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Bute Inlet

JULY 8, 2017 | An easy trip up Malaspina Inlet on Thursday got us into Desolation Sound on Wednesday. We opted to anchor in Cortez Bay, and found a new hike to do, to Easter Bluff Ecological Reserve. Up a road part of the way, then up a moss covered bluff. The absolute best viewpoint in the area, overlooking much of Desolation Sound and the Strait of Georgia.

Thursday, traveling up Lewis Channel, Michael spotted a humpback whale at the entrance to Teakerne Arm. Further on, in Drew Passage, we were treated to an amazing display of five humpbacks rounding up fish by fin-slapping and tail-slapping. We hovered for half an hour to watch. As we pulled away, they all were spouting in the distance.

To be in position for the trip to Bute Inlet the next day, our anchorage for the night was Frances Bay. Off the beaten path and empty, save some old logging debris. The only spot suitable for anchoring was up against a tall bluff face, tinted green by minerals. Intrigued by this, and wanting to cool off, Karen swam over to check it out. Hot and sunny all evening, scarcely a breeze. We entertained ourselves with the echo bouncing back from the bluff until moonrise.

Early start at 7am Friday up Bute Inlet so that we would have time to go five hours up and if we couldn’t find anchorage, five hours back. Spectacular views of 6,000 ft snow covered mountains continually revealing themselves, then even higher ice and glacier-covered peaks and finally a view of 12,000 ft high Mt. Waddington from the head. Many waterfalls along the way falling directly into the Inlet. Wind steadily increased as we went up the Inlet, as did the glacial flour in the milky pale green water. Strong winds and waves as we hunted for a shallow enough spot to anchor, and chose the least bouncy spot at the mouth of Southgate river. We hunkered in the salon, the lowest part of the boat, until the winds lessened enough to make brownies and cook dinner.

Across the Inlet, another boat had anchored — looked tiny, but AIS revealed it was a 203 ft luxury yacht. Slept well, and awoke to gorgeously calm water for the trip back on Saturday. It would have been fun to swim in the milky water, except for the 49 degree temperature, that is. And no other cruising yachts for the whole trip.

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