You cannot travel the Sunshine Coast without becoming aware of the importance of water. The Sunshine Coast boasts activities on both salt and fresh waters. Of course, the presence of so much water leads to a multitude of water related activities. There are opportunities for swimming, power boat cruising, sailing, diving, water skiing, outrigger paddling, canoeing, kayaking, fishing (both salt and fresh water), and much more.
One of the very popular activities is power boating, from a twelve foot runabout to a seventy-five foot yacht. Sometimes this activity involves fishing, but often it is simply exploring the Sunshine Coast from the water. In reference to salt water, the Sunshine Coast is flanked by the Strait of Georgia. Along the way there are enumerable bays and fjords that offer the boater the opportunity to drop anchor, fish or explore. One does not have to be an explorer or adventurer. From Gibson’s to Egmont, there are wharfs where you can tie up your boat, purchase fuel, supplies or go ashore for a meal.
For the serious boater, there is a great experience waiting for you a little further to the north. Continuing up the coast until you reach Earl’s Cove and then on until to Desolation Sound. Fishing in the Sound is certainly one of the attractions. Its sheer beauty has been preserved by the Province of British Columbia designating it a Marine Park in 1973. The park has more than 60 kms of shoreline making it the largest marine park in British Columbia.
By land, Desolation Sound is approximately 14 miles from Lund which is on the upper Sunshine Coast. The Park is a boater’s paradise and boaters have been enjoying its beautiful and generally calm waters for generations. The waters of the Sound are warm and ideal for swimming and scuba diving. There are three major anchorages in the Park as well as smaller coves. Camping in the back country is also popular and the total size of the Park is 8449 hectares. With a small boat or kayak there are islands to explore. Captain George Vancouver first sailed into the Sound in 1792 and because of its remoteness, he name it Desolation Sound.
Another popular water sport on the Sunshine Coast is diving, both scuba and deep sea. One could even say that the Sunshine Coast is famous for its diving opportunities. The marine explorer Jacques Cousteau labelled this area the third best in the world for diving after the Australian Barrier Reef and the Red Sea. The undersea terrain makes diving popular.
From Egmont, experienced divers are able to explore the power of the Skookumchuck Narrows. These narrows have rapids which are the fastest moving salt water rapids in North America. A little to the south of the rapids at Kunechen Point, is a wreck dive of interest. In 1992 the Artificial Reef Society was able to get permission to scuttle for diving purposes the HMCS Chaudiere which was a World War 2 Destroyer Escort. This popular dive site now displays a colourful eco system. There are calmer waters for diving further south in Sechelt Inlet.