When Captain George Vancouver sailed into this remote, deepwater sound off the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia in 1792, he must not have taken the time to enjoy its granite peaks, fir-clad fjords, cascading waterfalls and abundant wildlife; otherwise, he would never have named it “Desolation Sound.”
Today, much of this beauty is protected within a conservation area, Desolation Sound Marine Park, which encompasses more than 63,000 acres of shoreline. A yachtsman’s and kayaker’s paradise, it is a popular cruising destination during the summer months, thanks to the amazingly warm weather enjoyed by this area of British Columbia dubbed the “Sunshine Coast.”
Water temperatures may not be tropical but are warm enough during the summer months for snorkelling, diving and swimming and may rise as high as 27°C in some coves.
On shore there are just a few campsites and RV parks – there is little permanent development apart from a few craft co-ops and stores. The main activities here revolve around your yacht, plus self-propelled activities such as hiking, kayaking and swimming. If you’re not feeling energetic, watching the fantastic scenery slip by is just as rewarding!
Desolation Sound is vast enough to ensure a sense of peace and privacy to all who visit. This is the place to truly ‘get back to nature’ anchoring in secluded coves where you might spot an elk grazing on the banks or watch a bear catch his dinner in the mirror-like waters. You can do the same, harvesting wild oysters and eating their sweet meat on the deck as the sun sinks in the west.
The Sound’s seeming inaccessibility is part of its charm, yet in reality it is not that difficult to reach. The gateway to Desolation Sound is the town of Lund, just 90 miles by road from Vancouver, or you can arrive as many of the locals do by seaplane.