Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Day 5 – Monday, June 7, 2010 Egmont to Pender Harbour, Sunshine Coast


Up by 6 a.m., we braved the drizzle and hiked the lovely West Coast rainforest trail through the Skookumchuk Narrows Provincial Park to the Sechelt Rapids.  ‘Skookum’ means strong or powerful, and  ‘chuck’ means water, which is exactly what you see at the rapids.

The rapids occur on ebb and floods of the tide change of three inlets - the Sechelt, Narrows and Salmon Inlets. At best conditions you can see spectacular rapids up to 16 feet occurring at the entrance of Sechelt Inlet.  This has rightfully earned much respect from boaters, and much delight from kayakers.  Unfortunately, it was a little early for the kayakers.

While we were watching the rapids, Terry noticed a small red bundle tied to the branch of a tree overlooking the rapids.  We thought it might possible be a geocache, which, according to www.geocache.com, is “a high-tech treasure hunting game played throughout the world by adventure seekers equipped with GPS devices. The basic idea is to locate hidden containers, called geocaches, outdoors and then share your experiences online”.

Curious, he pulled it off and untied it.  What he found inside was no geocache.  The bundle contained some granular substances, foil wrap from what we assumed was candy, and a long black hair.  It was really quite creepy.

Terry hesitantly tied it back together, and hung it back on a tree branch.  We all had visions of some native curse being unleashed upon us as a result.    Terry kept looking back behind him the entire duration of the hike back, fully expecting to see some hideous spectre following us.

I later Googled this, and believe that this was a native prayer tie, which usually contains tobacco and possibly cornmeal.  So far no evidence of a curse, nor any ghostly visitations in the night.

Egmont is very close to the Princess Louise Inlet.  This beautiful area is, apparently, a ‘must do’ sailing trip.  The coastline is very unique with sharp peaks and various steep mountains creating a number of waterfalls that cascade into Princess Louisa Inlet, and is home to the impressive Chatterbox Falls.    

We found out that there was a tour boat that operated out of the Egmont Marina, and considered taking in the day trip tour, which would take us up and back much faster than in our sailboat.  However, we quickly vetoed this when we found out the cost would be $120/person.  We’ll save that for another sailing trip.

We started to make our way back for the return leg of our trip, making a sweep from Egmont to Jarvis Inlet and a brief stop up Hotham Sound to view the Freils Lake Falls, which ribbon down 450m of sheer cliff into the waters of the Sound.  They are visible for a long time.

We carried on down Jarvis Inlet, into Malaspina Straight to Pender Harbour, where we docked in Hospital Bay at the Fisherman’s Resort & Marina.  Pender Harbour was once known as the ‘Venice of the Sunshine Coast’.  It was so named for its spectacular maze of islands, nooks and crannies that make up the harbor.

Once again, we decided to try setting our crab trap in the harbor to be checked in the morning.
We shared a happy hour drink and some stories with a couple from Seattle who were also on a sailing trip through these waters.

It was a beautiful evening, and we made a point of admiring (and taking closer peeks at) the beautiful sailboats around us in the marina.

Another home cooked meal, a game of dice, and off to bed.

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