Anacortes Jump To Desolation Sound

Anacortes Jump To Desolation Sound

Desolation Sound 5 Day - Anacortes to Desolation Trip

Itinerary Description:

Embark on an unforgettable 5-day trip from the Port of Anacortes Fuel Dock, and explore the stunning Desolation Sound, stopping at False Creek Fisherman's Wharf and Granville Island Market in Vancouver BC along the way. With a total distance of about 130 nautical miles, you'll need to prepare by downloading apps for Canadian and US customs, bookmarking useful websites, and bringing enough anchor gear for the beautiful anchorages you'll encounter. Highlights of the trip include visiting Princess Louisa Inlet, Chatterbox Falls, and Tenedos Bay, where you can swim, kayak, fish, and take in the breathtaking scenery. Don't miss out on this incredible opportunity to discover the natural beauty of Desolation Sound!


Guide Contact Info

Contact: J. Scott


 (818) 599-4605



General Information

Starting Point: Port of Anacortes Fuel Dock

First Stop: Canada Border Services Agency - False Creek Fisherman's Wharf

Second Stop: Granville Island Market, Vancouver BC.

Total Distance: 2.5 hours from Tacoma & 1 hour from Seattle

Advance Prep: 

  1. Download and install the ArriveCAN app on your smartphone. You will need to use this app to clear into Canada when you reach False Creek Fisherman’s Wharf. Complete the download at home before you leave. You will not be able to count on high-speed internet in Canada.

  2. Download and install the CBP ROAM app on your smartphone. You will need this app to clear back into the United States.

  3. Bookmark the following links on your phone's browser:
4. Internet: The Internet in Canada is slow and unreliable, and there is no service in most of Desolation Sound. If you need internet, we recommend Starlink for RV. We could stream and video conference in the most remote parts of Desolation. The best part of Starlink for RV is that you can suspend the monthly service fee when you aren’t using it.

5. Anchor Gear: Visiting the most beautiful parts of Desolation Sound will require you to anchor. We always recommend carrying 400’ of Anchor Rode (Rope-Chain), and a stern wheel with at least 400’ (Floating Line). Several of the Anchorages are pretty small, so bow and stern tying is recommended. Here is a quick guide for setting up your anchoring gear.

6. ***NOTE: DO NOT bring cannabis, drugs of any kind, firearms, firearm accessories, or ammunition into Canada. Even though cannabis is legal in Canada, it’s not legal to bring it in from the USA. This is not worth the risk, you will go to jail. 

Key Locations Map:

Google Maps Link


Specific Itinerary Legs:

Day 1: Embark from Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes.

Day one is going to be a long day because you will need to clear into Canada, and we never know how smoothly this will go. So, we recommend staying the night before in Cap Sante Marina in Anacortes. The fuel in Canada is significantly more expensive than in the USA, so fill your tanks at the fuel dock in Anacortes when you arrive; they have the best fuel prices in Puget Sound. Safeway, Sebo’s Hardware, and West Marine are all a 5-minute walk from the marina, and there are plenty of good local restaurants a short walk away.

We will head out as early as possible to avoid the afternoon wind. Otherwise, you will end up bashing your way to Vancouver. Most people take the long route through the Canadian Gulf Islands to avoid the NW wind, but straight to Vancouver is the fastest way into Canada and Desolation Sound, and there is no place like Granville Island Market! We cruise at about 28kts, so our travel time in good weather is 2.5 hours. We recommend you plan to leave early enough to arrive before lunch. 

Set your navigation to Canada Customs Dock False Creek. When you arrive at the dock make sure all passengers stay on your vessel. Use the ArriveCAN app on your smartphone to report your arrival. You will need passports, and, if you have them, trusted traveler program cards. The app will have you take a picture of each for submission. Once you submit your arrival paperwork via the ArriveCAN app, you will phone customs at 1-888-226-7277 to report your arrival. You can find all of the do’s and don’ts on Canadian Customs Clearance here.

Once cleared they will give you a clearance number to write down and put in your window for the duration of your stay in Canada, we usually put it on the backside of a sticky note. Keep this until you clear back into the USA. We have been asked by US Customs for it a few times.

Now it’s time to take a trip to the Granville Island Market. There is a public dock here that was big enough for our Sargo 31. It’s free to tie up for a few hours, but you would have to pay to stay all night. If the dock is too busy, there are two other places we recommend. 

False Creek Yacht Club is right across the channel and free to spend the night if they reciprocate with your yacht club. There is a marina office on the long dock under the bridge. If you arrive after hours, make sure to call the phone number on the office door. The dock master get’s cranky if the marina patrons call and wake him up in the middle of the night because a strange boat is tied up.

Here is a good spot if you would rather anchor for the night. Once you’re settled, you can dinghy over to the market, stock up on gourmet food and wine for the rest of your trip, and take the night off from cooking. There are several great dining opportunities on the Island. 

***Local Knowledge: The locals DO NOT swim in False Creek. It’s fooshy…


Day 2 & 3: Time to head for the gem of the sunshine coast, Princess Louisa Inlet, and Chatterbox Falls.

It takes us about 3 hours in good weather at 28kts to arrive at the Malibu Rapids that guard the mouth of the inlet. Depending on your skill level and the speed of your boat, we have two recommendations for navigating the rapids. If you have a fast boat and a very skilled skipper, you can run the rapids at high speed almost anytime. If the latter isn’t you, it’s best to wait for slack tide to run the rapids. You will want to check the tide table the night before and plan your departure to arrive at and transit the rapids at slack tide. We use the tide station at Blind Bay when advising on trips to Princess Louisa.

Once you are through the rapids head all the way to the back of the inlet and get rewarded for your courage with the sight of Chatterbox Falls. There are two ways to anchor here, head bow into the falls as close as you can get without running aground, then drop anchor and drift back until it sets. The flow from the falls should keep your bow facing them. 

If the thought of almost putting your boat aground makes you want to bite your nails, you can hit the dock or pick up a buoy for the night if there is space, or bow anchor and stern tie to anchors in the cliffs or to a strong tree trunk. 

Now pour a drink and relax, you are in paradise!



Day4: Gorge Harbour Marina Resort

Prepare to immerse yourself in the enchanting beauty of Gorge Harbour, situated on the eastern side of Cortes Island. As you sail into the mystical inlet, which is just 250 feet wide, you will find a boater's paradise with excellent anchorage and moorage for vessels of all sizes. It's no wonder why boating enthusiasts from around the world flock to this serene destination.

Surrounded by forested hillsides and rugged shoreline, the harbor provides a picturesque backdrop for your adventure. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, kayaking, or paddleboarding, and the surrounding islands and islets offer endless opportunities for exploration. Take a hike on the winding trails, where stunning views of the surrounding islands and waterways await, and keep an eye out for the abundant wildlife, including whales, dolphins, sea lions, and eagles.

After docking at Gorge Harbour Marina Resort, take the time to enjoy all of the amenities it has to offer. Swim in the pool, do your laundry, provision, fill your fresh water tanks, join the Next Jump Outfitters crew to harvest some oysters, and take a night off from cooking. Make sure to make reservations at the popular on-site restaurant, which boasts delicious cuisine, well in advance. Let the magic of Gorge Harbour Marina Resort captivate you, as you embark on an unforgettable journey into Cortes Island's mystical beauty.

Day 5: Tenados Bay Anchorage

We will start the day at Mansions Landing Provincial Park to harvest Little Neck Clams for dinner the following night. As the sun rises over the calm waters of the bay, armed with a rake and bucket, you wade out into the shallow waters, feeling the soft mud squish between your toes. It's a unique and rewarding experience that allows you to connect with the natural beauty and bounty of the sea. 

Once harvested, the clams need to sit in a bucket of cold, clean sea water for 24 hours to purge sand before eating. We will fill our buckets with clams and sea water then head for Tenedos Bay. Once in Tenedos, it's best to refresh the water in the bucket every few hours. 

Tenedos Bay, situated on the east side of Quadra Island, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Accessible only by boat, this secluded cove boasts crystal-clear waters, sandy beaches, and lush forested hillsides. The sheltered bay is perfect for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding, while the surrounding cliffs offer an adventurous opportunity for cliff jumping into the refreshing waters.

Once anchored we will lead a side trip to Unwin Lake, located in the heart of Quadra Island. Unwin Lake is a popular destination for thrill-seekers looking for an adrenaline rush. The lake is surrounded by towering cliffs, providing a breathtaking backdrop for cliff jumping. With jump heights ranging from 10 to 60 feet, there's a jump for everyone, whether you're a seasoned pro or a first-timer. And if cliff jumping isn't your thing, the calm waters of the lake are perfect for a relaxing swim or a paddle around the perimeter.

Together, Tenedos Bay and Unwin Lake offer a unique and exhilarating adventure for visitors to Quadra Island. Whether you're looking for a peaceful day on the water or an adrenaline-pumping cliff jumping experience, these destinations are a must-see for any adventurous traveler. So grab your gear and get ready for an unforgettable journey into the heart of Quadra Island's stunning wilderness.


Day 6: Go where the wind takes you or head to Cambell River, fuel up and head home.

Your on your own to get back to Anacortes. Hopefully, this is enough to get you into British Columbia and comfortable exploring on your own. With a little curiosity and time, you will inevitably find a ton more beautiful and remote locations. If you do find something Jump-worthy, please let us know. We will check it out on the next trip and then add it to the itinerary for others to enjoy! I hope you, like us, are looking forward to your Next Jump!


Call us @ 253-301-0028

Or email:



RSVP on Northwest Overland

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.