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Hague Point Lagoon
At the southern end of Laredo Channel, several bays and waterways indent the shoreline along Princess Royal Island. Some appear on the chart as possible anchorages, but most feel open and exposed. Hague Point Lagoon is a notable exception. The almost land-locked basin has a somewhat tricky entrance, but inside is sheltered anchorage with room for several boats, and a hike with spectacular views.
We first visited early one sunny, warm July morning. We were mostly exploring, and not planning to stop. The chart detail is poor for most of the Outside Passage, so we kept a good bow watch on approach.
A narrow neck, with reefs on both sides, blocks entry into the basin. The channel appeared almost impassible through binoculars, but looked a little better close up. We’d arrived at a good time tide-wise, as we could see the hazards on both sides. Entry required care, but was not too challenging.
The basin inside was calm and beautiful. It was so appealing that, even though it was 8am and ridiculously early, we decided to anchor there for the night. We found a nice spot tucked in the southern end and set off to tour the area in the dinghy.
The topographic map showed a series of rapids that drained a chain of lakes into the head of the basin directly to the north. Although reaching the other rapids looked difficult, the ones we could see from the water were active and impressive. Were our freshwater tanks not already topped off from creek water at the previous night’s anchorage, this would be a good place to fill our buckets.
Farther east, Trahey Inlet appeared a possible anchorage on the chart, but it and the arm to the east felt too open and exposed. A large grassy meadow at the head of Trahey Inlet looked like a good place to spot a Kermode bear. It was too difficult, however, to reach through the mud flat at low tide. We landed instead east of two islets at the head, hoping to reach the meadow from there, but couldn’t find an obvious route. The narrow slot there was a appealing as an anchorage, but it was shallow and would require a stern anchor or tie.
Since we’d first arrived, we’d been eying the bare hills above our anchorage. It was such a clear day that if we could get up there, we’d likely get some impressive views north into the basin and possibly south across Laredo Sound. After the dinghy tour and some lunch, we set off to find out.
The climb was steep, but the woods weren’t very thick, and we reached the top in about 15 minutes. The view was even better than we’d hoped for. To the north, our anchored boat was visible in the basin, with the mountains on Princess Royal Island in the background. And over the hill we had clear views southwest across Laredo Channel to Aristazabal Island and south across Laredo Sound to Swindle Island. The only downside was the hungry bugs—we were thankful we had bug repellent.
Entry, anchoring and other notes:
Approach from 52°40.02'N/128°51.03'W on Chart 3737. Hague Point Lagoon is the Douglasses’ name for the unnamed cove directly west of Hague Point.
Favor the north shore until the channel narrows at the neck. Reefs extend from south shore at the entrance. Just inside the neck, turn diagonally to port to favor the south shore. A series of rocks, most underwater, extend along the north shore. As you exit the neck, turn diagonally to starboard and take the north one-third line to avoid large rocks off the south shore. Center up as the channel widens. Anchor anywhere inside in 6-8 fathoms, moderate holding in soft mud.
The channel through the neck is about 50 feet wide with a least depth of 4 feet. The rocks on either side are awash at just over 12 feet. Entering on an 8-12-foot tide makes navigation a little easier, as the hazards are more obvious.
To reach the bare hilltops, we landed the dinghy at the southwest corner of the basin and worked southwest to the large oval-shaped bluff shown on topographic map 103 A/10.
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Copyright 2017 Jennifer and James Hamilton