Skookumchuck Narrows – May 2, 2011

Monday was an adventure day. We are entertaining guests from the U.S. so we took the day to explore the Sunshine Coast. The highlight was an evening cruise with Bryce of Sunshine Coast Tours to explore Skookumchuck Narrows in Egmont BC. Bryce is an excellent tour guide who freely shares stories and information about the area. Monday was an extra large current day and we happened to find some avid kayakers taking advantage of the rapids. Even though it had been a rainy day, the skies cleared for our afternoon cruise and we had a wonderful time on the water.

I highly recommend this tour. The hike in through the forest is an easy trail through the provincial park…baby strollers are often seen…and is 45min each direction. Huge ferns and endless Douglass firs, hemlocks & pine trees line the route past Brown Lake on your way to 2 viewing points for the Sechelt Rapids. The boat trip into Skookumchuck Narrows is a special treat, especially if some in your party aren’t ready for the hike. From land, it is hard to feel the full power of the rapids. From the boat, you can hear how hard the motor runs just to keep still against the fast current.

The Sechelt Rapids are a natural phenomenon that occur at least twice each day. Tide changes move millions of liters of water from the Pacific Ocean into a narrow spot at the top of Sechelt Inlet and then back again. A shallow section of the inlet bordered by narrow granite cliffs creates either fast moving salt water rapids or amazing whirlpools depending on the direction of the current. Skookumchuck Narrows is home to the fastest tidal currents in the world.

This was an experienced group of kayakers and we enjoyed the show. Surfers are sometimes seen here, too. In between tides, this is also a wonderful place to dive. Underwater reefs and bountiful sealife make for an exciting underwater experience.

Wildlife is plentiful. We saw many types of ducks and various migrating birds on their spring travels north. Bald eagles nest high in the trees and we were happy to see one looking for its dinner.

Altogether a great day experience.