British Columbia Destinations

Destination: Kynoch Inlet, Fiordland

Tuesday, September 30, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

Kynoch Inlet, Fiordland Recreational Area.

Disclaimer:  This blog article is not to be used for navigation.  It is solely an account of our personal experience and anchor location in Kynoch Inlet during calm weather conditions.  What worked for us at one particular time is no guarantee or indication that it will work for others.  There are no services and any boat that enters should be self-sufficient.


The Central Coast of British Columbia, from Cape Caution to McInnis Island, is home to thousands of miles of coastline that has seen little change since the glaciers retreated 15,000 years ago.  Visiting is like sailing back in time.  And nowhere is that more evident than Fiordland Recreational Area.  Kynoch Inlet, in particular. 

Like its counterpart, Mussel Inlet, Kynoch has limited anchoring possibilities.  But it does have plenty to offer the visiting boat, starting with Kynoch Falls.

Cambria approaching Kynoch Falls.

The inlet itself is only 10 nautical miles long, but they’re packed with spectacular scenery – some of the best along this section of the coast. The channel is narrow and everything seems to close in around you.  The shoreline disappears into the sea along vertical granite walls.  Snow-covered ranges reach heights above 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) and dramatic glacial bowls peak out between the layers of mountains and granite domes.  It truly has to be seen to be believed. 

Granite domes mark the entrance to Debrisay Bay in Kynoch Inlet.


Salubrious is dwarfed by a glacial bowl.

Arriving at the head of Kynoch Inlet can be somewhat of a disappointment – the journey seems to be over.  But it’s not.  Because on the other side of the rapids that protect its entrance lies Culpepper Lagoon, one of the most beautiful sections of Fiordland.   

The entrance into Culpepper Lagoon is not charted and we have NOT gone in Cambria, only our dinghy.  So, we don’t have any first-hand information to share.  What we can pass on is what we’ve learned from other people:

  1. You should NOT anchor in the northern corner near the entrance to the lagoon because the current is too strong.
  2. Fog can make early morning departures difficult.
  3. If you chose to leave at any time other than slack tide, you will get pushed around and have one heck of a ride (actually, we saw that one first hand). 
  4. Grizzly bears roam the shoreline at the head of the lagoon at low tide.
  5. It can be difficult to find a place to anchor, especially if another boat is already in the lagoon.
The entrance to Culpepper Lagoon at low water slack.


There are no current predictions for Culpepper Lagoon itself but, from our experience, the times listed for Hiekish Narrows are good indicators.  While waiting for slack to occur, temporary anchorage can be found at the head of Kynoch Inlet off the Kainet Creek in 10 – 20 metres (33 to 66 feet). 


For more information on entering the lagoon in your vessel, consult the Douglass book, “Exploring the North Coast of British Columbia”.  

The head of Culpepper Lagoon.

A glacial-capped mountain in Culpepper Lagoon.

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