British Columbia Fiordland

Kynoch Inlet, Fiordland Recreational Area

Saturday, August 04, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

The head of Kynoch Inlet.

We left Rescue Bay this morning and motored north along Mathieson Channel.  The landscape continued to be fairly ordinary until we crossed the “line” into Fiordland Recreation Area where everything suddenly seemed to change: The mountains grew steeper and more beautiful.  The forest more lush and green.  And the wilderness more wild and complex. 

A couple of miles beyond the park border, Mathieson Channel forks to the east and you enter Kynoch Inlet.  Within minutes Kynoch Falls, a strikingly beautiful waterfall fed by Lessom Creek, comes into view.  And as you continue up-inlet, the snow covered peaks and ridges with vertical granite walls rise over a thousand metres (3,500 feet) before disappearing straight into the sea below.  Because of the park status, the area hasn’t been logged and appears as it has for hundreds of years– a humbling fact.  Layer after layer of snow-capped ridges and densely-wooded mountains line the inlet, waterfalls marking the curve of time along their steep faces. Just when you think you’ve seen the most beautiful view, another one even more spectacular comes into sight.  The word amazing falls well short.

All too soon, we arrived at the head of Kynoch, which culminates in heavily snow-capped ranges to the west, and dropped the anchor to consider our options.  Culpepper Lagoon, believed to be the best of Fiordland by many, lies at the head but is protected by roaring rapids which can be transited at high water slack … an hour and forty-five minutes’ wait.  The entrance is large enough and deep enough for cruising boats to enter, but it’s uncharted.  So we waited. 

Another sailboat that was there when we arrived entered the lagoon 45 minutes before slack water, either because they wanted enough time to exit if they couldn’t find a spot to anchor or because slack water is difficult to estimate.  Either way, they were pushed to the south as they entered but made it through safely.  We followed shortly afterwards in the dinghy and spent the next hour touring the lagoon.  We considered bringing Cambria in for the night, but neither one of us cared for the entrance … or the limited anchoring options. 

As amazing as the scenery was, most of it was visible from outside the lagoon so we went back to the boat and got things ready to move on.  It had been another long and hot day and the horseflies were out with a vengeance (David now believes kynoch is Danish for horsefly … he could be right).  From the head of the inlet, we motored south back to Mathieson Channel, this time turning north to the narrows before leaving the park boundaries behind us for what will be our home base while we explore the area over the next few days, Windy Bay in Sheep Passage. 

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