Christmas Cruise 2011: Jarvis Lagoon and Pipestem Inlet

Lucky Creek falls

Winter boating has its challenges, but one of the many rewards are the waterfalls. Flows that might be non-existent or just a trickle in summer gush and roar in winter. Teakearn Arm in Desolation Sound Marine Park is a good example. In the summer one waterfall tumbles lazily over the edge from Cassell Lake. In the winter, two waterfalls pour over the side, filling the basin with spray. The falls at Lucky Creek in Pipestem Inlet are no exception. Summer’s gentle flow is a deluge in the winter.

Here’s our log from Jarvis Lagoon to Pipestem Inlet, or you can display them on the live map view.

12/19/11: Jarvis Lagoon entry
The entry to Jarvis Lagoon is shallow and narrow. We entered on a 9′ tide. Depths on the way through were mostly in the 15′-20′ range, but we needed a careful bow watch to find them. Fortunately we could see a good 20′ down. One of winter boating’s many perks is clearer water for this kind of navigation.

12/19/11: Jarvis Lagoon anchorage
And this is the reward for that challenging entry–a near landlocked cove where barely a ruffle of wind disturbs the surface.

12/19/11: Jarvis Lagoon by dinghy
Out for a dinghy tour. The flotation suits are among our favourite winter boating gear. The suits are similar to ski jumpsuits, but with built-in flotation and extra insulation. We use Mustang 2175s, which are standard issue with the Coast Guard on both sides of the border. We can toss these on over light clothing, add a pair of gloves and perhaps some ear warmers and be instantly warm in the coldest weather.

12/19/11: Nettles Island
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Warden Station, all closed up for the winter.

12/20/11: Moonrise, Jarvis Lagoon
Yesterday’s heavy rain clouds are gone, and the sky now is a deep, clear blue. Environment Canada is predicting 35-45-knot winds in two days, but right now the wind is near zero.

12/20/11: Pipestem Inlet anchorage
Tucked away behind Refuge Island. Winds are predicted to blow NW 25-30 tonight, so we’ll see what we get here.

12/20/11: Lucky Creek falls
The falls at Lucky Creek gush out in the winter, compared to summer’s gentler flow.

12/20/11: Navigating Lucky Creek
We arrived at the creek on a 7′ falling tide and barely had depth to get in and out. The channel was less than 2′ deep in places, and we needed a dinghy bow watch to find a workable route.

12/20/11: Picnic lunch, Pipestem Inlet
A picnic lunch overlooking the anchorage with a view up Pipestem Inlet. With sunshine, no wind, and the temperature around 50F, we were warm enough just wearing light jackets.

12/21/11: Frost at Pipestem Inlet
Brrr. It’s 33F and frosty this morning. The winds blew NW 25-30 last night at La Perouse Bank, but we barely saw 15.


Previous log post for this trip: Seattle to Effingham Bay

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2 comments on “Christmas Cruise 2011: Jarvis Lagoon and Pipestem Inlet
  1. Good hearing from you Filo and Merry Christmas to you too.


  2. Filo says:

    Sounds like a great adventure. Stay warm – Merry Christmas

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