From Agamemnon Channel we turn about and head home, slipping safely through the Skookumchuck Rapids, winding down Sechelt Inlet to Porpoise Bay and the Lighthouse Marina. This is the end of the tour and I’ll leave you with a few more photographs.
Thanks for participating and following along. I’ll soon be starting another blog a little closer to home – a photographic tour of our acreage. I’ll post the information here once I’ve started it.
Thanks again – Ken
In the main body of Jervis Inlet, heading north, you have the choice of going up Hotham Sound or the reaches of Jervis Inlet. When we did our initial cruise we headed to Hotham Sound first.
From the mouth of Hotham Sound to the end at Baker Bay is approximately 8 miles (12.8 km) and it is a quite sheltered, beautiful cruise. Coming around Syren Point you look right up the Sound to two bays at the end – Lena Bay is on the right and Baker Bay is to the left. It is a very dramatic sight with the Parker Mountain range towering 3600 feet (1100 meters) on the west side of Baker Bay. We anchored in Baker Bay which proved to be a bit tricky. Some books say that it is not advisable to anchor there because of poor holding conditions but I had read an account of an old timer on how he had done it and it worked for me after a couple of tries.
Looking towards Baker Bay
Looking south to the entrance of Hotham
Baker Bay Anchorage
Dry river valley
We anchored on the west side close to shore, looking up a valley where a seasonal river flows. The beach is covered with shale-like pebbles and layers of oyster shells. Hidden in the bushes at the east side of the bay is an old homestead completely overgrown.
In 1912 a copper mine was started at 1500 feet above the bay. In three years, 330 feet of tunnel had been dug but not enough mineral was found to make it viable and the mine closed in 1916. There is a very overgrown road that heads toward the mine site but we never made it to the mine and I’m not sure if you can get to it.
We did explore the unusual dry river bed that runs up the valley. This was July and near the ocean a wide fan of rounded large river rock fanned out through the trees, quite a distance from the main river bed, indicating that large and powerful amounts of water carried the rocks there. However, when we walked the river bed we had to go up more than a mile before we found any water flowing at all and even then it was just a small stream. The only way to account for the size of the river bed is a heavy snow melt in the spring.
Old Growth Logging Remnant
Old logging road bridge
Dry river bed
This entire area of the coast was carved out by the glaciers from the last Ice Age and evidence of the glaciers can be found in the huge erratics (rocks left behind after the glaciers melted) found along the shoreline of Hotham Sound and Jervis Inlet. What makes it interesting in Hotham Sound is that some of these jumbles of erratics have become dens for seals. While kayaking along the shoreline we found a couple of spots where seals were obviously denning (the smell was one tip off).
On the east side of Baker Bay is a wonderful lagoon, easily accessible by kayak. When the tide is low the water warms up and it is a great place to swim. The sheer towering cliff overlooking the lagoon makes an impressive backdrop.
More shíshálh (Sechelt) pictographs can be found around the point from the lagoon. These are very faded and hard to decipher.
Halfway Islet – a salmon fish farm can be seen between the islet and the shore
On the west side of Sechelt Inlet, almost directly across from Kunechin Point, is Halfway Marine Park. This is one of the largest campgrounds in the inlet and can accommodate up to 15 tents. There is one pit toilet, a large group fire pit and water from a nearby stream. The pebbled beach is partially protected by Halfway Islet and has beautiful views looking up Salmon Inlet. You will get the early morning sun here but will also lose the sun in the evenings earlier than on the east side of the inlet. It is another good place to see wildlife and lots of harbour seals are usually hanging out on Halfway Islet. Unfortunately, this is another park that is opened to the winds so anchoring your boat is not advisable.
Located at the mouth of Salmon Inlet is Kunechin Point Marine Park which is one of our favourite boating, kayaking and camping destinations. The Park is divided into two camping areas. On the actual point there are two wood tent platforms and one pit toilet. No fires are permitted and there is no potable water. To the east of the point is Kunechin Bay that has two campsites with enough room for four tents. There is one pit toilet and fires are permitted but there is no potable water. We found a seasonal creek in the bay but decided against using the water. No camping or fires are permitted on the Kunechin Islets, two small rocky islands at the tip of the point.
We have spent a lot of time in Kunechin Bay which is great place for anchoring because it is sheltered in most weather. Our boat had a draft of three feet so we were able to go right into the bay, very close to the shoreline. We would stern tie with the bow pointing out giving us a beautiful view right up Salmon Inlet. Quite often we would be alone so we were fortunate to see some wonderful wildlife. We had one bear that, for three days in a row, arrived early in the morning and alternated between chewing barnacles off the rocks and sleeping in the sun. Ospreys and bald eagles were a common sight and seals would often swim around the bay looking for fish. There are lots of seals on the Kunechin Islets and basking on large boulders along the shoreline.
The entire point is a great place to explore by kayak with some fascinating geology – stress fractures, erratics, mineral seams, etc. all along the shore.
Just west of the point, heading up Sechelt Inlet is a popular diving site where the destroyer HMCS Chaudiere was sunk by the Artificial Reef Society of BC in 1992.
A couple of bays north of the pictographs you arrive at Nine Mile Point Marine Park, one of our favourite kayaking destinations in the Inlet. The campsite is split in two by a good sized creek. We use the creek for keeping food and beverages cool and use the water for cooking. There are numerous tent sites, two fire pits, a bear cache and one outhouse. Harbour seals can often be found at the point just to the north. Beautiful views up and down the Inlet and another great spot to watch the sunsets. As with the other campsites, overnight boat anchorage is not a good idea.