After Isaac's birthday we entered Desolation Sound national park and anchored in Prideaux Haven. In June 1792, Captain Vancouver said about Desolation Sound, "This area afforded not a single prospect that was pleasing to the eye, the smallest recreation on shore, no animal nor vegetable food, excepting a very scanty proportion of those eatables already described, and of which the adjacent country was soon exhausted, after our arrival....whence the place obtained the name Desolation Sound; where our time would have passed infinitely more heavily, had it not been relieved by the agreeable society of our Spanish friends." The scenery here is absolutely stunning but I can understand Vancouver's point that the land here is difficult. I had imagined loads of hiking everywhere, but if there isn't a trail, you aren't going anywhere because the shrubbery is so thick and the slopes are extremely steep. It's forbidding country. Prideaux Haven is said to be the home of the Flea Village, which Captain Vancouver's men stumbled upon. They found an abandoned native village up on top of a cliff accessible only by a set of stairs wide enough for one person with a huge maple tree for guards to watch over the entrance to the densely packed houses. There was a terrible stench within the village and they were soon attacked by viscious fleas forcing them to rapidly retreat to the water where they stripped naked and dove into the water, submerging their clothes thoroughly but the fleas still "leaped about frisky as ever." They drug their clothes behind the boat without any luck of evicting the vigorous pests. Only after boiling their clothes were they victorious. We hoped to look around for signs of the village but the vegetation was so dense, we quickly gave up. We did manage to get a few views over the cove, however, and we are excited to come back here when we have two kayaks so we can more easily explore the numerous islands and inlets in this anchorage.
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