West Coast Wilderness Lodge Sea Stars

View from West Coast Wilderness Lodge dining room looking north up Jervis Inlet to Princess Louisa Inlet via several royal reaches.

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.

Purple sea star, ochre sea star or ochre starfish is formally, pisaster ochraceus, a keystone species, showing intertidal good health.

  1. Getting To West Coast Wilderness Lodge

Take the one-hour Langdale ferry (pay one-way) from Horseshoe Bay, and drive the hour-and-a-half, veering left before the village of Egmont.

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.

Hot tubbin’ it

First Nations’ masks and a canoe with natural light streaming into dining area

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.

What’s for dinner, Mr. Heron?

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.

Planked salmon work of art

Ling cod in miso broth with dumpling

 

 

 

Chocolate creme brulee with blueberries & strawberries

 

 

 

Low tide at Killam Bay

Sky and seascape from Killam Bay, looking south into Jervis Inlet

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.

Make time for the Egmont Heritage Centre‘s logging-fishing history, across from the Skookumchuck Trailhead.

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.

Wait for a high tide to see these little boats in action.

A sea star experience like this embraces families and friends alike…with plenty of arms!

A standing wave is like a standing ovation, low-tide at Skookumchuck Rapids

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