Saturday, 12 July 2014

Strong Waters @ Skookumchuck Narrows

Good luck pronouncing that if you've never heard it pronounced ;-)  The name originates in the Chinook language and means 'strong water'.  The reason for its strength is the fact that the whole tide water supply of Sechelt Inlet has to flow in and out through Skookumchuck Narrows.

Hans' friend Manfred

We interrupted the 1 hour car ride for a breather stop in Madeira Park/Pender Harbour

Not posing this time

While everyone else went shopping or to the loo, I went to visit plant, bee, and butterfly land:


busy bee
Not sure whether the following is actually a butterfly or some kind of moth ...

About 20 kms behind Pender Harbour, we finally got to Egmont and the parking lot for the hiking trail to the narrows

Yes, it actually was open when we passed it but we had enough food with us ...

Then it's time for 4 Germans (one 1/4 French!!) and 1 Canadian to begin our quest for the rapids

We feel a little like Frodo leaving The Shire for the very first time and hoping that Gandalf will look out for us.  These forests are scary looking !!!

 Who knows what beasts await us behind all these trees !!

The only beasts we not even encounter but only hear are wood peckers.  We get a short breather from the forest at Brown Lake ...

Is all that wood below water normal?  Is that why it is called brown?

Dieter tries himself at tree lifting ...

... and then the strange trees engulf us again.

And as if the trees were not strange enough:  these appear to be mushrooms !!!

... and after we already heard a strange rushing sound while walking through the forest, we finally see it ....

 But there are other things beside the rapids ....

 Crazy kayakers riding the rapids

 The water rushes from the left to the right and is shaped into the mountains by underwater rock features.  Somewhere on that hill of water is a sweet spot, where the average of rushing water, gravity and a minimum of paddling will keep you racing over the moving water with minimum effort while your kayak actually stays in the same spot.

These guys keep doing that over and over and over again ....

 ... until high tide approaches and more and more white caps and air are mixed into the water, turning it GREEN.

 ... and we don't likes GREEN water, because the paddles don't grip as well in bubbly water. As this woman told us after wards, they'll go back in once the water is no longer Greened Out.

After watching this spectacle for about half an hour we start heading back to the car. The ~1 hour hike is more uphill on the way back and when we're close to the car, my legs keep telling me how old I am !!!  The 28 degree Celsius weather doesn't help either.

A short drive from the parking lot is downtown Egmont. Every second house is for sale and so is the General Store and Marina.

One more overexposed bear added to the collection.
 Asking someone in a boat, I learn that the Pub is about 1 km down the waterline. And this might be the reason why the centre of Egmont is a bit deserted. The pub is booming and so is the marina associated with it.  The pub's outside terrace sticks over the water at the very right.

The view is also slightly better than in central Egmont.

When I'm waiting for my Clams, Mussels, Chorizo in Curry sauce (EXCELLENT BTW!) on the pub's deck, everyone is amazed by the numbers of hummingbirds viciously fighting over spots at the feeders:

Hummingbird approaching

After all this, everyone is utterly bagged and Denise takes on the role of designated driver and drives a tired bunch back to Roberts Creek.

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