Plunging from the sky to the sea, the Coast Mountains of British Columbia enveloped us as we sailed up Tribune Channel on a gentle westerly towards Watson Cove and Kwatsi Bay. Waterfalls tumbled over rock faces high above, cascading towards the thick, green forests and clear sea below.
Cell service had long since faded in our wake and with the sun breaking through the clouds, it seemed yet another weekend of grand adventure was upon us.
When we nosed Yahtzee’s bow through the narrow entrance to Watson Cove on Friday afternoon, the sound of a waterfall could be heard over the engine and cliffs rose dramatically skyward on either side. Our mast seemed minuscule in the grand playground before us and with much to explore, play we did.
A Natural Playground
Being the lone boat in tiny Watson Cove, we whooped and hollered while setting the hook and laughed at the ridiculous beauty of the natural playground before us. As with many places we venture to, there was no play equipment here. No artificial climbing wall, monkey bars, slides or pavement. Just the adventurous jungle gym provided by nature. It couldn’t get much better.
Once settled in the cove, Porter donned his wetsuit and swam laps around the boat as I fished from the kayak nearby and paddled around him. The boys played with buckets of water on the foredeck while we basked in the sun, and after dinner, Porter and I went ashore to find the nearby waterfall that provided the soundtrack to our evening.
The next morning we all went ashore to explore the impressively monstrous forest and to find a giant tree that was said to grow near the cove’s rocky shore. With no boardwalk or groomed path to follow, we set out pushing past ferns, stepping over roots, tromping through mud and climbing rocks. Before us, the massive cedar soon came into view and we stood in awe of its presence. I’m not sure how big around it was, but it commanded respect and got it.
From Watson Cove we sailed just 3 miles up Tribune Channel to Kwatsi Bay and were greeted by a large pod of dolphins just before entering the inner cove. With the anchor down and both boats launched in our newest playground, we set off for shore to find yet another trail and waterfall.
A buoy hanging in a tree marked the entrance to find the falls and we beached the boats and made for the trail. At the foot of the falls were large green rocks and small pools perfect for wading and splashing in. Porter made a slide out of one particularly slippery slope and they both climbed around the lower falls like they’d been there before.
Back on the boat in the late afternoon, Porter was in and out of the water again and I set up Hornpipe’s sailing rig so we could use the last of the day’s breeze for a relaxing sail around the bay.
Then, with the boys tucked into bed, Jill and I sat in the cockpit as the sun dipped behind the mountains. We reflected on all the sailing, hiking, climbing, beach-combing and exploring we’d done in these beautiful places and concluded that life was indeed quite good.
One Sweet World
Spending time so thoroughly immersed in the natural world around us is one of the things that we love most about cruising — especially here in the stunning wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. And it is immensely gratifying to see it loved so much by the boys. With the long days of summer upon us, they want to be outside as much as possible, and though the sunny days are helpful, they don’t mind much if it’s rainy or windy.
In a world increasingly wrought with artificial noise, visual distraction and a constant rush to get from one place to the next, spending time in these natural playgrounds provides us with a reminder to slow down and soak it all in. That fun can be found in many forms, which is what spurns on a sense of adventure between us that seems to only be growing as we keep going.
For the boys, I hope this love of adventure and wonderment never stops because it sure hasn’t for Jill and me. And as they’re finding out, the world is a big beautiful playground that is always open and ready to inspire. They just have to go get it.