Desolation Sound

Feature Type:Sound (1) - Large body of water from which two or more inlets, arms or channels branch off.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Between Cortes & West Redonda Islands, and Gifford & Malaspina Peninsulas, NE of Campell River (city), New Westminster Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 50°07'20''N, 124°45'30''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92K/2

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 31 December 1945 on C.3591, as identified on Vancouver's charts and on British Admiralty Charts. Application adjusted 4 December 1958 on C.3563, to incorporate Hydrographic Service advice about the extent of the feature.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Desolation Sound is entered from the Strait of Georgia, between Mary Point and Sarah Point; Junction Point on Cortes Island is the northern limit; the northeast limit is between Marlybone Point and Horace Head; the eastern limit is from Horace Head south through Melville Island to Otter Island (October 1958 advice from Hydrographic Service, file D.2.44)

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"Named in 1792 by Captain Vancouver on account of the gloomy appearance of the surrounding country. The following taken from his journal will give Vancouver's impressions of the place where his vessels were at anchor while his boats were examined in the vicinity, June 1792: 'Our residence here was truly forlorn; an awful silence pervaded the gloomy forests, whilst animated nature seemed to have deserted the neighbouring country, whose soil afforded only a few small onions, some samphire and here and there bushes bearing a scanty crop of indifferent berries. Nor was the sea more favourable to our wants, the steep rocky shores prevented the use of the seine, and not a fish at the bottom could be tempted to take the hook.' (Vancouver's Voyage, 8th ed, Vol II, p.226)."

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office