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Homeward Bound – Parting Shots

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.

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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

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Upper Narrows Inlet

As mentioned in the prior post, the Tzoonie Narrows is only about 80 feet (25 meters) across.  With two tidal changes a day a lot of water passes through the channel but it is almost always clear sailing as the current only reaches 4 knots (4.6 mph) at the maximum.  However, kayaks and canoes may need to choose the right time to pass through as it could be a tiring paddle.  Once through the channel you are in upper Narrows Inlet and the scenery can be breathtaking. In the glassy calm reflections in the water are amazing, along the shoreline they often look like native designs.

The inlet is 5.2 miles (8.4 km) from the Narrows to the head and varies from 1500 feet (458 meters) up to 3000 feet (914 meters) wide.  The mountains on either side rise steeply up to 5,250 feet (1600 meters).  Mount Drew at the end of the inlet is 5,900 feet (1800 meters).  At times it feels like you are boating through the Rockies.

At the end of Narrows Inlet is the Tzoonie River.  For many years this site had been a logging and booming operation but I believe that stopped in early 2000. Kayaking is great here and you can make it quite a way up the Tzoonie River depending on time of the year. Though we never tried it, you can anchor and stern tie on the north side of the bay and enjoy the incredible view up the Tzoonie Valley.

This area was also a seasonal village of the Tahw-ahn-kwuk (Tewankw), one of the four groups of the shíshálhs (Sechelts).  In very cold weather the waters of the upper inlet can freeze so the villagers would move to warmer climes to the south for the winter.

Click on any of the photos to see a larger version

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Tzoonie Narrows Marine Park

Heading east 3.4 miles (5.4 km) up Narrows Inlet you arrive at Tzoonie Narrows Marine Park which is probably my favourite boating destination.  At 200 acres (80 hectares it is the largest park in Sechelt Inlet, encompassing both sides of Narrows Inlet.  The park is the site of Tzoonie Narrows, an 80 foot (25 meter) wide tidal channel into the upper portion of Narrows Inlet.

Remains of a 1970’s commune and remnants of logging equipment from the 1930’s lie in the bush around the park.  There is also archaeological evidence that the area was well used by the shíshálh’s (Sechelt).  On the north side of the park are the ruins of an old homestead where we found apple and plum trees along with grape vines.

There is one fire pit, one pit toilet and room for 15 tents on the more developed south side of the park.  A fairly abundant creek supplies water that can be used for cooking.  Boat anchorage is best between the shore and a tidal islet at the most easterly end of the park.

The scenery is spectacular with the mountains on the north side rising over 4,600 feet (1400 meters) from the waters edge.  A mountain backing the south side of the park measures 3,200 feet (1000 meters).  It is a beautiful area to explore by kayak.

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Storm Bay

Storm Bay 2

Heading north up the east side of Sechelt Inlet 3.6 miles (5.8 km) you arrive at the mouth of Narrows Inlet.  Making a long right brings you into Storm Bay, one of the most popular anchorages in the inlet.  On the west side of the mouth of the bay are two small private islets.  Behind them is a very sheltered cove with protection from winds in any direction.  It is all private land surrounding the cove but you can stern tie to shore.  It is a great place to explore by kayak.

Storm Bay 3

Storm Bay itself is quite lovely with summer cottages hidden amongst the tree lined shore.  In the early 1900’s a brick factory operated in Storm Bay but it only lasted a couple of years.  After WW l there was an attempt to revitalize the factory but once again the venture failed.  Nothing remains of the enterprise.

Storm Bay 1

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A Word About the Weather

Canoe

Looking back at the photos on these posts I noticed that the water is glassy calm in all of them so a bit of advice for would-be kayakers and canoeists.  Sechelt Inlet and offshoots are often calm for paddling but caution must be taken in the Summer months.  As the land heats up and the hot air rises, cooler sea air moves in off the ocean.  This can create strong westerly winds funnelling through the inlets making paddling hard work.  This is particularly true when heading north and trying to cross the mouths of Salmon Inlet and Narrows Inlet.  We’ve had some unpleasant times even in our 36′ boat so you don’t want to try it in a kayak.  On hot summer days it is advisable to set out early in the morning when it is calm and if the wind picks up, find somewhere to settle.  Once the sun starts to set and the land cools the winds will die again leaving time for some evening paddling.