Saturday, April 12, 2014

Who picks these names anyway?

I’ve heard about the Yuculta Rapids ever since we started boating out here.  They’re usually mentioned in the same breathless way that Skookumchuck is talked about.  And then there’s Devil’s Hole.  All of these places are tidal rapids – narrow, shallow spots where the tide rushes through as it alternately fills and empties Georgia Strait twice every day.  The fastest one of them all is a place called Nakwakto Rapids but nobody has ever heard of it.  Nobody except Van & Nancy who told us we absolutely HAD to go there.

Today we pulled the anchor at 8:30 in Von Donop Inlet.  It was well set.  Really REALLY well set.  So it came up absolutely coated in mud.  There was even mud on the swivel that connects the end of the chain to the stock which means that the stock or “handle” of the anchor was actually buried.  We weren’t going anywhere.

At about 10:30 we passed the entrance to Hole in the Wall.  From then on we were in new water.  Shortly after that we entered Yuculta Rapids which were pretty well a non-event.  We got there just past slack so we were pushing against maybe a 2 knot current but they were pretty tame.  At the top of Yuculta we pulled into Big Bay with every intention of staying there for the night.  The current was turning strongly against us so there was no chance we were going to get through first Gillard and then Dent Rapids on that tide. 

After we wandered up the dock at Big Bay and realized that we were all alone we decided that maybe we wouldn’t stay overnight after all.  So we waited 6 hours for the tide to turn and caught the ebb tide through Gillard and Dent.  We had a little current against us in Gillard – maybe a knot but Dent was glassy calm.  The famous Devil’s Hole was nowhere to be seen.  From what I’ve read that’s a good thing.  People talk about looking into that hole and vowing to never transit that stretch of water again.  The big problem with whirlpools is not so much that they might swallow us, although I guess in theory that is possible but the real problem is that they can spit out big logs.  If a log gets sucked underwater and then comes exploding out it can do serious damage – like poke a very large hole in whatever it hits.  So we don’t want to go there.

Tonight we’re tied up in Shoal Bay.


That’s the view out our front windows for the night.


Apparently 100+ years ago this place was bigger than Vancouver.  It was a gold mining community.  There’s no land to build on so the town was built on floats that covered the bay.  You sure wouldn’t know it now.  A couple of hippies and a few shacks is all that’s here now.

IMG_7117 The hippies have a good sense of humour.


According to my chart, that’s the famous Devil’s Hole at Dent Rapids.  Go figure.

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