History of Desolation Sound
A Spectacular Setting on the West Coast of British Columbia
Our cabin is located on West Redonda Island at the mouth of Desolation Sound, BC. Prior to the arrival of Europeans in the Discovery Islands, Desolation Sound was exclusively inhabited by wildlife and tribes of the Mainland Comox.
In 1792, both East and West Redonda Islands were sighted by Spanish explorers Galiano and Valdés and given the name Isla Redonda, meaning “round.”
Captain George Vancouver also arrived in 1792 and cooperated with Galiano and Valdes in mapping the Sound. The explorers spent several days anchored in Lewis Channel and Teakerne Arm off the west coast of West Redonda Island. From this base, both parties sent out expeditions to explore the many islands and channels in the area, sharing their findings with one another.
When first charting the Sound, Vancouver was less than impressed with the inaccessibility, remoteness, and lack of established recreation and supplies in the area, thus naming this group of islands Desolation Sound. In his log, he penned that “the resting place we then occupied afforded not a single prospect that was pleasing to the eye.”
It is this very seclusion that many people today wish to experience, and it seems almost laughable that the exceptional beauty of the Sound, with its soaring peaks rising out of deep fjords and many scenic inlets, islets, coves, and bays, could not be considered “pleasing to the eye.”
If only Vancouver could see these islands today! In 1973, Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park was created and continues to be popular with boaters who travel from far and wide to experience the beauty of Desolation Sound’s sunny islands, emerald waters, magnificent mountain landscapes, and quaint villages.