Duane, Dawn,
Sam, Nick, and Mike
(Jessy and Jenny)

Home Up Family Pictures Music



Logbook Days 51, 52, and 53
6/30/2004 - 7/02/2004

Princess Louisa
40 miles up at the end of Jervis Inlet, behind the tidal Malibu Rapids lies Princess Louisa Inlet with Chatterbox Falls at it's head.  We spent three nights surrounded by mile high vertical cliffs ringed with waterfalls.

Duncan's Cove to Princess Louisa Inlet

We checked out and left Duncan's at 11:00am once we completed the final loading, mainly the coolers with fresh ice.  We exited the harbor and went north around into Agamemnon channel.  We needed to make up some time so we ran at 7-8 knots.  We arrived in Egmont on Sechet inlet at 12:30pm and had to wait for dock space to get fuel.  I didn't like towing the dinghy with the motor on, so we manually lifted it off and put it back on the transom bracket while doing an impressive balancing act. 

We left a bit after 1:00pm for Jervis inlet.  The inlet is 40 miles long and averages a mile wide over this length, it's a classic fiord.  We are running at 3500 rpm and getting 7-8 knots with the flood current.  The wind and seas build from astern down the open reaches of the arms no matter which direction we are heading.  Once we entered Prince of Wales reach we were in awe of the gorgeous scenery.  The surrounding mountains are 4,000 to 6,000 feet tall and fall steeply directly from their peaks to the water.  Amazingly fir trees somehow manage to cling to their sheer rock faces clothing them in a coat of dark green.  Our depth sounder poops out around 300'.  Sam wanted to know how deep it was so we zoomed in on the chart, at that moment we were passing over an area marked 659 METERS.  The average depth the whole length is over 500 meters.  The walls are as straight up and down below the water as above.

We got 17 miles on the first fuel tank.  The gas ran out and the motor died in a rough area while Dawn was driving down Princess Royal reach and I was setting up the laptop for a movie.  We switched the tank, and because we were now a bit early we ran at 6-7 at 2500 rpm for the last bit around Patrick Point and along a calmer Queens Reach to the Malibu entrance. 

I tried to switch settings on the Pocket PC / GPS right at the entrance shutting off my digital book on tape and ended up crashing windows as I was trying to get a better look at the entrance chart.  I had to turn away and circle back.  With out a chart and never having been there before it was hard to spot the entrance.  Since we had no chart at the moment we just waited and followed the next boat up through the dog leg Malibu Rapids. Now that I've seen it, there is no problem.  The Young Life Camp Malibu is perched on the rocks along the north side of the rapids.  Their pool is built into the rock along the very edge of the pass.  We cruised up the inlet in silence and wonder at the hidden jewel tucked in at the end of the fiord.  Five miles in at the end of the inlet it's a dogleg turn to port and we pulled up to the dock at the falls, tying up on the inside next to two other sailboats. 

Shortly after that, two large powerboats came in and parked on each side in front of us blocking our view.  I walked down the dock to take a look and decided there was just enough room for us between the last boat and the seaplane area at the head of the dock.  No offense to our brethren sailboats, but we moved around and parked with our stern facing the falls with a unobstructed view from the cockpit.  This turned out to be a great spot to spend the night.

Princess Louisa Inlet

We woke late to a warm morning.  Dawn went for a walk and Sam and I made pancakes.  We then all headed to Chatterbox falls and took lots of pictures.  The boys played in the river at the base of the falls and Dawn and I just wandered around and marveled at the sights.  Just to the west of the steep valley the Chatterbox falls river tumbles down is a vertical rock cliff over a mile high.  The cliffs on the east are nearly as steep as well and every time you look you find another waterfall plunging down the face that you hadn't seen before. 

Dawn brought up lunch to a picnic table and everyone took a break.  The tide was very low and the mud was a magnet for the boys.  Once dirty even the rushing river wouldn't wash the sticky stuff off. 

Dawn and I decided to move the boat to a position anchored out at the base of the falls river as we have had enough of dock life.  We motored out and set the Claw.  When we first stopped our forward motion, it looked too shallow and close in so I waited a bit as we backed for about 10' of water before I let the anchor down.  When we finished backing down we ended up pulling it off the shelf into the 100' deep water.  We went in a second time and I set the hook in 5' of water.  It bit well there and we were parked to the left and well inside all the other anchored boats.  We're quite near shore, but the flow from the falls river holds us in position facing the shore.  The falls are just partly obscured behind some thin trees.  We have a great view of the high falls.  This is such an elegant way to park the boat.

We put the dinghy motor on and went in to the kids.  We picked up Mike and let him drive the dinghy around to other waterfalls that are running right down directly into the inlet.  You can drive the dinghy right in under them and get a cool shower.  We then dropped Mike back on shore to play in the sand with Nick and, Sam and I went out for a spin as he was dying to drive the dinghy.  Once back we had to get Nick and Mike at the seaplane dock as they had been chased off the beach by the rising tide.  Dawn and I had a nice pasta dinner sitting alone on the bow facing the falls.  We also had good conversation with a couple of the neighbors who stopped by in their dinghies.  This was followed by a card game night of international rummy before we tucked in.

Princess Louisa Inlet

It started to rain early in the morning and rained off and on through lunch.  The clouds were also very low.  It was actually a nice change after so many sunny days to have our first rain.  The inlet seems very mysterious cloaked in the low wispy clouds. 

Our anchor is set in the stream bed and is now high and dry on the low tide.  I went in and checked it and added some seizing to the shackle at the rope eye.  I stopped by "Havis Amanda" on the way back to chat and they invited us to a spaghetti feed at 6pm. We had a nice Omelet brunch, then we all went to shore.  The sand beach is being cut away by the river current at the low tide and was too attractive for the boys.  Mike proceeded to stand on the edge and have it collapse beneath him tossing him into the water up to his chest.  We went up to the hut to try and clean him up, but it was a lost cause.  I went back to the boat for new clothes.  Once he changed, Dawn and the boys headed off for a hike on the trappers cabin trail while I cleaned up the boat.  The rain has stopped. 

I picked them all up and we got ready for our dinner engagement.  We dinghy'd over to Mary and Gifford Jones' 38' Nauticat.  From when we arrived, and Giff helped with our lines, we have enjoyed meeting the Jones'.  When they saw us they were reminded of a treasured cruising book, "The Curve of Time" by M. Wylie Blanchet.  It is the story of a widowed woman who spent many summers cruising the British Columbia inside passage with her 5 children in a 25' boat during the late 1920's.  They were nice enough to lend us their copy for us to look at.  We'd talked more a number of times and were thrilled to be invited to their boat, also now anchored out at the base of the falls, for dinner.  The kids enjoyed the new space and we had great food and conversation. 

We dinghy'd back around 10:00pm.  I put the motor on the transom and made other preparations for our early departure in the morning.  It rained some during the night and I didn't get much sleep in anticipation of our 5am wake up call.

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