A Jaunt in Egmont

Backeddy Resort and Marina is a quality jumping-off point for a trip to Princess Louisa.

Skookumchuck Narrows 001 copyBESIDES BEING A QUIET AND relaxing marina, located in the small community of Egmont on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast, there were a couple other reasons for our two-night Backeddy Resort & Marina 1 visit last summer. The first was that it made a perfect location to time our departure and arrival at Malibu Rapids before a visit to Princess Louisa Inlet. The second was to witness the power of the world-famous Skookumchuck Rapids.

We timed our arrival for near slack water. As we pulled into our assigned space, we were met by Tanner, the helpful and energetic summer wharfi nger, who assisted with our lines.

Open year round, the marina offers moorage up to 120 feet, diesel and gasoline, 15- and 30-amp power, Wi-Fi, ice, washrooms, showers, laundry, a liquor store, snacks, and floatplane service by Kenmore Air and West Coast Air. Reservations are recommended during the summer season. There are also cabins, motel rooms, campgrounds and boat launch available.

At times the current is strong at the dock on both flood and ebb tides. The dock is best approached with the bow to the current for maximum control. It is suggested to hail the marina on VHF Channel 66A so a wharfinger can assist with the lines.

The red triangle day beacon, off the marina’s south dock, is a navigation aid for Sechelt Inlet. Approach the inner southern dock by leaving the beacon to port. It marks a rock that extends from shore.Capture

For great pub fare, the Backeddy Pub is a must. If you’re up for a challenge, try wrapping your mouth around the giant 16-ounce Skookum burger. The pub features live music on Friday and Saturday night and is open for lunch and dinner, but hours vary between October and April. The pub does not serve minors but does offer a restaurant area for families and a picnic area that overlooks the water and marina.

If you’re looking for fine dining, a short walk up the hill from the marina is The West Coast Wilderness Lodge 2 , which offers seasonal Northwest cuisine, indoor and outdoor dining, and a beautiful view of Sechelt Inlet.

On the afternoon of our second day, we walked to the Skookumchuck Narrows, one of B.C.’s greatest natural shows. The 90-minute walk was timed so we would arrive 30 minutes before maximum flood. Before entering the provincial park, we passed Skookumchuck Bakery 3 but it was closed. Tanner had told us the owners bake amazing cinnamon buns and other delectable treats.

The trail winds through Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park 4 , which resides in a rainforest, where things are greener than can be imagined and a number of ancient western red cedar and Douglas firs stand in all their glory.

Skookumchuck (“strong or turbulent waters” in the Salish language) Narrows boils as 200 billion gallons of water are forced through the narrows twice a day. These are the largest and fastest-running tidal rapids in North America. The water can reach speeds of up to 16 knots, making it popular with “extreme” kayakers. The most dramatic motion happens at max flood when the water is whipped into cavernous whirlpools and up into eight- to 10-foot standing waves. As we stood on the water’s edge at Roland Point, we could not only see the power but could also feel and hear the rapids roar. The walk was a bit long in the summer heat but well worth it.

The Egmont Heritage Centre 5 is across from the Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park. The center tells the story of the native and early pioneer settlers of the area with emphasis on the logging and fishing heritage. There are special collections of early 1900s Vivian and Easthope diesel engines, antique bottles, Depression-era glass and a gift shop featuring local books, arts and crafts. There are also outdoor displays and a picnic area.

Sunshine Coast Tours will help you discover the cultural and historical highlights of the area. Should you not want to take the 80-mile round trip or have the time to make the run in your own boat, it offers daily five-hour tours to Princess Louisa Inlet, judged one of the 10 most scenic spots in North America, which is only accessible by water or floatplane. They also offer scuba dive excursions.

• Backeddy.ca
• EgmontHeritageCentre.com
• SunshineCoastTours.ca
• WCWL.com


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