My revised training for the summer included a second trip out to the west coast to partake in some paddling on different rivers and coastal water bodies. My goal was to diversify my paddling beyond a slalom course. The first highlight was catching the tidal wave at the beautiful Skookumchuck narrows on the Sunshine coast with some old paddling buddies. My coastal trip had two objectives: to have fun and train hard. I was fortunate to have a flexible schedule with a firm departure date and return date with a couple of home-stays along the way (thank you to the Palmer/Reuben family and Taylor family for your amazing hospitality!)
I can easily say that Skookumchuck Narrows is one of my favourite places in the world to paddle. The narrow channel connecting Sechelt and Jervis Inlets forges an amazing salt water rapid. Mother Nature puts on a show twice daily creating the perfect tidal surf wave. At peak tide the water pumps through at about 16 knots.
We paddled for about 25 minutes with the current before hitting the wave. Along the way I saw many sea creatures such as jellyfish and starfish. Here's a fun fact the Moon Jellyfish that inhabits this rich area does not have poisonous tentacles and you can actually pick them up with your hands!
It was so much fun surfing the wave that I didn't want to leave, but unfortunately we had a ferry to catch. We savoured every moment before driving 90 minuets on the seriously windy road back to the ferry terminal. The day ended with an amazing sunset behind the silhouettes of the coastal mountains.
The following week involved a mixture of training in Chilliwack and in Vancouver paddling on Tamihi Rapid, Bentzen Lake, Cultus Lake, and the Burrard Inlet. This was exactly what I needed, post National Team Trials. I would call it therapeutic training. Thank you to Jon Allen who is a former Canadian National Team athlete for the excellent hard and technical coaching.
I have spent a fair bit of time on the west coast/best coast over that past few weeks and I have come to realize I absolutely love it out there! I cannot wait until my travels take me back.
I may not have gone where I had intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be. –Douglas Adams
Check out the video of our day at Skook!