Airship | Desolation Sound, Tribune Bay, Tumbo Island, Home

We left Campbell River on a beautiful day, but the nice weather was not planned to last. We chose Prideaux Haven in Desolation Sound as a good spot to stay put for a few nights (and we hadn’t really visited this area since 2016!)

We poked into Melanie Cove where there were two boats anchored, but decided the view was better just inside the entrance to Prideaux Haven and returned to drop our anchor there instead.

We anchored just inside Prideaux Haven, just behind William Islands
So many jellies!
Great view from Airship at anchor

We got out in the dinghy for some exploring while we could.

Colorful starfish on the rocks.

We came around a corner and surprised this heron, and I managed to get a couple shots of it in flight (with my iPhone).

The rain began late in the afternoon and it pretty much rained solidly for the next couple days.

Our view, photobombed by a super yacht that anchored outside the bay. This big guy (130ft or so) eventually braved the narrow rocky entrance and moved into the bay…kudos to them (and all their water toys — they jet skiied in the rain every day!)

We spent the next couple of stormy days working and cooking and writing and playing music…definitely not a bad spot to relax and wait out the weather!

Our next stop was Tribune Bay on Hornby Island (off of the east side of Vancouver Island, between Comox and Nanaimo).

Not too long after we got out into the Strait of Georgia we saw a small group of three orcas, but one of those three was a teeny tiny baby orca!! It was a little choppy and we weren’t very close to them, so it was tough to get very many decent photos.

This is the baby (super fast!):

And here you can see the dorsal fin size difference:

What a treat!

We anchored in Tribune Bay and were the only ones there.

We quickly got the dinghy down and headed to shore for a nice walk on the beach. As we approached the other end of the beach it started raining again, so by the time we were back on Airship we were soaked but happy!

We had a pretty nice view of the moon as it rose into the sky (this is the night before the Harvest Moon on September 20).

Sunrise in Tribune Bay:

It was glassy and perfectly calm for our cruise the next day, and our plan was to visit Princess Cove on Wallace Island, another one of our favorite spots that we haven’t visited in years!

We got to Porlier Pass at just the wrong time for a favorable current, and our plan when we realized this would happen was just to anchor and wait in a little cove outside for an hour or so, but when we arrived we thought the current looked smooth and manageable, and so we opted to go through (and had 4.5kts of current against us at the most, and Airship did fine). Nice to have the extra power when we need it!

As we neared Princess Cove, we noticed two boats that were headed into the cove turned around immediately and headed back out. Soon it was clear…the cove was completely jam-packed full of boats! And as we continued past Conover Cove, the small shallow cove with a dock a little further south on Wallace Island, same thing. Okay then.

We continued south and ended up dropping the hook at James Bay on Prevost Island. It was pretty late in the day when we arrived, so we didn’t even go to shore, though we believe there are some trails there to be hiked (next time).

James Bay is the largest bay on the northwest side of the island (to the left is Ganges Harbour on Saltspring Island, for reference)

In the morning, we pulled anchor and cruised through Active Pass right around slack. Next (planned) stop: the anchorage between Cabbage and Tumbo Islands.

Passing ferries going the opposite way in Active Pass

As we neared Cabbage and Tumbo Islands (just north of Saturna Island, very close to the US-Canadian border), we noted that all the mooring balls were full. Ah the joys of boating closer to home. But since it was so calm, we decided to give the anchorage on the other side of Tumbo Island a shot. Completely exposed to the everything but south/southeast winds (and probably not all that protected from those either!), it’s a gorgeous spot and we were the only ones there. It’s shallow near shore, and once anchored you still feel pretty far from land, but it’s got beautiful views and in settled weather it was a fantastic spot.

We dinghied ashore for a nice hike around the island on a beautiful, warm and sunny day!

Dinghy on shore, Airship in the background
Nice view of Mt. Baker in the distance
Looking out toward the Strait of Georgia
Tall cattails, with Kevin for scale

There are several historic cabins on Tumbo Island, and this one came with its own doghouse:

This is on the other side of the island…note the boats on mooring balls out on the far right.

This is the tip of Tumbo Island, with Cabbage Island in the distance:

Alongside the trail we came upon this fenced in “Danger Keep Out” area…if you go up to the edge of the fence and peer down, it’s just a deep pit, with maybe some black standing water at the bottom. Creepy!

We found part of a windmill nearby, so maybe it had something to do with the pit…maybe a well?

Back on Airship…a beautiful sunset!

It was pretty bumpy in the morning…one to two foot chop maybe, so getting the dinghy up was a little squirrelly!

We filled out our information on the CBP Roam app, got connected with the Customs agent in Friday Harbor who asked us a few questions via video chat, and then cleared us right there, so we didn’t have to go into Friday Harbor in person. We opted to stop for one more night onboard before going back to our slip in LaConner, and stopped at Eagle Harbor on Cypress Island to get some hiking in!

Airship anchored in Eagle Harbor
Hiking the Duck Lake loop trail
Duck Lake (there’s really no place along the trail to get a good view of Duck Lake, sadly.

We went back to LaConner on Thursday and immediately embarked on the Big Boat Wash of Summer. Our boat detail guy Miguel did such a nice job before we left with his wash and wax that we barely had to do much in the way of washing Airship all summer. She was dirty, yes, and took hours to get back to gleaming, and we were exhausted afterwards (never get a bigger boat!), but it feels so great to have a sparkly shiny boat again!

On Friday, our good friends Tiffani and Deke (who just moved back to Seattle!) came up for the day and we cruised south in Swinomish Channel, through Deception Pass, up and around to Cypress Island, where we anchored and dinghied to shore for some beach time with their two dogs, Rafi and JoJo (a greyhound! Boy can Jo run!), and then back to LaConner. We left the dock at 11:30am after brunch and didn’t pull back in until almost 7:30pm. What a fun day!!

All the mooring balls at Eagle Harbor were full!

In the morning, we headed home for a bit. It’ll be nice to see our house after four months away!

We have a couple boat projects to do (our autopilot pump failed last week and a new one has been ordered) and then we’ll be back out on the water for some fall and winter boating!