Desolation Bound

The hiking party at a well deserved rest stop overlooking Shoal Bay.  No pics of the gold mine unfortunatly.

The hiking party at a well deserved rest stop overlooking Shoal Bay. No pics of the gold mine unfortunately.

After final farewells at Lagoon Cove, we sailed down wind in Johnstone Strait in 15-30 knots with Vanna driving.  Don & Emily on Windwalker called & said they’d be in Shoal Bay, their favorite place to visit.   We’ve never been able to figure out why they like it so much so decided to meet them there, maybe get some insight into the attraction.  Hung there for 3 days at the dock (50 cents a foot, yay).  Mark & Cynthia who own the own/run the place have created a pretty cool, laid back culture.  They’ve got gardens you can pick your own veggies from, a “pub” where we had a 5:00 social each day, a covered patio with a wood fired bread/pizza oven that was the inspiration for Don’s oven back home–host of the BI Loafers.  It was dead calm and upper 80s which seemed really hot to me.  We did hike up to the look-out and on to the gold mine–about 3 hours round trip.  I went about 150 feet in and past two vertical shafts before deciding not to push my luck & turned around.  Nice & cool in there–mid 50s.  No gold nuggets lying around–Carmanah could really use one right now.  At one time 3,000 people lived in Shoal bay, you’d never know it now though, hardly a trace of the old town.  All in all a very pleasant time.  Don & Emily had Bob & Teri from Bainbridge along on Windwalker.  Doug & Jean Fernandes on Grey Wolf from Bainbridge were there as well.  Along with others we met at the dock, we had some great gatherings each night.  Great crabbing in the bay–I may have finally maxed out on crab though.  We’ve had it morning, noon, & night for many days now.

The smoke from 200+ forest fires gets worse the further south we go.  Heard  visibility was only  1/4 mile because of smoke in Desolation and that people had a dusting of soot on their decks.  So we were hesitant to go any further, but chose to accompany Windwalker on down to the Octopus Islands for a night then on to Herriot Bay where they left the boat while they run home to marry off their son Nick in their (parched?) backyard.  We’re actually planning to meet Jeff & Elizabeth Ozimek at the Herriot Bay Inn to do some day-sailing with Jeff’s family then Jeff & E are joining us for a few days of exploring Desolation.  Should be fun.
The pub here had an amazing local (classic rock) band Friday night–Live Duffy.  If you ever get a chance to check them out, do.
Pretty much have the boat put back together after the “incident”.  When I climbed aboard just before it started to float again I had to walk around the interior on the cabin sides–cupboards were directly over head or under foot.  Although hardly anything fell or came loose, we’ve since been finding little things in the oddest places.

3 thoughts on “Desolation Bound

  1. Penny

    Hello John and Donna!

    Everyone “down here” has been saying prayers of Thanks for your “incident” and are so pleased that only having a few treasures yet to be discovered inside is all that remains. We are all enjoying your blog and send you our best wishes for safe travels each and every day. Penny 🙂


  2. Emily Mansfield

    We miss you guys! It was so great having those fun days with you. We’re deep into “wedding mode” and after spending all day yesterday in the car on errands to Silverdale and Tukwila, Don announced that he’s ready to go back to the boat asap and head as far north as possible! Hope we see you when you’re in PT, before we go back. And I hope the trauma has eased a little and John is sleeping again. Love, Emily


  3. Jo Vander Stoep

    Hi John & Donna,

    So, I was volunteering at BI Historical Museum today and GUESS WHO was my fellow docent and brought me up to date on your adventures?!? OF COURSE, it was Donna’s mom. So fun to meet her and get to know a little about her Nye Beach, Portland, Caldwell, and Bainbridge life. We looked together at your boat at 90 degrees. My oh my. We’ll hope that takes care of every trip’s need to have a disaster/near disaster. Love to both of you, jo



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