Saturday, June 14, 2014

Arrival at Princess Louisa

Princess Louisa is a narrow fjord hemmed in by 8,000 foot, snow-covered mountains rising straight from the water. Located forty miles inland, it is a branch off of the also very mountainous Jervis Inlet. The nearest roads are forty miles away so it is only accessible by boat or sea plane. We left early from Hotham Sound so we could enter the infamous Malibu Rapids at slack water. Weaving our way through Jervis Inlet we gawked at the mountains towering above us and took some time to watch a black bear scrounging for food along the shore. We arrived at Malibu Rapids with time to spare and took our place in line. When the rapids calmed the boats lined up and one by one headed into the narrow rapids where water can run as fast as 8 1/2 knots. The boat in front of us was apprehensive and slowed to a stop after he entered which forced us to swing around in a circle to allow him time to get the nerve up to go through. Isaac watched the bow for rocks as we snaked through the rapids. After safely making it through we relaxed and continued watching the mountains pass by in the warm sunshine.

Princess Louisa has three mooring options. Halfway up the inlet, at MacDonald Island, there are mooring buoys. At the head of the inlet, you can anchor on a shallow shelf close to shore and stern tie or anchor free with the waterfall's current pushing you away from the rocks, or you can tie up to the park dock. Upon our arrival we decided to delay our excitement to see the head of inlet and tied up to a mooring ball at MacDonald Island. Instead of motoring in to see the end, we decided on kayaks for our mode of transportation so we could soak up all the grandeur slowly and without the racket of the engine. We were surprised at how warm it was and hopped in for a swim immediately after securing the boat. The water temp was a balmy 64.5 degrees and, in between gasps, it felt so good. Somehow our shrieks inspired our neighbors to take a dip. Thoroughly refreshed, we hopped into the kayaks and set out for the head of the inlet. This was the perfect way to view this stunning landscape for the first time. I can't tell you how tiny it made me feel. The scale of the mountains, with dozens of waterfalls, falling straight into the ocean, was boggling. Words and photos can't do it justice.

Click here for photos.
Click here for a video.

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