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We are a group of volunteers producing this nautical heritage site with information on Canada’s Pacific nautical history and heritage and other topics of general maritime interest. Click the links on the left side of the page to see the archived articles.
Those wishing to actively participate in an on–going discussion and Group investigation of British Columbia’s Nautical History should consider joining the British Columbia Nautical History Facebook group. This is a friendly and very active on–line discussion group (currently 2,900 members) that shares photographs, information and first–hand knowledge. Check it out and join up.
Recent Featured Articles:The Sinking of the Passenger Ship Ohio
27/04/2017 On August 27, 1909 the passenger ship Ohio struck a rock near Swanson Bay BC. She was sailed on in a very damaged condition as she began to sink. Unable to clear Bluff Point she altered course so that she would settle in shallow water in Carter Bay BC.
Vessels Built by Hilmar Wingen
25/04/2017 A compiled nominal list of vessels built by Hilmar Wingen from the vessel database of The Nauticapedia.
The Sinking and Recovery of the Classic Power Cruiser Seamee II
23/04/2017 The sinking and recovery of the classic power cruiser Seamee II highlights the continuing challenge of old vessels sinking at their berths and moorings. Beside the loss of floating heritage they also present an environmental hazard. Contributor John Buchanan shares his images of the recovery.
The Stranding of HMS Flora at Hornby Island BC.
20/04/2017 On December 5th, 1903 HMS Flora hit an uncharted submerged rock, settled in a basin of rocks and developed a list of 8° to starboard. The Captain claimed that a seagull on the buoy confused him, and the event hit the newspapers worldwide and articles recounted day by day events in her salvage.
The Restored Yacht Katie Mack
10/04/2017 The Katie Mack is the restored Hoaloha which was built in 1932 in Vancouver BC. She is now resident in Southwest Harbour ME USA and pictures are shared by her owner, Hugh Harwood.
The Norvan Celebrates 100 Years
04/04/2017 Contributor Kechura Davidson lived for many years on the Norvan beached in Tofino Harbour as a waterfront home. the Norvan is an ex–North Vancouver Ferry and tugboat. She raised a family there and shares her knowledge of the vessel.
Captain Duke Snider
02/04/2017 Captain Duke Snider has just recently become the President of the prestigious Nautical Institute. He is the first President to come from North America in it's history - an organization of global reach and a position impacting the professional lives of every Master Mariner in the world. He comes from Victoria BC and is focusing his professional energy on Polar Navigation issues.
The Sailing Ship Riversdale
30/03/2017 The Hulk of the sailing ship Riversdale in the Royston Breakwater has an historic link to the writer Joseph Conrad.
Vessels Built by Western Canada Shipbuilding Co. Ltd.
28/03/2017 A nominal list of vessels built by Western Canada Shipbuilding Co. Ltd. from the vessel database of The Nauticapedia.
The Kitimat II in a Now Forgotten Incident
23/03/2017 The Kitimat II was originally a Fisheries Patrol Vessel based on the north coast. In a now forgotten episode she went aground about 35 years ago in a dramatic incident that was recorded by Captain Alec Provan. We hope readers will be able to shed light on the details.
The Sailing Ship Pamir
17/03/2017 In 1905 the Sailing Ship Pamir was owned by Ferdinand Laeisz, Germany in service in the nitrate trade. In 1920 she was acquired by the Kingdom of Italy as a war reparation. She called at Vancouver after the Second World War flying the New Zealand flag. She was a beautiful ship which captured the imagination of British Columbians.
Vessels of the Oak Bay Marine Group in the Queen Charlotte Islands
15/03/2017 The Oak Bay Marine Group famously operated a network of marinas, attractions and resorts on the British Columbia coast. Among their holdings were sport fishing motherships which carried outboard driven boats for day fishing which returned to the ships at night for client accomodation.
The Pixies Dream – A Shipbuilder’s Yacht
08/03/2017 The Pixies Dream is a delightful small yacht built by a shipbuilder for himself. Contributor Captain Tony Toxopeus shares an image when he encountered this little vessel during his work as a Marine Surveyor.
Vessels Built by Harris Built Products Ltd.
01/03/2017 Harris Built Products Ltd. was a small vessel fabricator based in Lantzville BC. They specialized in boom boats for the logging industry.
Ice Monitoring During Arctic Petroleum Exploration
01/03/2017 Arctic ice monitoring is one of the many challenges faced in Arctic industrial operations. Contributor Robert Nimmo shares some of his experiences in the Greenland Strait and the Beaufort Sea during the Arctic Oil Play of the 1970s.
The Deep Sea Salvage Tug Snohomish
28/02/2017 The deep sea salvage tug Snohomish started her career with the US Government before her purchase by Island Tug & Barge Co. She was involved in many famous salvage operations before sailing to Argentina while towing a barge with six ex–US Army tugs inside – a world record at the time.
The Log Barge Island Titan
24/02/2017 Contributor Cliff Craig tells about working on and with the log barge Island Titan in Nootka Sound. The author worked as an entrepreneur in a wide range of marine occupations during a long and interesting career. The big log barge mysteriously disappeared shortly before she was going to be transferred to a new owner.
Vessels Owned by the Hillier Family
18/02/2017 Contributor Brent Sohier shares a personal story of fishing vessels owned by members of the Hillier Family including the Manhattan II, the Manhattan No. 1 and the Hillier Queen.
The Search for British Columbia's Oldest Floating Heritage
14/02/2017 The search for the oldest vessel afloat in British Columbia is a difficult and complicated subject. The list is constantly shifting as vessels disappear and as the wrangle over defining terms such as afloat, or oldest vessel creates debate and disagreement. I would argue that just recently shifting an ancient vessel into BC waters does not create a new entry to the claimant list but that is only an opinion. Here is my attempt to establish the list of oldest vessels for consideration.
Some Memories of Captain Bob Lewis
12/02/2017 While researching his family history, contributor John Lewis captured family memories of their relative, Captain Bob Lewis, a Quadra Island and Campbell River mariner. He was well known in his role as a Fisheries Officer but had strong links to the Quathiaski Store and the Beehive Cafe.
Vessels Built by Waterway Houseboat Builders Inc.
09/02/2017 A nominal list of vessels built by Waterway Houseboat Builders Inc. from the vessel database of The Nauticapedia.
Removing Coastal Defences in Seymour Narrows BC
08/02/2017 In the early days of the First World War there was near hysterical fear of an imminent attack by a German Navy raider that was operating in the North Pacific Ocean. Coal supplies at Nanaimo and the naval base at Esquimalt were possible targets, as well as the cities of Vancouver and Victoria. The navy put guns ashore in Seymour Narrows to protect against attack from Johnstone Strait.
Some Vessels Built by James Bissett
05/02/2017 James Bissett and A. Gilstein built a number of vessels, some of which are still afloat. Contributor Garth Johnson shares images of a large and a small vessel built by them, and a recollection of happy members of his friendship with Jim Bissett.
A Serious Incident For The FPC Galiano
01/02/2017 We all know about the loss of HMCS Galiano at the end the First World War – lost to the wild weather of the Pacific coast. But here are two pictures which show her fast aground – at Cobourg Spit (aka Royal Roads). Contributor Christopher J. Cole shares the results of his research into the incident.
The Story of the Davis Raft
28/01/2017 The iconic Davis Raft was a thing of beauty to loggers, tugboat crews and mill owners. They were also engineering marvels. Contributor Garry Holland sketches out the history of the way raw logs were once commonly transported before the advent of the self–loading / unloading log barge.
The Schooner Lorna D.
24/01/2017 Contributor Dennis Minaker tells about the construction of the Schooner Lorna D. at Birds Eye Cove. This beautiful schooner went on to sail to Tahiti and returned to Victoria during the Second World War. She became the live–aboard home of her owners for many years afterwards.
The Tragic Meteor Fire at Sea
19/01/2017 Contributor Captain Tony Toxopeus reminds us of a tragic fire at sea which swept the Norwegian cruise liner Meteor during the early morning hours of 22 May 1971, claiming the lives of 32 crew members.
Featured Reference Tables:
The Nominal List of Members of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR)Nominal List of Members of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR)
Did your grandfather serve in the Canadian Navy during the First World War? To participate in the First World War naval effort Canada formed the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR) which filled out the forces needed to make the navy operational. This is a nominal list of 7,500 of the more than 8,000 who served as members of this organization. There is no publicly available list of members and this represents the result of more than 25 years of research through publicly available sources to produce this one. Each entry is linked to the biography database so interested viewers can see what we have for each name.
Canada’s Naval AviatorsCanada’s Naval Aviators
Few Canadians know about the Royal Canadian Navy’s contribution to Naval Aviation. More than 2,000 Canadians and some other naval aviators who served in Canada comprised this group. Originally published in print by John MacFarlane and Robbie Hughes, more than 25 years ago, this list is now revised and available to visitors to The Nauticapedia.
The Royal Canadian Naval Reserve University Naval Training Division (UNTD)
- UNTD –Nominal List (Interactive Currently Updated)
- UNTD –VIP List (Alphabetical) Updated 01/08/2015
- UNTD –VIP List (Titles) Updated 01/08/2015
- UNTD –Deceased (Alphabetical List) Updated 01/02/2017
- UNTD –Deceased (Chronological List) Updated 01/02/2017
The definitive Nominal List for the University Naval Training Division (UNTD) of the Royal Canadian Naval Reserve contains the names of almost 7,000 former members and details of their service. Other lists detail the former members known to be deceased and a list of former members who achieved positions of note in their civilian or military careers.
Canada’s Admirals & CommodoresCanada’s Admirals & Commodores
Canada has a rich naval heritage which tends to have a low public profile. To the detriment of the Navy and our awareness of our national culture and history, Canada’s naval contribution in two World Wars, the Korean conflict and the many United Nations and NATO operations is hidden from public view. The great contribution of the navy is both interesting and important – but it is difficult for history lovers to access the information.
New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!
Volume Four in series
The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four
For more information …
Site News: Feb 26th, 2017
Databases have been updated and are now holding 49,563 vessel histories (with 3964 images) and 57,418 mariner biographies (with 3346 images).