Prideaux Haven

By Brian Genge

One of Desolation Sound’s best-known anchorages…and a storehouse of cruising memories.

Lat/Long: 50° 8.2′ N, 124° 42.6′ W

Any list of the “Best of the West” iconic boating destinations (CYW August 2013) simply has to include Prideaux Haven. Indeed, many would consider this scenic anchorage in Desolation Sound one of the “Best in the World.”

Prideaux Haven, including Melanie and Laura Coves, is surrounded by numerous islands that create myriad bays and interconnecting coves that are a wonder to explore by small craft. Against the backdrop of the rugged BC coastal mountains, these islands provide excellent protection from the weather.   

As a boy, I cruised with my parents every July to Desolation Sound, and we always stopped in Prideaux Haven, usually for several days. I can remember at the time reading Muriel Wylie Blanchet’s The Curve of Time, and while I would envision myself alongside the other kids on the little Caprice, with all their interesting adventures, I nevertheless appreciated the relative comfort of our sailboat.

We would spend hours swimming in Prideaux Haven’s bathtub-warm salt water – back in the 1960s there would be only a very few other boats anchored nearby. I recall the kids being tasked to collect suitable material for our parents to build a small beach fire on which a just-caught salmon would be barbecued. And we would explore the remains of Phil’s and Mike’s homesteads and wonder just how they could have possibly survived in such a wilderness.

I now have the privilege of being able to anchor my own boat Papalani in Prideaux Haven some 50 years later.  The area is, thankfully, protected as a provincial marine park so it should remain unspoiled forever (notwithstanding its huge popularity in the summer months). As we enjoy the anchorage in the evening today, while fond memories of the past remain, I am also creating new memories, particularly as I introduce the area for the first time to friends and family. 

A third-generation boater on the BC coast, Brian Genge lives in Sidney and cruises local waters with his wife Cathy in his North Pacific trawler Papalani.

Tell us about your PARTICULAR HARBOUR: a favourite anchorage, cove or hideaway, a park, beach or marina, a fishing or paddling spot, a peaceful trail or a stunning viewpoint …whatever inspires you to get out boating! Tell us what it means to you and why, and we’ll help you turn it into a story. Email suggestions to

Photo: The author’s Papalani tucked away in Prideaux Haven.

CREDIT: Brian Genge

Related Articles

New Boats: Beneteau Oceanis 34.1 – A Sleek, Good -Looking Delight To Sail

By Katherine Stone

There is nothing more that I enjoy than being with friends and messing about in boats. Messing about in brand-new boats on a champagne sailing day on Lake Ontario at the beginning of the summer doesn’t get any better. To have the new owner, Helmuth Strobel and Anchor Yachts dealer Pancho Jimenez aboard made it even more special, as they can also speak to what they truly enjoy about the boat. We keep our own boat in a harbour that has a long waiting list for boats over 35 feet, so this little gem would definitely fit the bill and feels like a much bigger boat. True to the spirit of the 7th generation Oceanis line, the 34.1 is built in Poland and replaces the 35.1. It is 1,000 lbs lighter, 14 cm narrower and has 29% more sail area.

Read More


Peter Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands has Reopened

Peter Island Resort in the British Virgin Islands has opened its rebuilt and re-envisioned luxury private island in 2024 after the property closures from the Virgin Islands’ 2017 hurricane season. Peter Island Resort has been undergoing its transformation for over six years. Its evolution includes brand new and upgraded accommodations and new state-of-the-art facilities and five stellar beaches amid hundreds of acres of unspoiled tropical island.

Peter Island Yacht Club

The new Yacht Club will be a must on the itineraries of sailors, boaters and yachtsmen with a marina that can accommodate a range of vessels from power boats, sailboats and catamarans, to super yachts of up to 200 feet. Located in Sprat Bay harbor, the Yacht Club will be its own destination with a dedicated swimming pool for Yacht Club guests, Drunken Pelican restaurant and bar, a commissary, Sea Chest Boutique and a sports recreation area with pickleball, basketball and bocce ball courts and a lawn-games area. To protect the coral reef and marine life surrounding the island, moorings will be located in White Bay, Sprat Bay, Deadman’s Bay…

Read More