Geography and Sentiment
Prideaux Haven, 7 July
Desolation Sound is the Ritz Plaza of Pacific Northwest crusing destinations. It’s drop dead scenic, with big peaks rising straight up on three sides, and a cluster of rocky inlets for anchorage. Plus, the water is warm here, even swimmable. On a clear day its lovely.
Obviously, Captain Vancouver’s crew saw it during a spell of bad weather, when the peaks were hidden in cloud, or appeared like giant rock walls, shutting off any possibility of the sought-after Northwest Passage. They named hundreds of places in these waters, and their emotional state seldom entered into the process. The exceptions are telling: there is Mistaken Island and Useless Inlet and the awesome Deception Pass. Misery Bay speaks for itself, as do Resolution Cove and Point Defiance. When feeling tentative, they named Beware Cove and Caution Cove. When less ambivalent, Grief Point and Fury Island. My all time favorite might have named for purely geographic reasons, but I can’t help but attribute an emotional twist to Point No Point.