Cruising Southeast Alaska - 2009

By Linda Lewis


4. Ocean Falls, British Columbia and a nice “Surprise”


Salieri said to Mozart: “…too many notes, too many notes”. And David said to Linda: “…too many words, too many words”. I believe that certain readers among you appreciate getting the details on something like the Devil’s antics in Queen Charlotte Sound so I gave you a blow by blow in the last entry. But OK – David definitely has a point.

This installment of the 2009 photo/blog is mostly photos - of a lovely place in British Columbia called Ocean Falls. It’s a bit off the beaten track so you have to make a special (short) side trip to get there.

This is the nice open entrance, with the side-tie docks at the left.

You can wave to the greeting mermaid.

Then just pick any spot – watch the out-flow current from the falls and tie up. There is 30 amp power, water, and you pay on the honor system.

Looking the other way, towards the town you can just catch the nice surprise we had in Ocean Falls. The vessel you see on the far right is the M/V Surprise, operated by Bob and Marilyn Hale.

Bob and Marilyn write and publish the much-loved and widely-used recreational boaters’ guide: Waggoner Cruising Guide.

They update the guide yearly, with coverage that starts in the Seattle area and spans British Columbia’s waters all the way up to Prince Rupert. They cruise BC every summer to update and collect new information and we felt fortunate to cross wakes with them at OceanFalls. Their website is also a great resource for cruisers:

Once you leave the dock, you feel as though you have fallen into a ghost novel. The four of us decided to explore this nearly deserted historic town again even though we had all been here before. It is still home to a hydroelectric dam that powers Shearwater and Bella Bella and several dozen seasonal residents. There is a certain grim fascination in trying to recreate lives and stories from broken boards, peeled paint, and 6-inch thick moss on the roof. New roofing insulation anyone?

We always knew where to head because of the helpful signs.

Bob and Marilyn especially like the dilapidated “Ocean Falls Fire Department”.

Dave likes the fire station too, but he likes the big logs even better.

In years past Bob has been able to use the road across the falls to get a nice picture for his cruising guide. Not so this year. The road is gone. So he may have to settle for a picture from this side instead.

Those falls are wonderful to gaze at. Either straight on….

Or looking down…

David and I have so few opportunities to have our picture taken together that we leaped at the offer by the Hales to get our picture in front of the falls.

We decided to forgo a doubles match at this tennis court.

Sixty years ago big bands played in the ballroom of this now deserted hotel. The decline in the timber industry led to the demise of Ocean Falls.

The simplest things seem to leap out at me. I loved this red anchor. It’s the only red anchor I have ever seen.

David is a wonderful photographer and likes flowers. Here’s a sample of his nice work.

So now you have a taste of the chimerical Ocean Falls.




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