What a fantastic day out on the arm. Just before midday I headed up the arm for a rip up to Best Point. I saw all kinds of wildlife and only had to stop and pick up two pieces of garbage. It was pretty calm and the tide was slack so I could move at a good pace and not have to work too hard! What struck me the most, though, is how close this is to the city and how far away it feels.
It was first mapped by European explorers on George Vancouver’s visit in 1792 and subsequently explored more closely by Galliano in the same year. But before that it was the traditional land of the Tseil-Waututh Nation and provided cultural significance and basic needs. In fact, it was said that, “when the tide went out, the table was set”. The arm was shared by neighbouring first nations and managed through negotiated band protocols.
At the south end of the arm is the self described “uncity” of Deep Cove. The arm then stretches almost 20km north-east up to The Say Nuth Khaw Yum Heritage Park / Indian Arm Provincial Park where there is vibrant wildlife, waterfalls, and a large pink salmon run on odd numbered years.
About halfway up the arm on the Eastern shore is the gothic looking Buntzen Generating station. It was originally built in 1903 and has been added to, renovated, and expanded many times since. It still provides some power to Vancouver.
Finally, after my paddle I met up with a young intrepid user of Indian arm and asked him a few questions about living by this historic and beautiful ancient fjord.