Friday, September 17, 2010

Desolation Sound

On his exploratory visit in 1792 Vancouver named the region Desolation Sound because “there was not a single prospect that was pleasing to the eye”. Present day cruisers would certainly disagree, especially during the good weather/warm water months. We spent a mostly sunny week in the area when Mom visited in mid-September.

The plan was to revisit some of the territory we had enjoyed with our previous boats, before we began cruising in Alaska.  Desolation Sound is a popular destination and close to Campbell River, but I truly did expect to see few cruising boats in these waters after Labor Day. Wrong! we had plenty of company almost everywhere we traveled, in anchorages and on the VHF.

Enroute to Prideaux Haven we spotted a work boat with an unusual profile. What was that cargo? oysters, bags and bags of oysters, piled high and spilling over the gunwales.

 It seemed that everywhere we traveled we saw oyster farms, some large and some small, some precise and orderly

...while others were a bit more casually arranged.

Oystermen in Refuge Cove took a different approach.

Who ever thinks about oysters, pondering their strange life cycle changes or even their economic history and impact? M.F.K. Fisher's Consider the Oyster is a worthy read, but I'd rather consider their consumption. Ah, but that would be on the other blog. Oyster season was still closed so we didn't harvest any wild ones, but it was incredibly tempting, surrounded by miles of shoreline blanketed with layers of those succulent bivalves.   

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