagine how much rigging is involved in something like that, as well as the kind of planning involved when one goes to tack or gybe. It was a great learning experience.
So we headed out to Desolation Sound, directly east of us in Campbell River. We left in the dark to catch the current at the right time without being sure where exactly where we were heading. Desolation Sound is chalked full of picture perfect anchorages and we weren't sure which place we wanted to stop in for a few days.
The spot where we ended up, which you can see in the second row of pictures, was absolutely perfect. Not only because of its beauty, but because we managed to find plenty of oysters there for a dinner and we caught prawns outside the bay. The crabbing wasn't fantastic, but we also caught one of them. We stayed there for a couple of nights before heading out in the rain to our next anchorage which was somehow even more beautiful than the first. Here we explored the forest, collected more oysters and even saw an insane number of jellyfish in the water.
After a couple days of exploring this incredible nature, we started our trip back to Campbell River, stopping at Cortez Harbour for the night before heading home and having the pleasure of flying Mae and Marty's spinnaker! This was our first time flying one and it was rad.
We also learned a few things about the difference between sailing a two masted boat and a one masted boat- the biggest thing being that flying so many sails is a lot of work and extra planning, and although we loved it, with only two of us on our boat most of the time, we prefer a simpler setup for ourselves.
Thanks so much to Marty, Mae and Wind Gypsy for taking us on this adventure!
Photos taken by both Mae and I (Taryn). You can also check out links to our three videos from this adventure below.
Note: We are choosing not to share our exact anchorage locations due to environmental concerns when others may come across this blog or youtube videos and decide to visit these places themselves, especially because we have been collecting food in these places. We take land stewardship and our responsibility to a leave no trace lifestyle very seriously. However, if you are interested enough, you can shoot us an email and firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat more about the places we visited.