Cruising in Toba Inlet
Toba Inlet borders the northern edge of the Desolation Sound cruising area. It was first explored by Don Valdes on June 27, 1792. It was named "Toba" by Valdes after Antonio Toba Arredondo, one of the officers of the Malaspina expedition. Toba Inlet was described by Menzies the same way we describe it today, "On each side were high steep mountains covered towards their summits with snow which was now dissolving and producing a number of wild torrents and beautiful cascades." ~ Archibald Menzies June 1792.
Unfortunately, there are no safe anchorages in Toba Inlet. Even Brem Bay offers only a temporary day anchorage due to strong catabatic winds that often occur during the summer months and poor holding ground at the edge of the estuary.
The head of the Inlet is very impressive looking into a valley backed by forests and high peaks. In 1911 this valley was settled by over 30 families with the hope that it would be very productive, as well as peaceful and beautiful. But isolation, loneliness and lack of nearby markets gradually defeated the homesteaders. Today the valley is home to a staging ground for the new hydro electric plant located further up the river. Ah, progress.
The best spot to view and explore Toba Inlet is from behind Double Island on the Pryce Channel side of the mouth of Toba. There, you can tie up safely at the Toba Wildernest docks. This way you can have the whole day to travel as far up the Inlet as you want, and then scoot back out to tie up at Wildernest or anchor at Walsh Cove.