Sunday, October 01, 2017

Matthews Beach

This beach at the southern end of Galiano is associated with Mathews Point Regional Park. It's also Shore Access #15, one of many on the island (Capital Regional District: Shore Access).

I've been checking out this beach from the ferry for twenty years as we pass through Active Pass on the way to and from the other islands, but this was my first visit (since it was also my first time on Galiano). The beach usually looks pretty empty, although occasionally I see a few folks who've made it down the steep trail from the road.


It's a pocket beach - at least it's contained by two rocky headlands with little opportunity for sediment to bypass the bedrock points in the deeper, fast-moving water offshore. But it defies some of the usual stereotypes of pocket beaches.

It's hard to characterize it as swash-aligned since wave action is probably messy and strongly impacted by boat wakes (mainly ferries, but lots of other traffic, too). There's not a lot of fetch across Active Pass's narrow channel and large waves are probably pretty limited. 

Sediment to the beach is provided by eroding bluffs of glacial sediment and possibly from a gully at the west end. The beach generally is sandier at the east end (sand and small gravel); much coarser (large gravel and cobble) at the west. I sort of imagine that any new additions of sediment make up for gradual loss of sediment offshore.

It's a great place to watch ferries - which are frequent.

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