A “rapid” journey to Shoal Bay

Our Monday journey at slack tide through the “placid rapids,” from Teakerne Arm on West Redonda Island (bottom right) to Shoal Bay on East Thurlow Island (top left).

In order to pass through three sets of rapids on Monday, when currents would be running slack and it would be safe to navigate through each of them, we had to leave Teakerne Arm shortly after 8 am. There had been a little rain during Sunday night and the clouds remained as we motored for about three hours, into a variable headwind, toward the rapids. We needed to reduce our speed as we neared the first rapids, as an ebbing current helped us along, so that we wouldn’t arrive too early and encounter turbulent water. All went well with our timing, and Walt didn’t have to meet any serious steering challenges as we motored through deep water that would soon be filled with whirlpools and eddies.

Map showing the four rapids (Yuculta Rapids, Gillard Passage, Dent Rapids, and Arran Rapids, from which we stayed far, far away) that mark the end of Desolation Sound. All four had forecasts of 10-kt. currents during the day we went through. We passed at slack—1-2 kts. in our direction.

We docked in welcome sunshine in the early afternoon at Shoal Bay, located on the northeast side of East Thurlow Island.

Braesail at the dock in Shoal Bay. You can see our solar panels and Coracle, our dinghy, above the boat’s stern.

Once a busy cannery town in the Discovery Islands region of the South Coast of British Columbia and the largest town on Canada’s west coast, Shoal Bay was a center for mining and forestry. The town has disappeared, and there are now only a few pretty rental cabins, a pub, and a garden set in a wide meadow (the pub and herb garden are closed at the moment).

View of the Shoal Bay shore as one walks along the dock. The water is beautifully clear!

It’s yet another spot boasting a spectacular mountain setting,

Looking at snowy mountain peaks from the Shoal Bay dock as they play hide-and-seek among the clouds

and it’s filled with the songs of birds, the nesting boxes of some of them line the dock.

During the later afternoon, we enjoyed a good conversation with some congenial fellow boaters who arrived at the dock not long after we did. We learned that some of them are also bound for Alaska on no particular schedule just as we are, and we had a lot to share.

After supper, I walked up the long dock to the meadow to take some photos, look down into the amazingly clear water, observe the plant life,

Skunk cabbage and ferns among the rocks near the dock

notice the variety of buildings, wash my hands in the COLD sea water on the beach near the dock, and listen to the soft hushing sounds of onshore streams.

The Shoal Bay dock, a stream with a small bridge across it, and the bay’s mountain sentinels viewed from on shore

We plan to remain here overnight after an uneventful (hooray!) and pleasant journey and a lovely shore walk for me today. Several rainy days are forecast, beginning tonight, and I’m happy to have found some photo-shooting opportunities today!

Good night to the dock, the sea, and the mountains from the crew of Braesail!

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