|Quadra Island - Okisollo Channel|
The area is part of the inside passage, a protected waterway formed by hundreds of islands stretching along the BC coast up to Alaska. It provides protection from the weather and the swells of the open ocean. But it also creates restrictions that lead to fast currents during tidal exchanges. You can avoid the currents if you want, but we came specifically to play in them.
HERE) We could fit up to three people on the wave at once. Rides could easily last ten minutes until the waiting line got impatient and the surfer would step off. I've never been to Skookumchuk, but it's hard to imagine anything better than this for long boats.
After the long surf session we had a return paddle of six miles that exhausted us. We weren't sure of repeating the long day, but we were saved by Albert who works at the lodge. The next day he joined us for a session and took us up there in the powerboat. Not having to save any energy we surfed all the harder.
For our final day on the water, we were thinking of doing a little cruising to change things up and see some more scenery. But we couldn't resist one last chance to take advantage of the current and play at Okisollo. We paddled up in time for some play on the increasing flood before heading out at max flood to catch a ride through Hole in the Wall and around Maurelle Island. Hole in the wall is known as a dangerous corridor, with giant whirlpools that have been known to take down fishing trawlers. Our current wasn't that high but we still entered with caution and in full combat mode. We carefully picked out route, avoiding or fighting through the small whirlpools that popped up randomly. Luckily our sharp-eyed leaders spotted the one giant whirlpool the size of a football field and we passed safely to the side. After that it was just a gorgeous paddle through the beautiful islands of British Columbia.
Satiated with our paddling, we left before first light the next morning and drove straight back to Cali - twenty-three hours of road time. It's nice to be back to the heat and sun but I will definitely miss the stunning waters of the inside passage. And the perfect wave.
More pictures are on my Picasa Page. Here's the video: