I never thought I'd leave my hometown in the UK.
If you sail into British Columbia’s Desolation Sound Marine Park on a slightly smoky afternoon, as I did recently (there were still more than 900 wildfires burning across Canada), make sure you watch out for the huge tides and the weather. B.C.’s largest marine park might have the warmest water north of Baja, but here nature still rules.
As if I needed a reminder, an hour after we’d anchored, a large seal slapped its tail alongside our boat, sending a shower of saltwater down through the hatches onto my laptop. The next morning, a mass of kelp morphed into a gigantic humpback, who exhaled spectacularly foul breath. Rafts of sea otters floated past, warming their toes in the sun.
I’ve spent months exploring B.C.’s coast with my husband aboard our sailboat Heron, and even wrote a book, Uncharted, about our adventures (and misadventures). Of all the remote, watery places we return to each year, Desolation is the most dramatic.
Recently, there has been an astonishing resurgence of life in Desolation’s Salish Sea—more humpbacks feeding, dolphins leaping, and masses of seabirds. Mountain peaks loom over forested fjords where environmental laws have noticeably led to cleaner water and, after decades, more abundant wildlife.
The Pacific Northwest boating set flocks to Desolation’s granite-cliffed coves in summer, but fall is our favorite time. Salmon return to spawn, and the air turns crisp. Here’s what to know and how best to experience the quieter off-season.
Desolation emerges from the northern end of the Salish Sea just 90 miles north of Vancouver. Since the nearest road is 20 miles south, where the Pan American Highway ends in the tiny fishing village of Lund, the marine park is only accessible by boat or floatplane. Most boaters migrate south after Labor Day, and nature reclaims itself as migrating birds arrive, blanketing the sea. In the off-season, Desolation Sound’s thick forest of cedar, fir, and honey-barked madrone feels once again like the traditional territory of four First Nations, which it’s been for thousands of years.
The real secret of Desolation, says Captain Colin Griffinson, owner-operator of classic 1943 expedition yacht Pacific Yellowfin, is to come in the quiet months if you want to see wilderness and wildlife. “My ideal times are September into October, and May through early July. We have one of the biggest bald eagle shows in the world then and nobody knows about it.”
“At low tide, a beach in Desolation Sound is full of food,” he continues. “Because of the temperature of the water, mussels, mollusks, and oysters thrive. This place was a huge food source for Indigenous people for 10 thousand years. The bears know all about it, too.”
(Explore the Oregon coast—but don’t touch the
I never thought I'd leave my hometown in the UK.
Air Canada took one of its pilots "out of service" on Monday after discovering his "unacceptable" social media posts condemning Israel, CTV News reported.
Modern travel is full of conveniences. Global air hubs connect travelers to faraway places in a matter of hours. But with all these modern comforts, it’s easy to pass right by the things that make the actual travel part of the journey worthwhile. Vacation by Rail’s Winter Magic trip, on board VIA Rail’s Vancouver to Jasper train, is the ultimate way to take in Canada’s winter wilderness the slow, nostalgic way. Views of towering mountain peaks and river-carved valleys combined with a memorable onboard experience sure beats cramming into an airplane seat in economy.
Bacalar has a seven-tone lagoon of blue that is one of the most extraordinary places to practice snorkeling and scuba diving. (Photo Credit: Ministry of Tourism of Mexico, Sectur)
Longer vacations are trending within the travel industry, not only offering your clients unforgettable getaways to their dream destinations, but also presenting you with an opportunity to increase your commissions. In response to increasing consumer demand for longer vacations, AmaWaterways has introduced a collection of specially curated 14-night Grand River Cruises.
Lush with hardwood forests that turn a rainbow of colors in spring and fall, splashed wildflowers and striped with autumn leaves, Vermont is made for hikers.
Have you ever wanted to see some of the most remote and gorgeous parts of the Canadian Rocky Mountains but have no desire to set off into the wilderness? If, like me, you feel that luxury travel is more like your idea of a good time, consider the Rocky Mountaineer’s grand vacation experience. You get to relax and enjoy luxury train travel and delectable dining all while seeing some of the most awe-inspiring sights in the world.
As a flock of noisy jet skiers circle the Statue of Liberty on a warm October evening, Matthew Rhys looks out at the horizon. “There’s a Welsh word, hiraeth, which is loosely translated to ‘a longing for home,’" he says. “But it's something slightly more than that. It's a longing for something that can never be again.”
For 31 years, Catherine King and her husband Wayne Adams lived side by side on a floating island in Canada they built with their own hands.
This series of articles about credit cards, points and miles, and budgeting for travel is brought to you in partnership with The Points Guy.
As another crazy summer of travel to Europe came to a close, Americans once again put their seemingly insatiable appetite for Europe travel on full display this year. Heading into the busy holiday season, airlines and airports in Europe are still struggling with staffing shortages and on-and-off-again worker strikes, meaning that lines and wait times at Europe’s airports will likely continue to be pretty long well into the holidays and beyond.
The U.S. travel industry shouldn’t get its hopes up that the newly created assistant secretary of travel and tourism position will make the U.S. more globally competitive, said U.S. Travel CEO and President Geoff Freeman at the Skift Global Forum.