“Foam bergs” on water

An Arctic illusion (click on images to enlarge)

Some years back, during a long run up Grenville Channel on BC’s North Coast, we pulled into Kumealon Inlet to anchor overnight. It was the first time we’d been there and we weren’t sure what to expect – certainly neither of the big surprises that came the next morning.

The more welcome of the two occurred when we were leaving, and is shown in the photo above.

At first we wondered if we could be hallucinating. In the still water ahead, dozens of icebergs seemed to be blocking the channel out of the Inlet.

But as we drew closer we realized they weren’t made of ice, of course, just whipped up air and water – beautiful and delightfully harmless.

Their source was the huge lagoon at the head of Kumealon Inlet, which connects to the inlet by a narrow, rock-strewn passage and tidal falls. At low tide, water from the lagoon cascades over the falls and is forced out though the narrows. The resulting turbulence creates large, bright white natural “foam bergs” that can, at least on large tide cycles, extend almost to the Inlet’s mouth, a mile away.

The other, less pleasant surprise had come earlier when we had awakened and looked out the wheelhouse window.

Directly ahead of us, awash in all its jagged, boat-eating glory, was the reef that we’d seen on our chart the previous evening on entering Kumealon at high tide – but whose exact location we’d been unable to pinpoint. As you can see in the photo below, we’d dodged a bullet, but only just.

Jagged reef at morning low tide

Kumealon Inlet was indeed full of surprises.

About Laurie MacBride, Eye on Environment

Photographer focused on nature and nautical on the BC coast

2 responses »

  1. Wow, Laurie – you dodged a lot of grief, for sure, by missing those rocks! The white foam is beautiful. At first glance, I also thought it was a broken iceberg! Thank you for always posting such peaceful and beautiful scenes.

Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.