The lines have been cast-off with farewell waves from those left behind on the dock, and with one prolonged blast from the ship's whistle, we've backed away from the dock and are now headed toward the Pacific Ocean. We'll be in the Alberni Inlet for the first two hours of the morning and you can follow our route on the charts down below in the ship's galley or in a complimentary copy of our Ship's Log newspaper where you will also find some historical and local information.
Fading in the distance behind us is the Catalyst Inc. papermill, Somass Sawmill, Fisherman's Wharf, Harbour Quay, the Assembly Wharfs, which are owned and operated by the Port Alberni Port Authority for use by deep-sea freighters loading lumber and paper for export, and the Alberni Pacific Division Sawmill.
Just outside the inner harbour, we pass Coulson's Sawmill and about a half hour away, on the left bank, lies China Creek with its marina and campground; also operated by the Port Alberni Port Authority.
Just a couple of miles further south we pass through the narrowest point of the Alberni Inlet where Mactush Creek on the west side (our right) and Franklin River on the east (our left -- this is assuming we're facing the pointy end of the boat) empty into the Inlet. Deer are often seen grazing here, and there is a chance you will spot a bear. In the winter swans frequent this area. The aroma of fresh coffee and grilled bacon wafts up from below -- time for breakfast.
This should be a super day!
|Barkley Sound - Points of Interest.... |
|China Creek (2) |
Known as Gold River when the Chinese panned for gold circa 1860. The S.S. Beaver brought fifty Chinese here to seek gold.
In June 1791 Jose Narvaez Don of Spain, Captain of the Santa Saturna, explored two arms on the interior of the Sound. One he named the Alberni Canal after Pedro de Alberni, Captain of the Company of Volunteers stationed at Nootka. Although the word "canal" in Spanish means "inlet", the name was later changed to Alberni Inlet because of the English interpretation.
Named in 1910 by the Wallace Brothers of Wallace Fisheries after their hometown in Scotland.
Named after the Port Alberni resident and owner, Charlie Haggard, who in the mid 1980s developed this area into properties for a summer home community.
Nootkan Indian word meaning "the tongue".
A Nootka Indian word for "the place of the seasonal or intermittent waterfall". The scene of much mining activity in the early days. A trading center was located in the shelter of Clifton Point in the days of sailing vessels.
Named after Dr. Poett, an English physician who had a medical practice in San Francisco and who visited Victoria in 1860 - 1861. He interested himself in copper claims on Copper (Tzartus) Island which was named by Capt. Richards in 1861.
Named after Frances Hornby Trevor, young bride of Capt. Charles W. Barkley, who was with her husband on board the Imperial Eagle when he discovered Barkley Sound in 1787. Mrs. Barkley was the first white woman to visit the Northwest Coast of America. She was 17 years of age at the time. Her reminiscences, written in the later years of her life, are in the Provincial Archives in Victoria, B.C.
Imperial Eagle Channel(10)
Named after Capt. Barkley's ship the Imperial Eagle which was a name adopted when he changed her to Austrian registry and colours. Her original name was the Loudoun. She was a trading vessel of 400 tons, ship-rigged with 20 mounted guns. She was anchored in Effingham Bay while in Barkley Sound.
Named after Henry Aguilar, R.N., Second Master, Navigating Officer, of H.M. Gunboat Grappler. Name adopted from Capt. Richard's chart of 1861.
Named by Capt. Barkley after John Beale, purser on Barkley's ship Imperial Eagle. Along with five other shipmates, including Mr. Miller the 2nd Mate, John Beale was killed by Indians on the Hoh River, Olympic Peninsula. The river and nearby islands were named Destruction by Barkley as a result of this tragedy. In 1893 the first lighthouse on the West Coast of Vancouver Island was constructed on this site. It was in operation by June 1874, the first lightkeeper being R. Westmoreland of Nanaimo and his assistant Thomas Woods of Victoria.
Named after John E. Benson who on May 8, 1893, alienated section No.43 Hawkins (Benson) Island. On Nov. 19, 1922 the Colonist Newspaper of Victoria reported that Hawkins Island, as it was known, "had a hotel that was worth visiting". There were about ten acres cleared and a portion of it was planted in garden and orchard to supply the hotel. The island and hotel were owned by Mrs. Benson, widow of an old-time sailing captain and one of the early pioneers of the West Coast of Vancouver Island. W.E. Brewer, the mining engineer, paid a visit to the island in 1918 to examine some mineral outcroppings at the easterly end. The island is 43 acres, more or less, and measures about half a mile long.
Broken Group Islands(14)
Appear to be so named due to the number of islands broken by channels.
Originally named Village Island by Capt. Barkley in 1787; changed to Effingham in 1933 by Hydrographic Service.
Named after H.M.S. Thiepval, minesweeper, which, on Feb. 27, 1930, struck an uncharted rock in the middle of this channel and sank. She is still there.
Named after the original name of Capt. Barkley's ship later called the Imperial Eagle.
In all probability, Sechart derived its name from the Tseshaht Indians of Alberni who had a summer encampment at a sandy beach west of the whaling station. The name has been variously spelled: Seshart, Tseshat and Sheshaht.