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Dare-devils on the Sunshine Coast

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Whitewater kayaking in ocean rapids?

 

That's what these dare-devil kayakers come up to Egmont at the top of the Sunshine Coast to discover.

 

 

The Skookumchuck Narrows is located in the provincial park of the same name a few kilometres north of Pender Harbour. The narrow channel separates the Sechelt Inlet from Jervis Inlet at the mouth of Georgia Strait, and the difference in water levels from one side to the other can reach over 2 metres (6 feet) in height. This happens during tide changes, and with a 3 metre tide there is as much as 200 million gallons of water flowing between the two inlets, creating rapids as exciting - and powerful - as any river rapids.

 

Current speeds are often more than 30 km/hour, and around the rapids whirlpools form. The whitewater is explosive during these tide changes and there can be up to thirty or so white-water kayakers experiencing different aspects of the phenomenon.

 

Some shoot the rapids, others find they can master the great waves and balance in the same spot for several minutes at a time. The whirlpools though are dangerous, and the whole experience is not for novices.elk

 

Local outfitters in Egmont supply kayaks, and can show you how to get to the rapids, and when the best times to go are. And the Sunshine Coast is not that far from Vancouver. And there's lots more to do there besides.

 

The park itself is 123 hectares and has several trails, most leading down to the rapids. For the hiker this is a pleasant and easy trek through large second-growth trees to see the spectacular rapids, waterfowl, and the mountains across the inlet. Bring a camera. For video enthusiasts these rapids with the kayakers doing dare-devil stunts will give you an exciting film to show of your visit to Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park.