Teakerne Arm, Refuge Cove & Roscoe Bay
Updated: Mar 29
Desolation Sound Vacation 8/2/2019 - 8/4/2019 🍒
Teakerne Arm --> Refuge Cove --> Roscoe Bay 🌛
We left Von Donup Inlet, again and headed for Refuge Cove again. We want to top off with fuel, fill our water tank and visit the store for a few supplies. The plan after that, was to stay at Teakerne Arm. The weather today was clear and sunny with flat water. We cruised slowly toward Refuge Cove, enjoying the weather and the view.
Who's doing BBQ in the morning?!
A couple miles north of Refuge Cove, Tracy asked "Who's doing BBQ in the morning? See the smoke out there?" We looked again. No! Nobody is BBQing. That is whale blows near the shore. Humpbacks! There appeared to be two of them Seeing whales from the boat is always exciting. We watched them for about 45minutes. They had a pattern; they would take 3~4 breaths then dive and be gone for about 5 minutes to resurface someplace else. Tracy and I were constantly looking, and taking pictures and video. One time they surfaced about 50 yards from the boat. That was cool! They were slowly moving south, but we finally had to move on.
First visit at Refuge Cove
Refuge Cove was only a few minutes away from the whales. Refuge cove was much different this time. There seemed to be some order to the chaos today. We were even able to pull directly to the fuel dock. Refuge Cove gets their freshwater from a spring up the hill. It doesn’t run fast but the fuel dock attendant told me that the water is triple filtered through three 1-micron filters. That was nice to hear. After filling the fuel tank and the freshwater tank, we moved to one of the remote docks and took the dinghy to the store.
The entire Refuge Cove marina has a rustic feel about it, along with the controlled chaos. Weathered wood construction, walkways that aren’t level, the restrooms and showers a little further up the hill, etc. Kind of a fun place. The store is stocked very well, including fresh produce, and about anything else you may need. We were told that the restaurant has excellent pizza. We didn’t take the time to find out, but it looked like a nice little restaurant and bar. As we pulled away from the dock, we saw a couple of the Ranger company boats pulling in for fuel, too. We shared a few pleasantries across 50 feet of water and we were off to Dave’s garbage barge.
I had heard of Dave’s Garbage Barge. Dave is a guy that charges a Loonie ($1) a pound to dispose of your trash and recycling. He has a barge out in the middle of Refuge Cove, you pull up next to his barge, give him your trash, he weighs it and you pay. He disposes of boaters trash on the mainland, I understand. The whole transaction takes about 1 minute. No need to tie up. No muss, no fuss. We chatted with Dave for a minute or two and were off.
Teakerne Arm Waterfall
We back tracked a few miles to Teakerne Arm, where we found the famous water fall. We tried a couple of times to anchor and get our stern tie run ashore. We had never stern tied before. The concept of a stern tie is to put the anchor off the bow and then run a line off the stern to shore. This prevents swinging, making more room for other boats. In Teakerne Arm, the sea floor drops off very quickly so the anchor needs to set on a steep slope. Unfortunately, there was stiff breeze blowing right down the channel as we were trying this. This did not help us. Our Anchor seemed to hook a couple times, but came loose and, with the wind, allowed Cerise to start drifting. We decided to move on to a place we had heard about called Roscoe Cove. It is just around the island about 10 miles away.
Roscoe Bay -- What a beautiful place!
Our Friend on DH2 had told us that Roscoe Bay was a very nice anchorage. So, this was our new destination. Roscoe Bay does have one important caveat. You must enter (and leave) at high tide. There is a shoal on the way in that dries at low tide. Fortunately, we timed it well, arriving on a rising tide and had about 5 feet of water under the boat at the shoal area. We found a stern tie ring with a direct view of the water fall and set out to try stern tying again. With no wind and a flat bottom, this went much better. The anchor set well and the stern tie was accomplished quickly. Once settled in, we made dinner and relaxed. After dinner we took a dinghy cruise around the cove.
Roscoe Bay is tree lined with steep walls, and a waterfall. With the stern ties, it is possible to put a lot of boats into this small cove. The provincial parks actually install stern tie rings with chain on them. These were pretty easy to locate on the shore. Many boats stern tied around the outside, allowing more to swing on anchor down the center. The water is so clear and there are millions of small moon jellyfish. They were amazing to watch while we took a dinghy ride around the bay. What a lovely place! We are very impressed. There were 15-20 boats here, but still nearly silent and peaceful. At night, stars filled up the sky and it is possible to see the Milky Way as well. This view alone made the trip up here worthwhile.
Poor Fresh Water Lake...
The next morning, we wanted to take a walk to the neighboring lake, Black Lake. After a dinghy ride to the trail head, we took the short walk to the lake. That was nice and a good place to rinse my smelly shoes in fresh water. We ran into a couple in a new Cutwater 30. Talking to them we discovered that they had met friends from the Ranger Tug Group that suggested they visit Roscoe Bay. The boating world, especially the RT and Cutwater family, is a pretty tight group.
Time To Say Good Bye To Desolation Sound
We spent 2 nights in Roscoe Bay. We were planning to leave the next morning at high tide, about 8:00 am. When we leave Roscoe Bay, we will officially be headed toward home. Some people say that no trip to Desolation Sound is complete without a stop at Prideaux Haven. We had planned to make that a stop as well. We decided to skip Prideaux Haven this trip. We managed to pick the holiday week of BC Day to be in Desolation Sound. After talking to several Canadians that cruise this area often, they all said that Prideaux Haven will be packed with boats and will turn into party central this week. That may have been fun to see, but it wasn’t the trip we wanted, so we are headed south one day early. We still have a few more stops as we are still about 160 miles our home slip.
More Pictures of Refuge Bay and Teakerne Arm :
More Pictures of Roscoe Bay: