As we made our way south we encountered our final glimpse of sea otters for this trip but also got to experience 2 Dall’s Porpoises riding in our bow wake. The kids were enchanted with their playful antics as they crossed from one side of the bow to the other hopping out of the water as they did so. We probably see Dall’s Porpoises 75% of the time we leave the dock but they are often far from the boat and all you see is their dorsal fin gliding in and out of the water as they hunt. This was first for me and the kids and Dan had not experienced this playful activity from them since he was a kid. They look like a miniature orca that swim and move like a dolphin.
Our next obstacle to getting into Desolation Sound is Johnstone Strait. As with crossing a bar you need to time your passage with the tide so you aren’t fighting current. We found anchorage in Small Inlet just on the north side of Johnstone Strait to wait for the right time to cross. This was our first time in quite some time we were anchored in a bay with quite a few boats. There was a wonderful little hike to a fresh water lake. Often the shorelines of lakes in this area are muddy and have logs at the waterline – both often indicate leaches. Swimming in murky water and having to wade through mud aren’t fun for anyone (well except Dan and Alexander). Add in the worry of catching a leach and no thank you. Newton Lake had a great swimming rock which eliminated that worry. Between a hiking trail to stretch our legs and fresh water swimming we spent longer than anticipated at Small Inlet, 3 nights total. We eventually grew restless to get to Desolation Sound so timed our leave to get through Johnstone Strait. We weren’t the only ones and found ourselves in procession with 6 pleasure boats and 2 tugboats pulling barges south in Johnstone Strait. We stopped for about an hour in the town of Campbell River for a final provision of fresh food and continued on to Desolation Sound. We once again found ourselves entering our anchorage for the night right at dinner time (it’s as if we always time our departure each day to coincide with arriving at the next place right at dinner). We had finally arrived at Prideaux Haven, we were in Desolation Sound!