June 25 – Dent Island to Prideaux Haven

sonora lodge

As we left Dent Island, we navigated through the rapids…first Gillard and then Yuculta. The Sonora Resort is a fishing lodge that is located on one side of Yuculta Rapids and is a rather large facility.

It rained hard all night and we had lots of noise from the Canoe Pass turbulence, when waves splashed against our stern as the current reached peak velocity. Between the rain on the deck and the waves on the hull, it wasn’t a great night for sleeping! Our barometer was still low this morning (1008 millibars) and it was foggy again and raining hard. We had our choice of leaving Dent Island when the current was slack at either 0600 or 1200. We decided to wait for the 1200 slack, hoping the fog would clear out and the rain would let up.

canoe pass low tide

It was close to low tide as we prepared to leave Dent Island Lodge, and the water level in Canoe Pass was way down.

It was still pretty gloomy and cloudy when we left at 1200, but the fog had cleared and the rain had stopped. We had an easy trip through the rapids for a 1257 slack at Yuculta. The water was very calm and there was very little turbulence or whirlpools. We passed by the Sonora Resort, a rather large fishing lodge located on one side of Yuculta Rapids. We didn’t see any other boats for our entire run through the rapids. Can’t remember ever going through Gillard and Yuculta rapids without any other boats around. Of course, the weather is dreadful…

ipad in yuculta rapids

The display on our iPad showed our course as we navigated through Yuculta Rapids.

leaving yuculta rapids

This is a look back at Yuculta Rapids as we continued south into Desolation Sound. The scenery in this area can be spectacular, but not so much in today’s low clouds.

We set today’s destination for Toba Wildernest, a small marina located at the entrance to Toba Inlet. As we made our way south in Lewis Channel, we found the wind building from the southeast. The forecast called for southeast wind 15 to 25 knots for today and tomorrow. We figured we’d get out of it by turning into Raza Passage and continuing along Pryce Channel.

However, rather than getting better, conditions worsened as we turned into Raza Passage. It was raining again and fog patches were forming. When we reached Pryce Channel, the apparent wind turned on our nose at 20 to 25-plus knots. The waves kicked up pretty good and intensified as we passed the channels that opened onto Pryce Channel. We crashed into the brisk wind and were drenched in salt spray as the seawater splashed over the bow when we hit some of the larger waves.

pryce channel 01

We had a rough ride through Pryce Channel, as the wind on our nose kicked up a pretty good chop.

pryce channel 02

Even though the conditions in Pryce Channel were a little uncomfortable, we still enjoyed the scenery. The surrounding mountains are impressive…even on this cloudy day.

We looked at Toba Wildernest as we passed by, and decided the conditions at the docks looked marginal in the wind. So, we regrouped, and decided to continue on to Prideaux Haven…a “bullet-proof” anchorage in Desolation Sound. It was about 2 hours further.

Years ago when we cruised in Desolation Sound with our sailboat, Carina, we frequently anchored in Prideaux Haven. The first time we came to Desolation Sound in 1980, it was our first anchorage there. However, we’ve only been there twice with Phoenix—in 2003 and 2004, as our travels usually have taken us further north.

homfray channel 01

When we entered Homfray Channel from Pryce Channel, the conditions changed dramatically, and we found the water smooth and our ride was so much more comfortable. The tall mountains along Homfray Channel are gorgeous, even in these overcast conditions.

We found calm water as soon as we turned into Homfray Channel. And the rain stopped! It was a calm and peaceful run the rest of the way. This is a very pretty channel—we’ve had some spectacular cruises here. However, the low clouds today robbed us of the frequently spectacular mountain views, as the clouds hugged the mountain tops. Also it’s been a warm winter and spring, and there just isn’t as much snow as we normally see this time of year.

homfray channel 02

The mountains along Homfray Channel are tall and spectacular…but not so much today as it was cloudy.

homfray channel 03

We got a better look at the mountain tops as we continued along Homfray Channel. Not as much snow on the tops as we usually see this time of year.

At 1700 we navigated through the entrance to Prideaux Haven and found only 3 other boats in the outer anchorage. It was calm and we found a place to anchor in about 48 feet at low tide. It had been dry, but as soon as Jim started to put the anchor down, the skies opened and he got drenched. But at least we’re here and the anchorage will be a secure place to stay a day or two if the weather continues to be a challenge.

2 thoughts on “June 25 – Dent Island to Prideaux Haven

  1. My gosh! What an adventure. Thinking the views are marvelous, clouds or not. How do the cats fair when you are in rough weather? Don’t they fly around? When the doorbell rings at the front of the house here, all the bodies are flying around for cover! They knock stuff of counters and break things. Annoying to say the least. Keep dry and safe.

    • Our cats do great with all the unexpected boat motion and noise. When things get rough, Rosie usually curls up somewhere and sleeps. Mickey retreats to a place in the forward cabin where he feels secure. Interestingly, they behave just like you described when we’re home…when the doorbell rings, they jump up and run to any place in the house away from the front door. You’d think a bomb went off!

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