Tuesday, 10 August 2010
Front-view mirror innovator Robert Bells is lucky enough to row in British Columbia, which he is understandably smug about. The video shows him rowing on Buntzen Lake, and if you can drag your eyes away from the spectacular mountain scenery for a moment you will observe a copy-book example of the noble art of feathering going on in the foreground.
Buntzen Lake, a reservoir for hydro power generation, is the small lake that I use for my rowing and conditioning. . The scenery is very pretty, and I wanted to share the joy of it, perhaps even avoiding "smugness," in the hope of interesting other folk in appreciating our lovely natural environment.
A lot of these areas can be at times very treacherous for unpowered craft, the tides can create races through the mouths of many of the narrow fjords and arms. There is a famous reversing 3m tidal fall at Skookumchuck Narrows, where Sechelt Arm meets Jarvis Inlet. It is a favourite with kayakers. If anyone wants to attempt to row it, I would suggest watching from shore for at least a few days, keeping an eagle-eye on the tide tables and their watch, and making firm friends of the local kayakers, gaining their assistance and expertise. And then doing it at the easiest time. Even off Vancouver, certain tidal conditions can create currents, off Spanish Banks or near the mouths of the Fraser, that run at about 6 knots.
In addition, there are many large inland lakes, like the Nahatlach, the Anderson Lake, Lillooet Lakes, most which have road access and places to put in, but have to be treated with respect as well, as they are large enough to generate serious weather.
Of course, BC has many large recreational lakes that are not associated with the Salish Sea, the interior Okanagan Lake, stretching 135 kilometers, and the sprawling Shushwap Lake area east of Kamloops.
Most famous may be the Bowron Lakes Circuit, 116 km of lakes, waterways and portages, which has been completed with a light rowing boat, a Pygmy Wineglass Wherry, but usually the 6 to 10 days of rough tenting and paddling is done by canoe. This latter is very popular with Europeans.
I am hoping that I over the next few years, I can produce some amateur photo and video essays of some of the near attractions, the Fraser River from Fort Langley down to New Westminster, and the protected (?) waters of Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm, and the rugged beauty of Howe Sound up to Squamish.