Explore historic Desolation Sound aboard the Misty Isles. Two musuem trips are offered this month.

Take the Misty Isles hop

Explore historic Desolation Sound aboard a schooner

Explore Desolation Sound aboard the schooner-rigged Misty Isles on Aug. 10 and Aug. 22, with the Cortes Island Museum.

Much of Desolation Sound is in a marine park and is abundant in wildlife. Dolphins, porpoises, seals and a variety of birds are often sighted in this pristine part of the coast.

The area is also famous for its spectacular fjords and mountains which rise up out of the sea. As well as natural beauty, it is also the focal point of some of the area’s most fascinating maritime history as the anchorage for British and Spanish explorers who first charted this area in the late 1700s.

Skipper/naturalist Mike Moore will provide background highlights on the Age of Exploration and the rich marine features of the area, from birds and mammals to the dramatic topography.

Desolation Sound tops the list as a destination for boaters from all over the Pacific Northwest. Part of the attraction is the dramatic mountain scenery and the myriad of islands in the marine park. Another draw is the water temperature, which can reach 20 degrees Celsius in the summer.

“This is a fjord land that rivals any in the world,” says Moore “and I don’t know of another place where one can swim in ocean temperatures so warm, right under the snow capped peaks.”

Moore promises a leisurely exploration of the area and, given enough wind, the opportunity to help hoist sail. The relaxed pace of Misty Isles allows participants to sit outside for a cup of tea while enjoying the stunning scenery.

Misty Isles departs from Cortes Bay at 10:30 a.m. and returns at about 5 p.m. in conjunction with the ferry schedule. The cost for the trip is $115.

This year lunch is offered – a seasonal green salad and a slice of vegetarian pizza for an additional $9 or you may choose to bring your own lunch.

Participants from off island should catch the 8:30 a.m. ferry from Campbell River to Quadra Island which connects to the 9:05 a.m. ferry from Heriot Bay to Cortes Island where you can walk on.

When you arrive in Whaletown a shuttle service is available to Cortes Bay. The shuttle will return participants to catch the 5:50 p.m. ferry off Cortes Island that evening.

For more information or to register, call 250-935-6340 or e-mail cimas@twincomm.ca.