Suspense mounted as our bosun and his trusty Zodiac were freed from the stern. Their mission: to scout the sinuous, dangerous Malibu Rapids. All morning long we felt the walls of Jervis Inlet narrow, closer and closer, higher and higher. The fjord gave indication that we were nearing its head. Finally at noon, the slot was spotted: the passage to Princess Louisa Inlet. The entry was timed to the minute.

Our Zodiac braved the waves and waited patiently until no push was felt, the water at rest. The signal was given and we moved ahead. Only at slack tide could our vessel pass, winding in sharp turns, each corner barely a ship's length away, each side appearing so close we could reach out and touch the glacially scarred rocky shores. We held our breath and then we were through. The Captain wiped his brow, a challenge safely met.

Around us now sheer granite cliffs rose to meet seven thousand-foot-tall mountain peaks. Waterfalls misted here or cascaded there, appearing and disappearing behind the trees. Throughout the afternoon the constant murmur of Chatterbox Falls accompanied our steps through the woods or our float on a boat. A beautiful end to a wonderful week.