We have heard about
Kynoch Inlet in British Columbia for years.
It is located in the area called Fiordlands
- above Bella Bella/Shearwater. But we were
always on our way to or from Southeast Alaska
and just couldn't seem to find the time for
this off-the-beaten-path spot. People said
it is the most beautiful spot in British Columbia,
using words like "awesome" and "magnificent." Well,
they weren't kidding. It does indeed rival some
of the spots we have been to in Southeast Alaska.
Here is the beautiful waterfall that greets you
as you enter Kynoch Inlet.
This is the path
down the long, gorgeous inlet to Culpeper Lagoon.
These massive chunks
of rock rise 3,000+ feet in the air and go
straight down several thousand feet into the
water in places.
We were reminded
very much of the area in SE AK called Fords
Every way we turned,
the scenery was wonderful.
This spot reminded
me of Misty Fiords National Monument - just
east of Ketchikan.
We made our way
down the long inlet, timing our entrance into
Culpepper Lagoon for high water slack. We had
a variety of pieces of local knowledge about
what stations to use to estimate slack at this
spot. Brian Pemberton - owner and operator
of a fine Grand Banks charter company out of
Bellingham WA (www.nwexplorations.com) - said
to expect high water slack at Culpepper to
occur about 30 minutes after high tide at the
Tom Bay station. From our experience, I would
say he was right on the money. We entered a
little early and found about a half knot flood
still running (on a Spring Tide).
Here's what the
Royal Sounder looked like at anchor in Culpepper
I loved looking
at the blue snow up on mountain tops.
I didn't love looking
at the shoal right beyond our boat. Like many
of these fiords, the water is very deep right
up to the edge of a shoal. You need to do a
good cruise-through in these areas before you
decide where to put the anchor down.
Even then, some
of us are a little nervous. Dave caught me
out on the bow the next morning checking things
OK - so it looked
all right and I decided to just chill and have
We needed to wait
for the afternoon high water slack in order
to make our exit. In the mean time, we went
exploring the narrows in The Green Devil -
of course at max flood!
We were certainly
convinced we didn't want to go through THAT
with our 7 knot boat. Even the Green Devil
with its 40 hp would have meant a slog going
out and a real rocket ride coming back in.
We estimated it was flooding at about 9 knots.
The pictures say
Like this overfall
and whirlpool? Not exciting enough?
How about this?
Or this? Yes - Dave
was very careful to steer off to the side of
these and I was hanging on for dear life, making
one-armed camera shots.
Can't get enough
Well, our moment
to exit did arrive. With our own local knowledge
under our belt, we elected to go a bit before
high water slack. We encountered about a 3-4
knot flood against us. That is pushing it for
It was Dave's turn
at the helm so I went outside to take pictures.
As we entered "the tongue" of
the flow - right at the narrows - we got pushed
pretty hard to starboard. I was once again
hanging on for dear life and you do NOT want
to know what I was saying (repeatedly) at this
moment in time.
Even with local
knowledge, I don't think we shouldn't have
pushed the window quite this closely. It was
a Spring Tide after all (when currents tend
to run harder). Will we never learn?
As we left Kynoch Inlet we heard some ugly
weather forecasts for Queen Charlotte Sound
- up to 35 K winds. (At the same time, 40-50
K winds were being forecast for Dixon Entrance.)
If we didn't get to the Queen Charlotte Sound
jump-off spot in two days and make it across
on that single "window" day,
we were likely to be waiting for 3-4 days before
the next opportunity.
Next time... Did we make the window?