Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Favorite Anchorages - Cordero Islands Cove

One of my favorite anchorages north of Desolation Sound is "Cordero Islands Cove."  I don't believe this is the established name, because on the charts the small cove is unnamed, but it's what I call this little gem of an anchorage.  It's kind of like anchoring near a river; in the early morning or late evening when things begin to quiet down you can hear the nearby Greene Point Rapids.
Not to be used for navigation

There's good holding of grey clay/thick mud and kelp.  I've never had any challenges here with setting an anchor.  The current does move through the cove and will help you keep your anchor set.  It's well sheltered from the westerly winds that blow down Chancellor Channel.  You'll get enough of a breeze to cool you down on hot days when it's blowing a gale in Johnstone Strait.  Once we waited here a couple of days to avoid a big blow in Johnstone Strait.  The cove is also sheltered from the wakes of the many passing boats that travel by in Cordero channel.  At times I've seen as many as six boats anchored here and maybe that's getting close to the limit.  It's not a big anchorage.  You'll want to anchor early in the afternoon before the anchorage fills up.  Anchoring depths vary from 60' to 30' at high tide.  There's only one way to enter the cove and that is between the two larger islands east of Greene Point Rapids marked "59" and "37" on the chart.  There is some kelp in the entrance and you'll want to stay west of that.  Do not try to enter from the eastern end of the cove as there are a lot of rocks and shoals.

Blind Channel Marina is about 2 nm south of the anchorage and Cordero Lodge is about 2 nm east.  Both are easy dinghy trips, but note there are some strong currents to get to either location so I'd recommend a good reliable motor on your dinghy.  Blind Channel Marina has a full store and restaurant (you'll need to call ahead to make reservations).  You can get fresh bread, groceries, vegetables, liquor, and souvenirs at Blind Channel Marina.  You can also go on a nice hike to visit the "big cedar tree" by Blind Channel.  Or, you can enjoy a wonderful Schnitzel or other German cuisine at Cordero Lodge.  Again, call ahead for reservations.  It's also fun to explore by dinghy the many islands that are at the western end of the cove.  The island marked "37" has a nice flat, smooth beach rock at the western end of the island for sun bathing and watching boats go by.

MV Independence at anchor at Cordero Islands Cove
I've stayed here at Cordero Islands Cove both on my way going "up" the BC coast as well as when I am returning back home.  Most of the time I stay at Cordero Islands Cove as a final stop prior to going south through the Yuculta's.  The Yuculta's are about 13 nm away or about 2.5 hours for the MV Independence to plan to hit slack at Gillard Rapids in the Yuculta's.  Or, as I am going "upcoast" I can listen to the weather reports (WX 1 Comox Coast Guard Radio) about the wind speeds at Fanny Island in Johnstone Strait.  Fanny Island is about 21 nm west via either Current Passage on Johnstone Strait, or whether you go via Wellbore Channel & Sunderland Channel. I prefer staying at Cordero Islands Cove to anchoring at Forward Harbor about 14 nm miles away.

There's some salmon fishing to be had nearby Cordero Islands Cove, either down Cordero Channel or out down by Chatham Point.  I prefer to fish Cordero Channel since its more sheltered and there's not as many boats.  Unfortunately there isn't any crab to be had here because the current is so strong.  The last two times we've anchored at Cordero Islands Cove we have seen black bears on the beach at the far east end of the cove.

I hope you give Cordero Islands Cove a try sometime when you are going "up coast" or coming home, or perhaps just another anchorage as you explore the waters beyond Desolation Sound.  One of my best memories of anchoring at Cordero Islands Cove was sitting on the deck during a blustery, but beautifully sunny and warm day sipping a Canadian Caesar.  A Canadian Caesar is a truly Canadian drink.  It's a bit spicy but oh so refreshing on a hot day.  Here's the recipe.
  • 2 cups of Motts Clamato Juice (I prefer Canadian Clamato vs. US Clamato - there is a difference)
  • 1/2 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/8 tsp (or a few shakes) of Tabasco Sauce
  • pinch of celery salt
  • 4 spears of pickled asparagus
  • 4 ounces of vodka
  • ice cubes
Mix Clamato, Worcestershire Sauce, Tabasco, and celery salt together in a pitcher. Stir to mix well. Add to each glass a one to two pickled asparagus spears, fill each glass half full with ice cubes,  and add a shot or two of vodka.  Pour prepared Clamato juice over ice in glass.  Serve with a wedge of a lime.  Enjoy.

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