Before I get into the Anchorage for this issue, I would like to go back a bit and fill in some blanks.
The August 2010 story (Anchorage of a Lifetime) should be revisited before you go further here as this will be more meaningful. . . . . . . . . . . . .
OK, now the follow-up. We occasionally cruise with another boat or two and this anchorage seems quite crowded with more than that on the hook. We’ve been somewhat sworn to secrecy about this special place although I’m sure many of you have been here before.
We come around the final point before the anchorage and if there be another boat there we are offended that we have been found out. Of course, those boaters are having the same thoughts! Next time you leave Pender Harbour heading north, cut up Agamemnon Channel and just past Nile Point turn to port and go through Agnew Passage, then take a bearing that brings you just north of Elephant Point and enter Hotham Sound. Continue to admire the beautiful Harmony Falls that tumbles from Friel Lake some 1450 feet above the Sound. An obvious and wonderful anchorage is a short distance further along the coastline in the small Harmony Islands Marine Park. We have enjoyed time here but for the past few years we have cruised past the same sparse trees clinging to the solid rock walls for another three miles and at the small but obvious bay we drop the hook at 49o54.016’N 124o 01.532’W. Now you know our secret place.
Now, the rest of the story. The beach on the shore behind you is covered with some of the best oysters on the B.C. coast. The gravel beach in front of you contains more oysters and a few steamer clams a few inches down. Occasionally a Black Bear comes to this beach to forage. A short dinghy ride out into the Sound from the anchorage in a bit over 300’ prawning is quite good. Take the dinghy further into the Sound and the point that separates Lena and Baker Bays has yielded a few nice Lingcod for the seafood dinner. Just a short way into Baker Bay and you may notice the small indent in the shoreline that hides a wonderful swimming area. Secure the dinghy at 49o54.983’N 124o01.960’W. Carefully climb up the rock falls where you will find millions of smaller oysters. You can see the solid, high rock wall at the back of the swimming pool, reflecting the afternoon’s sun into the water. This lagoon is kept warm in the summer because it doesn’t completely drain during a tide change. Enough water enters this pool to keep the oysters and clams fresh but with water in the low 70’s you need to take a dip. As you wade around in the lagoon, bend over and scoop a handful of gravel from the floor and let the sand and gravel wash away leaving an easily acquired half dozen steamer clams.
I have mentioned the material reasons for visiting here but the natural and visual reasons far outweigh those. On a warm sunny day with just a few puffy clouds around the mountains for contrast, Hotham Sound rivals Princess Louisa, Kynock and Roscoe Inlets for pure majesty, yet so close to home! Like I mentioned in the Lifetime article, this is truly a religious, peaceful and nearly sacred area – treat it thusly when you visit.
Why am I giving up these closely held secrets? Just a good guy, I guess…. Really, the last time we visited Hotham Sound a new logging operation was threatening to ruin everything. As so often happens when you find such a place as this, the tree cutters or aquaculture pens move in and you wish you had been there in the “good ol’ days”. The side where we anchor has not been bothered too much, some though. We talked with the sawdust makers and they said they should be done in about six months. Maybe during the 2013 cruising season we might even have a new hiking road into the land of the Black Bears, or total destruction to “our spot”.
Now for the next Anchorage of the Month………………..
Just keep on cruising and loving every minute of it.
Don and Carolyn Bloye
M.V. Island Spirit