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Robin & Jim


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Posted By Robin & Jim

We crossed the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver Island (where the city of Vancouver is NOT) over to the mainland (where Vancouver IS) to explore British Columbia's Sunshine Coast and Desolation Sound.  About 50 miles NW of Vancouver (the city, not the island) is one of the areas where a narrow cut causes violent rapids and whirlpools to form when the tidal current is at its strongest.  Friends recommended a little marina where we could tie up and hike to an overlook to watch Skookumchuck Rapids (aka "the Skook"). 

But first, we had to head north up Agamemnon Channel towards the area where the Skook occurs, and turning the corner into the channel was just breathtaking.  And of course a bald eagle flew across our path, just to add to the dramatic view.

agamemnon channel

We were heading into fjord country - with mountains growing steeper the farther we headed north, and water hundreds of feet deep right at the shoreline.  We even had a little problem with our GPS units for a few minutes where they couldn't see the satellites - they must have been lower than the mountains for a short time. 

We were able to link back up with our new friends Linda and Ed on their sailboat ONE FINE DAY (great name) in the town of Egmont, and we all trooped up the hill and through the woods to the overlook for the rapids near the time of maximum ebb current.  WOW!

skook ebb

Pictures just don't do justice to the roaring, rushing water that was moving at speeds up to 16 knots.  Yet this rapids is as placid as a mill pond at slack current, and boats like ours can make the passage through it easily - though the window for slack is about 15-20 minutes.  Scary!

We made arrangements to take a fast tour boat through the rapids at maximum flood later in the day - just to experience it for ourselves.  On the flood tide the current produces huge standing waves (12-15' tall) and the local white water kayakers take turns paddling into those monsters and doing spin tricks.  Amazing.

skook paddler

It was a high-octane ride in the rapids - thank goodness the small boat we were on had lots of power and a reliable engine!  Rapids are not unusual up in this region, and you just have to pay attention to what the cruising guides recommend and double-check your current and tide tables. 

We have been having a ball with our new Canadian friends, and we hope to link up with them again later in the summer.

linda and ed

We enjoyed some nice cold beer watching the mountains change from golden-green to deep blue and purple as the sun set.  In the morning this was our view, with ONE FINE DAY just a white speck as we headed to our next destination: Princess Louisa Inlet.

leaving back eddy marina

2 Comment(s):
Mar y & Bill said...
Robin & Jim, Your pictures are fantastic! The first mountain one in this posting reminds us of similar sights we saw when we were camping in the Northwest. It seems like there are an unending number of mountain ranges and their colors and shapes are so artistic and somewhat monochromatic. An artist couldn't begin to render such a spectacular sight! We love hearing about your adventures! Thanks!
July 21, 2013 10:12 PM
Dick and Elle said...
Okay, next suggestion,, video clips to give us this whole HD effect! Yes??? We can keep you busy and enjoy the fruits of your labors?? Perhaps??:)
July 18, 2013 5:22 PM
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