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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 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 900 members) that shares photographs, information and first–hand knowledge. Check it out and join up.
Recent Featured Articles:A Souvenir of the CESAR 1983 Arctic Expedition
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
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.
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.
Chinese Canadian Naval Officers
14/01/2016 The first Chinese–Canadian naval officers in the Royal Canadian Navy opened the door for uptake of candidates who changed the diversity of what had previously been a narrow sociological group emerging from the Second World War.
A Compilation Reference of Pacific Coast Radio Radio Stations in British Columbia
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.
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
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.
Canadian National No. 5
21/11/2015 The Canadian National No. 5 started life as a tugboat in freshwater and ended it as a fish boat in salt water. She was elegantly designed and kept looking very tiddly. She disappeared in a storm with her crew and yielded no clues as to the cause of her demise.
14/11/2015 A williwaw is a wind that occurs on the British Columbia coast. Through the author’ experience in Kwatsi Bay, she describes the nature of katabatic winds, that form when cold, dense air descend from coastal mountain tops or plateaus to the sea, accelerated by the force of gravity. She says "Like water over a waterfall, this air tumbles over the mountains all around, from every direction, so no matter where we anchored, we were on a lee shore. When all the cold air had dropped, it was as if a tap had been turned off. No more wind."
Laying Up the 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.
25/10/2015 Les Palmer retired from the Canadian Coast Guard as First Officer of the CCGC Point Henry - the ship in which he was serving when he performed deeds that resulted in his being awarded the Cross of Valor.
24/10/2015 The Laurier served successively as an RCMP, RCN and Fisheries Protection Vessel before being sold out of service as the Laurier II. She is currently (2015) at anchor at Deep Bay on Vancouver Island.)
Canadian Holders of the United States Naval Medal of Honor
18/10/2015 The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States government. It is bestowed by the United States Congress on members of the United States Armed Forces who distinguish themselves through "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States." Medals of Honor can only be awarded to members of the United States armed forces – although being a United States citizen is not a prerequisite and Canadians have been recipients.
Volume 4 of The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia’s 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:
Canada’s Naval Aviators
07/06/2015 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 hard cover by John MacFarlane and Robbie Hughes more than 25 years ago this list has now revised and available to visitors to The Nauticapedia.
The Royal Canadian Naval Reserve University Naval Training Division (UNTD)
- UNTD –Nominal List (Interactive Current Update)
- UNTD –VIP List (Alphabetical) Updated 01/08/2015
- UNTD –VIP List (Titles) Updated 01/08/2015
- UNTD –Deceased (Alphabetical List) Updated 17/01/2016
- UNTD –Deceased (Chronological List) Updated 17/01/2016
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
01/12/2013 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 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 new appointments.
New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!
Volume Four in series
The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four
For more information …
Databases have been updated and are now holding 47,291 vessel histories (with 2,576 images) and 48,536 mariner biographies (with 2,899 images).