Sunday August 12th – Today we are off to Dent Island Lodge. Once again, we have to time rapids to get to our destination. Dent Island Lodge is surrounded by rapids. The only way in or out is two times per day when the water runs slack. We made it through no problem then tied up to the dock.
The Lodge is owned by the Nordstrom family. Its located on a tiny little island with a very narrow extremely fast running rapid right next to the lodge that only small boats go through when the water is calm. The lodge had just been completely rebuilt so we were excited to see what they had constructed. We had lunch at the beautiful new lodge then dinner with all 11 of us.
Monday August 13th – 6:30 am, Zach Skylar and I sluggishly meet our fishing guide and hop in his small boat for a 4-hour salmon charter. Todd, Bruce and Brian do the same with their guide and we all take off to each guide’s hot spot. Except not so hot today. We had 2 fish on, but they got away, then we landed a small fish. Back at the dock, the other boat was not even that lucky, no fish for them, but we all had a great time.
The small rapids next to the lodge were in full swing. Skylar, with a crazed look in his eyes, asks Julie if he could take the kayak and go run the rapids. She deflects, saying I want no part of this, go ask your dad. I explain that I didn’t think it was a good idea, but he would not let up. I knew where this was going so against my better judgment I agreed. With his life jacket on, we talked about what to do and where to swim if he fell out.
He takes the kayak and paddles it up the back eddy then turns it into the rapids and runs down the rushing water while everyone watches except Julie who was hiding on the boat. First run, no problem, but things went south quickly. On the second run, now a little too confident, he makes the turn, but the water catches the side of the kayak and flips him over. He bails out but holds on to the paddle while the half-sunk kayak continues on without him. 45-degree water is extremely cold, but he didn’t seem to panic. He did exactly like we talked about and swam to shore where the water was running slower. Using all his available resources he paddles himself with the kayak paddle to make faster time. He makes it to the opposite shore from the docks, which is a little island not accessible from the lodge except by boat. People on the dock went into rescue mode. Someone had a dinghy in the water and they were able to get over there to pick him up. He made it back, very cold, and with a look of fear in his eyes. Lesson learned!
Saturday August 11th –We are running further north today to meet up with our friends at Blind Channel. Getting to Blind safely requires some good timing due to waters that flow really fast. We pulled anchor at the calculated time to hit Yuculta and Dent Rappids at slack water.
Here’s what Yuculta can look like. It can and has swallowed boats. Not something you want to mess with especially when they call one section of Dent Rappids Devils Hole!
But if you time it right it can be no problem. Under a cloudy and rainy sky, we adjusted our speed to arrive just before slack, so we would still get a little push through the channels. We had a beautiful cruise all the way to Blind Channel where we docked and got the dinghy ready for fishing.
Our friends arrived an hour later, and all 3 boats ran across the channel at slack to catch some Lingcod in a little spot we come back to every year. Julie got one on right away and it was a lunker. After fighting it to the surface, it found its way back home, leaving Julie with some serious frustration. Then it was Skylar’s turn, but that ended in a similar situation. Looking over we could see our friends were catching and landing, while we could only catch. Some time went by and Julie finally got one in the boat before we had to return for dinner reservations. Not as successful as we had hoped but one is better than none.
We all had an amazing dinner together that night at the German inspired restaurant.
Friday August 10th – Skylar’s friends, who have been with us for the last 5 days, need to catch a float plane home at 3pm. But first they needed some more adventure, so they decided to do the Tenedos scramble before we took off.
After the hike we pulled anchor and made our way to Prideaux Haven just a few miles away.
Prideaux Haven is a designated stop for the float planes and our drop off point today. Up here, the float planes fly in and land in the bays. The only way to get passengers on and off the plane is to deliver or pick them up by dinghy. We pulled into the bay and found a perfect anchorage in the main area. The boys wanted to go fishing one last time but came back skunked.
At about 2:45 the 3 boys and I piled in the dinghy to go out and wait for the plane. Having spotty cell service there is no way to get word if the plane will be late or not arrive at all for some reason. So, we waited, floating around, 3:00, 3:15: 3:30, still no sign. It got hotter and hotter sitting there so Skylar and I decided to go for a swim. Carson and Jonny, all dressed to fly didn’t have the appropriate clothing to go for a swim, but the heat must have impaired their judgment. They stripped to their boxers and jumped in for a nice cool swim! Their shorts were dry but that’s a wet butt on a plane for 2.5 hours, they didn’t seem to care, the cool off was worth it.
That evening we stayed a relaxing night in Prideaux Haven watching all the boats come and go, swimming some more, and a sunset dinghy cruise rounded out the evening.
Wednesday August 8th – It was around noon when we arrived at Tenedos and we decided to try a new spot in the outer bay. The anchorage was perfect and secluded.
Having 3 boys on the boat requires some serious food, something that can be hard to find up here. While Julie and Ava stayed securely anchored on the boat, I ventured out with the boys in the dinghy for a 6-mile run to Refuge Cove, pretty much the only place to get food around here. The run requires us to cross a pretty large body of water (large for a 13’ dinghy) that at times can get a little rough. It was a moderately rough crossing but no issues. We all had lunch and fueled the boat then crossed back with the wind at our backs for a smoother ride.
That evening was a beautiful night swimming in the water, looking at the stars and playing in the bioluminescent water.
Thursday August 9th – The next day the 3 boys took off in the dinghy headed for Unwin Lake. They swam in the lake and met an older couple who told them about a hidden canoe that was stashed in the bushes down a trail. They found the canoe and paddled the lake fishing for a trout or whatever else may be lurking in the depths. But they also found the couple that told them about the canoe, laying luckily, on a far-off shoreline with just their skin exposed, they said it wasn’t a pretty sight. Great, now we have to pay for counseling for the boys.
It looked like some friends of ours happened to be motoring by in the distance, so I called them on the VHF. They answered and tied up alongside of us for the night. Jason and Coleen cruised from Tacoma all the way up here with their 2 small kids on a 29’ Ranger Tug. They are a lot of fun and we had a great time with them. I took Ava and the 2 small kids tubing behind the dinghy and they couldn’t get enough. Super fun to see the smiles on their faces.
That evening Julie and I took a long romantic sunset cruise. She showed me her hidden talent (no, not what you are thinking). She can walk on water! It’s true, the pictures prove it.
Tuesday August 7th – Skylar and his two friends ran ahead of us in the dinghy to do some fishing at the entrance of Pendrell Sound. We got the boat ready and pulled anchor for our cruise to Squirrel Cove. The boys had about 2 hours of fishing before we arrived to pick them up. Skylar caught a really big Yellow Eye Rockfish but that was it.
Skylar’s friends Jonny and Carson both live on Lake Tapps so they are no stranger to watersports. Wake surfing has become a popular sport on the lake but here in Desolation Sound ski boats are non-existent. Ever since we got our current boat Skylar has been talking about wake surfing behind it. Skylar noticed at about 12-13 knots the boat makes a pretty big wake perfect for wake surfing.
So, with some experts onboard, and the dinghy in the water for quick retrieval of a down surfer, we decided to give it a try. First up, Carson enthusiastically jumped in the water to give it a try. Skylar and Jonny followed along videoing in the dinghy as Carson got right up and we adjusted our speed for the best wake.
It was awesome! Watching these kids wake surf behind a 52’ boat in the middle of Desolation Sound was quite a sight!
Arriving in Squirrel Cove we found a nice spot and stern tied along a wall where stern tying is the nom. After settling in I looked over at a moderately close boat that was not stern tied. On the back of the boat stood a guy, arms crossed, staring right at me. He didn’t look happy with our position. We were too far away to talk (that should tell you something) so I got in the dinghy to go chat with him.
I asked if he was comfortable with our position. He said, “not really”. I was anchored, and shore tied, and he was just anchored without a shore tie, so he would swing around but I would stay in position. After some friendly get to know you talk that was really awkward, I asked him how much anchor chain he had out. He said, “I have no idea”. Really, no idea! How can you safely anchor without knowing that? I thought we were fine, so I told him that if at any point he wants me to move (its customary for the person who anchored last to move if things go south) I would. The boat stayed plenty far away as we swam in the water and the boys took turns on the rope swing.
Wednesday August 8th. 5am, I wake up and look outside to make sure all is well. It was too dark to really confirm but it looked like the boat that “has no idea how much anchor chain they have out” was gone. They must have left really early I thought and went back to sleep. Julie got up about an hour later and found the boat. She said it looked like the boat had moved and sided tied to another anchored boat a couple hundred yards away. Reality was that they drug anchor across the bay past our boat and almost hit another group of boats. Soon there was some rustling around the boats and the anchor dragger slowly motored out of the bay, hopefully with their tail between their legs.
The boys and I embarked on a 6-mile dinghy ride up to Tekern Arm to see the falls and swim in the lake. We had a great swim then back at the dinghy dock a lady said, “hey you guys are anchored in Squirrel, right?” She then explained she woke up this morning to a drifting boat that almost hit their boat. She had to bang on their boat to wake them up! I told her the story about how they had no idea how much anchor chain they had out, and we all laughed about our narrow miss.
We fished for a bit on the way back then pulled anchor and took off for Tenedos.
Sunday August 5th – Skylar has two friends flying in tomorrow to Pendrell Sound, so we need to get to Pendrell today to be ready for their arrival. Pendrell is perfect in the heat. It has the warmest water in the area you can swim all day.
We set the shrimp pots on the way in then tied up to our friends who had already claimed a spot in the busy bay. Busy because Sea Ray was having a rendezvous. One raft had 23 Sea Ray’s all tied up together! With it being Sunday, we figured things would clear out tomorrow, but we were wrong. Monday was a Canadian holiday, so things stayed busy. No problem we had our spot in paradise.
The heat has returned in full force. Thankfully the water temperature hit 79 degrees! so cooling off was not a problem. Ava and Brianna discovered night swimming and we couldn’t get them out of the water. The boat never really cooled off. Even at 1:30am the air temperature was still 75 degrees.
Monday August 6th – Today Skylar’s friends Johnny and Carson are flying in by floatplane to stay with us for the next 5 days. They arrived right on time via Northwest Seaplanes and we picked them up with the dinghy in the outer bay. Almost immediate swimming commenced to cool off then the boys took the dinghy out with the wake board for some watersports.
The rest of the day was spent swimming, shrimping and relaxing in the heat and the new kids had fun exploring the area.