Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rushing Waters, High Tides, Big Tails

Before boarding yet another ferry at Earls Cove, the extreme tides in the Skookumchuck Narrows presented a detour worth taking.  The narrows is a narrow passage that all the tidal waters must flow through on its way to fill and empty the vast Sechelt Inlet.  The tides rush by a point of land in the Provincial Park, making navigation very dangerous for large watercraft, but a well know play spot for kayakers.  It’s close to an hour hike down to the narrows from the parking lot, and there are usually lots of spectators and kayakers when the tides are running high.


Most boaters carry their boats just ‘upstream’ of the drop, then float backwards into the wave, before spending a few seconds to several minutes surfing the wave and performing a variety of wild manoeuvres.  Some get swept back into the waves behind, and some boats flip!  Although all kayakers at this level are experts at rolling upright again, a few got swept a long ways and had to roll 4-5 times before staying upright and fighting the current back to shore.

(When I was kayaking way back when, I could roll upright without even a paddle – with one hand!  But that was also in a warm swimming pool Winking smile)


Finally, after several hours of watching the action, the tides were slowing down and the sun was starting to set, so it was time to move on and find a camp spot.

Next morning, we boarded the Ferry at Earls Cove and took the short ride to Saltery Bay, further up the coast.


Hailey wanted to get out and stretch her legs, and I wanted to give any of the ferry traffic a chance to dissipate, so once on dry land again, we pulled off the road in Saltery Bay Provincial Park.


After wandering around for a bit we noticed some more action going on – on and under the water offshore!


Apparently, some Humpback whales were putting on a watery show as well!


Apologies to those with bandwidth limitations – I’m one of you, but some pics just have to be posted.

Coming soon – underwater pink salmon spawning photos, and perhaps video!  We’re now on a slow migration southward on Vancouver Island, before eventually heading home to Alberta.  There, we’ll swap camping rigs and decide when to head south!  See ya on the road.

Thanks to Tim Horton’s restaurants for providing free high speed internet!


  1. Enjoy your trip down the Island. Those are great whale pictures, lucky you to be in the right spot.

  2. Fun photos. I enjoyed seeing this part of your trip. Thanks