West Coast Wilderness Lodge (WCWL) on the Sechelt Peninsula, part of British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast… is a sea star. This star of the sea has won The Georgia Straight’s ‘Best of Vancouver’ award for the last seven years. Open arms welcome you, from a central body.
Getting To West Coast Wilderness Lodge
Located on Sechelt Inlet, five kilometers north of Skookumchuck Narrows Provincial Park, the WCWL overlooks Sutton Islets and seal rocks. The inlet opens into the thickly-muscled arm of Jervis Inlet, whose three royal reaches zigzag to a delicate fingertip, 45 kilometers away at Princess Louisa Inlet. Lesser arms are Hotham Sound and Agamemnon Channel.
Sea stars are starfish with plenty of arms to spare.
2. What To Do?
Celebrating its twentieth season, West Coast Wilderness Lodge owners, Paul and Patti Hansen and their staff provide Heli, zodiac, float plane, and kayak tours. Hike, dive, bike. Try archery. Throw a wedding. Have a corporate event. Whether you’re going up-arm, or thrilling over the fastest saltwater rapids in North America at Skookum (strong) Chuck (water) Rapids, the Pacific-Northwest-indigenous-trading language of Chinook spells out some fun.
Eco-spa. Unwind. The energy of this place is effervescent, bubbling up all around you with those multiple sea-star arms waving semaphore to an in-and-out-going tide. The lodge is perched on the edge of it all in what Pacific Yachting Magazine calls some of the best waterfront dining going.
3. Egmont Adventure Centre
Our self-guided kayak tour begins at the Egmont Adventure Centre where we get expert advice from James, the jack-of-all-things-seafaring. He confirms which way the wind and tide are going and sets us on the safest path.
We explore the rich waterways of seaweed, giant green anemones, ochre sea stars and harbour seals, observing relics of historic fish-processing shacks. Oyster-catchers and herons fish. Every gull has a bill-full of sea star from a low-tide smorgasbord. A bit of drizzle snuggles us into our sea kayaks, well-equipped with sea skirts and life jackets.
4. Have An Adventure
The next morning, we tell James where we’re headed. He tweaks our advantage into an ebbing tide which nudges us into Agamemnon Channel. We cross to Nelson Island, alert for the Earls Cove-Saltery Bay ferry, and nip across Agnew Passage, circling Captain Island.
Hugging its shore, we see Hotham Sound to the west, and with a calm tide-turn, we cross to Killam Bay to stretch our legs. The skyscape is as ever-changing as the waterscape. A salty-savor invigorates. An incoming tide sweeps us gently around Egmont Point to WCWL, where we ready to dine with a pre-dinner hot tub and some relax-time in our sea view suite.
Fueled on west coast fare, there’s ample time for the six-to-eight-kilometer round-trip hike along a gently-rolling path to Skookumchuck Narrows. The ebb-tide view heightens the dazzle of a two-meter drop off. The whirlpools and standing waves swirl our senses.
A sea star experience like this embraces families and friends alike…with plenty of arms!