Rock Bay

My back tires skid slightly as I slide around a corner avoiding potholes I could lose a small whale in. The Rock Bay road is poorly maintained and often flooded necessitating the detour through the Pye Lake road. The complaints about access to Rock Bay certainly aren’t without justification. Once at Rock bay however the fun doesn’t end. The dock, which is more of an odd conglomeration of semi floating drift is under constant assault by tidal debris of all shapes and sizes. Some days, on some tides the dock is almost inaccessible. And yet, and yet, despite all of this I can’t help but finding the whole area intoxicatingly beautiful. The wild and never boring Rock Bay and Pye Lake roads slip past still lakes and lonely mountains, while the view from the dock presents layer upon layer of mountains from East Thurlow and Sonora Islands and beyond to the mainland between Frederick Arm and Bute Inlet.

Frederick and Estero

This coast is defined by the jagged inlets that snake through the wild lands into BC’s interior. These long narrow waterways twist and turn beneath lonely snowcapped peaks and untamed valleys. Comparatively Frederick arm is a small inlet when held alongside others, such as neighbouring Bute. Yet despite it’s size I am constantly swept away, transported by the breathtaking beauty. It is also unique for the massive tidal lagoon, Estero Basin hidden at its head. Originally Frederick Arm was named Ensenada del Estero meaning bay of the lagoon by Spanish explorers Galliano and Valdes. It was officially changed in 1864 by captain Pender, named after British staff commander Frederick John Owen Evans. However the Spanish name Estero was not lost, it remain in the area not only in Estero Basin but also in Estero peak, the staggering landmark at the entrance to Frederick Arm. Standing at 1664m or 5459ft Estero peak is known locally as the indian head for it’s unusual shape. The prominent peak can be seen from Redonda Island to Loughborough Inlet. Estero Peak, together with Frederick Arm make for a spectacular landscape.

Frederick from Cordero Channel

The peaks at the mouth of Frederick

The snowcapped end of Frederick Arm

Estero Peak and Owen point

Estero Peak from Mayne Passage


I can’t say why or where the idea came from but I bought a ticket and took off, and it was all worth it. Iceland was amazing. I won’t elaborate because the pictures tell a better story than I do.

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