By Amanda Spottiswoode

This cozy corner of Desolation Sound has much to offer the shoreside explorer.

Much has been written about the sublime cruising destination of Desolation Sound. Once you pass Lund and the incredible expanse of snow-capped mountains opens up, even the most jaded must surely gasp in awe at the vista of islands, peaks and sparkling ocean. The choice of anchorages is extensive and all offer something special to make them a cruiser’s favourite.

For us, Grace Harbour tops the list. This part of Desolation Sound Marine Park really does have it all. It is completely enclosed and protected, so the weather can be howling out in the sound, but inside the harbour it is cozy and calm. Then there is the beautiful walk through the woods to a small lake perfect for a summer’s day dip. Although much of the lake has marshy edges, in one spot there is a handy rock ledge to drop into the lake without getting muddy, and beside that spot a mossy area to dry off in the sun. We have seen wolf scat and evidence of bears here. 

Last, but definitely not least, there is a living museum to be found in the bush. Evidence of the logging activity of many decades ago lies slowly rusting away. Cables, engines, pulleys and bits that defy interpretation were just left where they were when the logging companies moved on. There is even an improvised shower where the stream from the lake drops into the cove.

If you visit Grace Harbour with more people than your boat can accommodate, there is a lovely campground beside the dinghy landing. We were there in mid-summer and my daughter and son-in-law were the only campers.

And once you have made it to Grace Harbour, calm and pristine Theodosia Inlet is just round the corner. Two for the price of one!

The author was taught to sail by the Royal Navy on the River Thames and has been a keen sailor ever since. She is co-owner of South Islander, a 34’ wooden sloop, and has cruised the BC coast with her husband and dogs since 1998. In 2013 she published South Islander – Memoirs of a Cruising Dog, an illustrated book about their adventures. Visit southislander.ca to purchase a copy of the book.

Photo Captions:

Photo 1 - South Islander shares Grace Harbour with one other boat.

Photo 2 - The author with some of the harbour’s abandoned logging equipment.

Lifestyle

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CompassBy Katherine Stone

Not a hard re-installation - just line up the holes and replace the screws.

I remember vividly my first experience using a chart plotter and navigation system. Deciding that we should try the cruising lifestyle, we purchased an older boat and set out from Hindson’s Marina in Penetanguishene at dawn to sail across Nottawasaga Bay to Thornbury, Ontario for the Canada Day long weekend. It was a beautiful start to the day when we left and motored out of Penetanguishene Bay and rounded the corner, heading toward Christian Island, right into pitch black clouds. 

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Boat Reviews

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J99By Katherine Stone

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KingstonBy Amy Hogue

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Sitting at the intersection of three world-class Canadian bodies of water, Lake Ontario, the St. Lawrence River, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Rideau Canal (Cataraqui River from Kingston to Newboro), the water’s influence is deeply woven into Kingston’s culture and history. 

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