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
Travelling 28 miles (45 km) south from Deserted Bay, passing more majestic scenery, brings us back to the ‘intersection’ of Jervis Inlet, Sechelt Inlet and Agamemnon Channel. There are just a couple of stops to see in Agamemnon Channel before returning home to Sechelt Inlet.
Agamemnon Channel is a 9.95 mile (16 km) narrow channel separating Nelson Island from the mainland. At the southern end it opens out into Malaspina Strait which lies between Nelson Island and Texada Island. Because of it’s narrowness Agamemnon is affected by the tides and, while they aren’t a problem for power boats, kayakers may want to check the tide charts before passing through. It is a much easier paddle when going with the tide rather than fighting it.
Earl’s Cove Pictographs
At the northern end of Agamemnon, on the mainland side, is the BC Ferry Terminal at Earl’s Cove. From there you can take a ferry to Powell River, BC. Very near to the ferry terminal are a set of pictographs thought to be the oldest pictographs in all the inlets.
Agamemnon Channel looking south
5 miles (8 km) south of the Earl’s Cove pictographs are another set found in a cave about 15 feet above sea level.
Continuing south out of Agamemnon there are other pictographs to be found in the area as this was a major gathering place for the shíshálh (Sechelt) in the winter months.
Continuing up the left side of Prince of Wales Reach 1.5 miles (2.4 km) brings you to the Brittain River and the start of Princess Royal Reach. Brittain River is the site of another deserted shíshálh (Sechelt) village, Sláy-ah-thlun that was famous for it’s dugout canoe makers. Logging has taken place in the area since the 1930’s and no trace of the village remains.
Layers up Princess Royal Reach
Princess Royal Reach continues to have incredible scenery with steep and unusual rock outcrops. We found two more sets of pictographs and missed one more. Ten miles (16 km) up the Reach you turn left around Patrick Point and enter Queen’s Reach.
We travelled another 3.4 miles (5.4 km) and anchored in front of an old homestead. Again weather was favourable and we had a beautiful afternoon and evening there. We kayaked a little further up the inlet and found an old logging camp with lots of discarded equipment left in the bush. Unfortunately this was not an uncommon practice – it was cheaper to just leave the equipment rather than haul it out.
“Jazz Age” at Queen’s Reach
Queen’s Reach Anchorage
Old Logging Camp
We also found lots of erratic boulders along and under the waterline. Many of them were massive chunks of rock piled on top of each other descending into the depths. The trees were also amazing to see, growing right down to the tideline. These would be second growth timber as most of the accessible old growth trees in all the inlets had been logged out in earlier times.
Prince of Wales Reach
Once leaving Vancouver Bay you enter into Prince of Wales Reach. Again the steep mountains make a dramatic backdrop. Moorsam Bluff on the right rises sharply 4900 feet (1500 meters) from the ocean. On the left are slightly lower cliffs and about 4 miles north of Vancouver Bay are another set of pictographs.
Cliff Face – Pictographs just left of center
When we planned our cruise up Jervis Inlet our intention was to take it slowly and explore the inlet thoroughly. We travelled very close to the shore which was easy to do because of the depth of the water, cruising at about 4 knots (4.6 mph) and poked into every bay and crevice. We were fortunate with the weather because all of the Reaches have very few places to anchor, especially if any wind is blowing. I had read in boating guides of a couple of lesser known spots and they worked out well, but only because of the calm weather.
“Jazz Age” – The Bight at McMurray Bay
One beautiful spot was just past McMurray Bay on the west side of Prince of Wales Reach, 3 miles (4.8 km) past the pictographs. McMurray Bay is a beautiful little spot with enough room for one boat and when we arrived there was a boat already anchored. I had read about two small bights (bays) just past McMurray. One was to be avoided because of lots of rocks but the other was suitable for anchoring in calm weather and that’s what we did. It was a beautiful spot with great views up and down Prince of Wales Reach.
McMurray Bay Sunrise – looking north
McMurray Bay Sunrise – looking south
Egmont Boat Houses
After going through the Skookumchuck Narrows and passing the community of Egmont there is a ‘crossroads’ of inlets. Behind you is Sechelt Inlet, ahead is Jervis Inlet, to the left Agamemnon Channel and to the right Hotham Sound and the entrance to the reaches of Jervis Inlet.
When Captain Vancouver surveyed this area in June of 1792 he did so by a 25 foot rowboat launch and a crew of thirty. They had left his ship near what is now the US border and had rowed up the coastline, charting along the way. When Vancouver saw the entrance to Jervis Inlet he was hoping he had found the Northwest Passage. As exploration of the area began a strong rain and wind came up and they made a run up Jervis Inlet, ignoring Sechelt Inlet entirely. Finally, after rowing 40 miles (65 km) up the twisting inlet they reached the end and, much to Vancouver’s disappointment, he realized he hadn’t found the Northwest Passage.
The entrance to the reaches of Jervis Inlet