As Captain Vancouver was charting and exploring looking for the North-west passage he charted Desolation Sound in 1792. He named it this because of the torrential rain, fog and seeming inhospitability of the land. He despised this place named it accordingly, to his experience.
It’s really too bad for him we weren’t there when he was exploring, because he might have sung a different tune and named it differently. Like Paradise Found for example. For us it was bliss.
To begin the trip, Mike Liverton aka Matey flew our great friends from Nelson and Squamish to Powell River. He did two trips in the plane and Saxony got to fly back with him from Powell River to Squamish to pick up Izzy and Nick, getting a chance to take controls of the plane for some of the flights. Super cool!
Leela and Black Knight were planned to have a week-long whirlwind romance that had been in the works for 6 months. And it was finally here! Aboard the Black Knight was;
- John Nichols aka Captain
- Curtis Dorosh aka Best Day of his Life Everyday
- Sheila Durey aka Rookie of the Year
- Jess Kyle aka Ya Buddy
On Leela, a motley but classic crew;
- Izzy Czerveniak aka Mama
- Nick Hartrich aka Nicky6
- Paula Kiss aka PKiss
- Mike Liverton aka Matey
The two boats convoyed to Tenedos Bay in Desolation Sound. Rafting, eating, swimming, midnight dingy adventures, libations ensued. Emmanuel and I decided to do all the “admin” for the trip. Its easier this way we think but it is A LOT of admin. Beer, wine, meal planning, snack planning, ice for 6 people for 5 days. Leela was riding low no doubt about it. It was an awesome crew on Leela. Every day it was someone new cooking the meals, doing dishes. Izzy even cleaned our bbq. Good people and top-notch crew.
Black Knight only added to the good people and great vibes. The three original Black Knights, Emmanuel, John and Curtis were reunited. When you put those three together you get the largest amount of unbridled enthusiasm for life ever seen. All week the tagline between the three was “BLACK KNNIIIIGGGHHHHTT”. It was the boat that started our path towards Leela, last summer we had spent 10 days on Black Knight heading to Desolation Sound and here were are again, Black Knight and now Leela.
Some of our highlights…we swam trailing behind Leela with a rope in the water as we drifted slowly behind the spinnaker. Nicky6 slept! And Relaxed. If you’ve met this man you know how rare this is. Relaxed chats and drinks on the foredeck of Leela, warm water swimming in lakes, great meals, lingering over wine and words. Lots of small moments with good friends that add up over the days.
And along the way, we met two sisters sailing their vessel, Gimble.
- Rosalyn aka RozDawg
- Celia aka Sister
These two blew our minds. RozDawg is 22 and Celia is 19 years old and are off on an amazing sister adventure. They were sailing Gimble, a 24-foot custom made wood boat lovingly built by their father. And they were proud, rightly so! They NEVER used their engine, and only had 6 litres of fuel anyways. Their depth sounder consisted of a lead line and had zero electronic charts, no cell phone. These two knew more about sailing than the Black Knight and Leela combined X 100. They made me think of my sister and had me start dreaming up a sister-trip to take. Get ready Meghan Brown!
We met up again in Roscoe Bay with Gimble and found a new addition to the Legends of Desolation Sound 2015. The Goose. Four Kiwi boys on a borrowed boat from their uncle out of Campbell River. Minimal sailing experience. Maximum of beer. Hilarious and great guys all around, sweet as anything.
- James aka Jimmy
- Tim aka Admiral
- John aka Pole
- Guy aka Raj aka Willsee aka Wilson (was hard to keep up with his nicknames)
- Laura aka Jimmy’s sweetheart
And so began the Raft of Radness. Six days of new friendships, parties, fishing, hikes, guitar, rope swings, music, jet-boating and swimming followed. Together we completed a three boat unofficial Desolation Sound Regatta from Roscoe Bay to Pendrell Sound. When we were becalmed in Pendrell we swam, and rafted the four boats across and used Leela’s trusty diesel to motor the flotilla at 1.8 knots. It was quite a sight to see when we reached our anchorage and one after the other, Gimble, Goose and Black Knight raised sails and peeled off Leela. Almost like fighter jets breaking formation. Almost.
We caught salmon and feasted as a group potluck style. We had sailing lessons from the Gimble girls aboard Gimble. We raised sails in such a light wind in Vondonop Inlet and RozDawn and Celia didn’t touch the tiller the entire time. We learned about lifts, headers, sail trimming and tactics and also how beautifully Gimble sails and how lovely the two sisters are. They’ve sailed their whole lives and their family business is model sailboats https://www.modelsailboat.com/
Eventually, the Black Knights had to return to work. And all good things have to come to an end. It was time for Leela to depart from Gimble and Goose. And so we had a break-up-party. It wasn’t us, it wasn’t them. It was just the timing of it, it couldn’t work out long term. So we said goodbye in a way that made all of us proud of the relationship, a summer romance.
Desolation sound was a high for the trip. Sunshine, old friends and new, unreal amounts of laughter and lifetime memories. It is special to meet people when they are in the moments of making lifelong memories and everyone is in a similar state of excitement and wonder. It feels somehow that the friendship you’ve made are that much more solid with the bank of memories and inside jokes to rest on.
Gimble! Goose! And of course Black Knight! We had the absolute best time.