Adventures in Solitude: Paddling In Desolation Sound

Back at the end of September I was fortunate enough to paddle about in Desolation Sound.  A portion of the title for this post is stolen from Grant Lawrence’s book “Adventures in Solitude.”  Which, I had the pleasure of reading while fully immersed in the sound.

We caught the ferry from Comox to Powell River bright and early, then drove north to the end of the road in Lund.  There we unpacked our cars and loaded up our boats. One canoe, one kayak, three ladies, and a dog. Plus, a cooler full of deliciously prepared food by the talented Bethany Jane and ample wine and whiskey to keep us warm.

Or first day out took us to the north end of the Copeland Islands.  It was a little grey and damp, but that didn’t stop of from taking our first of many dips in the ocean.


We entered through the gap at high tide and when we awoke the next morning our passage out was gone.  Not to worry, we had nowhere to be, so we waited. And, like it always does the tide came in.


We set off on our way to our destination, the Curme Islands.


Upon our arrival we paddled in and out and all around the islands.  We were in luck, we had the islands all to ourselves.  We chose the south island, with a great space for Benny to set up her kitchen and benches to sit and watch the seals go by.


We set up our tents, and as the sun set and the sky got dark it started to rain.  To our amazement the ocean before us began to sparkle as the rain hit the water and illuminated the phosphorescence.


The next morning the skies started to clear again and we set off on what we thought would be a quick exploration.



Five hours later, we returned to our little island paradise and the sun was out in full force.  The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing about on the hot rocks with intermittent dips in the ocean.


And on this night, the stars were out!


The sun greeted us the next morning, one last breathe of summer.  I escaped to the far side of our island for a solo Saturday morning yoga session.  Probably my favourite place to put my yoga “matt” to date.


The rest of the morning was spent enjoying the sun and the sea.


At the last possible moment we packed our boats and started the paddle out.


We reached the shores of Okeover with little time to spare, five more minutes and we would have been paddling with our headlamps.  In the dark we loaded up our cars and made a b-line for dinner at the Laughing Oyster.

Late September is a special time to be explore the sound.  While the ocean has cooled from its tropical temperatures, we probably only saw a couple boats a day sail by in the distance.


“Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone.” Paul Tillich

Shibori Time

This Alder shirtdress started with some very special fabric, a gift from a friend returning from Bali.  Completely out of his element, browsing bolts of fabric, and asking for advice in broken English he found this gorgeous natural linen (and some stunning silk chiffon lace.)  After much deliberation and a Pinterest board for inspiration I decided it was a great opportunity to take a crack at indigo dyeing using a natural indigo dye kit that I bought earlier this year.


My original intention was to dip dye an already stitched up Alder dress for an ombre effect.  The pattern was a dream to sew, with a sew-along to guide you through any tricky steps.  It was my first attempt sewing a collar and I think I have finally gotten the hang of creating the correct size button holes for my buttons.  Once sewn, I made a last minute decision to give shibori dyeing a try instead of dip dyeing.  Linen is known to wrinkle and the effect of shibori hides these wrinkles well.


I have to say, this is one of my favourite makes in a while.  Here is a closer look at the shibori effect.


Elisalex on the Shore


Tonight, another By Hand London dress.  This evening I went on a quick hike down to the ocean for a swim with my friend Benny.  Who, by the way has the most delicious food blog.  After the swim I threw on my dress and we managed to get a few shots.  The pattern is the Elisalex dress, I altered it slightly, using the original bodice pieces and opting for a gathered skirt instead.

I bought this fabric earlier this spring from Gala Fabrics here in Victoria.  I loved the print of this stretch cotton sateen immediately.  I originally planned to sew it up into a floral bomber with Papercut Patterns Rigel Bomber.  But, the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I just wasn’t going to wear a floral bomber jacket.  Instead, I went with yet another dress!