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 participate in an on–going discussion 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 1,800 members) that shares photographs, information and first–hand knowledge. Check it out and join up.

Recent Featured Articles:

HMS Algerine HMS Algerine

18/06/2016 HMS Algerine was a Royal Navy vessel stationed on the Pacific Station at Esquimalt and later in RCN service. When her commission ended she was sold into private ownership. Her mast is standing on the harbour entrance to Bastion Square.


Holland Family Images Holland Family

28/05/2016 Contributor Garry Holland recently found some old images taken by his father who served in the Fisheries Service on the BC coast and he shares them here.


M.R. Cliff M.R. Cliff

21/05/2016 Aviation historian and author Robert Stitt discovered a collection of photos of the M.R. Cliff taken by Jack Bruce. He shares them along with some information on the vessel.


USNS Curtiss visits Victoria BC. USNS Curtis

07/05/2016 Contributor Murray Polson writes about a visit of the USNS Curtiss to the Port of Victoria. He describes the role and function of the ship in his photo essay.


Hecate (Second World War, BC Coast and Viet Nam Veteran) Hecate

21/04/2016 Contributor Frank Nyross writes about the last days of the Hecate which ended up in Viet Nam at the end of the conflict there. This was a far cry from her origins in the US Navy and her life on the British Columbia coast.


Vessels of the Hammer Logging Co. Hammer Logging

14/04/2016 Hammer Logging Co. was a small family operation at Stave Lake BC on fresh water. They owned a number of vessels - and Don Hammer (grandson of the founder) shares reminiscences and images of the vessels.


Alec Spiller – Shipwright and Boat Builder Alec Spiller

07/04/2016 Alec Spiller is a shipwright and boat builder who may have constructed the last wooden hulled commercial fish boat on the British Columbia coast.


F.D. 202 FD202

28/02/2016 The Fisheries and Oceans vessel F.D. 202 is now a yacht which can be seen on the Sunshine Coast. It was strongly identified with Captain Edward Arnet while she was employed by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.


Transport 951 Transport 951

21/02/2016 Contributor Lynn Salmon reveals the work of Transport Canada’s West Coast surveillance aircraft in their effort to monitor marine pollution on the West Coast of Canada.


The King’s Colour for the RCN White Ensign

14/02/2016 The presentation of a Colour to the navy by the Sovereign is an extension of the old Army tradition of carrying a Colour for each regiment. For three hundred years regiments have carried a flag that served as a rallying point in battle and as a potent symbol of the unit itself.


A Souvenir of the CESAR 1983 Arctic Expedition CESAR 1983

07/02/2016 The 1983 Canadian Expedition to Study the Alpha Ridge (CESAR) seemed to establish that the Alpha Ridge is an extension of the continent from Ellesmere Island and hence there is a possibility that Canada may lay claim to the resource rights for the region, in particular for petroleum, according to the United Nations Law of the Sea.


The Wheel of HMCS Porte de la Reine Porte de la Reine

28/01/2016 We were contacted by the owner of the ship’s wheel from HMCS Porte de la Reine. We thought the images would be of interest to our readers.


Prince William Prince William

21/01/2016 The Prince William was an interesting but unsuccessful experiment in turning swords into plowshares – when her conversion from a World War One German Navy destroyer to a passenger vessel did not yield a sound economic return on the BC coast.


A Compilation Reference of Pacific Coast Radio Radio Stations in British ColumbiaMarine Radio Stations

07/01/2016 An updated and revised list and short history of the coastal marine radio stations that have operated on British Columbia’s coast. The authors combined their data to create a list of the coastal marine radio stations in British Columbia that have been in operation over the last 100 years.


J.R. Morgan JR Morgan

07/12/2015 The J.R. Morgan was a freighter, rum runner and finally ended her career as a non–powered barge.


Moving House – West Coast Style Moving House

28/11/2015 The houses in Captain Alec Provan’s neighbourhood, near Victoria BC, were well–built almost a hundred years ago. Rather than tear them down they are moved out for re’location for new owners. If they are in the vicinity of the coast they are often moved to distant locations – in this case to to San Juan Island in Washington State. The ease with which the crew lifts and moves the houses onto the barge is an engineering wonder.


Laying Up the White Ensign White Ensign

11/11/2015 Laying up the White and Blue Ensigns and introducing the new Canadian flag was a moment of both nostalgia and hope for the future.Here are some seldom seen images that recall the day the change was made to the new Canadian flag.


Volume 4 of The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia’s Floating HeritageVolume 4 BC Floating Heritage

07/11/2014 The 4th and final volume in the series documenting the oldest boats afloat in British Columbia is now published. It’s 280 pages contain 1,750 histories of boats still afloat that were built between 1971–1975. It contains more than 600 fish boats, 200 tugs and work boats, as well as hundreds of pleasure craft, non–powered vessels, and many others. Finding accurate information on vessels in British Columbia is difficult – and here is a source that can be carried afloat, in the car or used at home. The whole set covers more than 6,000 vessels with 50,000 names of owners. As references they are unparalleled anywhere! They can be ordered online from Munro’s Books or or at these fine bookshops.


Featured Reference Tables:

The Nominal List of Members of the Royal Naval Canadian Volunteer Reserve (RNCVR)

01/06/2016 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 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)

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 & 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. In 1994 the second edition of Canada’s Admirals and Commodores was published (ISBN #0–09693001–2–3). Since that time we have been maintaining updates to the entries found in that publication as well as tracking names of all subsequent appointments.


New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!

Volume Four in series

The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four

Book — British Columbia's Floating Heritage
For more information …

Site News: May 31st, 2016

Databases have been updated and are now holding 47,845 vessel histories (with 2,995 images) and 56,706 mariner biographies (with 3072 images).


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