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:

Princess Maquinna’s Binnacle Princess Maquinna

23/11/2016 Contributor Frank Statham, a retired Canadian Coast Guard radio technician, photographed Princess Maquinna’s binnacle and shared the image with me. Together we put a short article on this fragment of a famous west coast icon now long gone. Does any reader know where the binnacle is now?

August Moon August Moon

22/10/2016 Chad Giesbrecht and Dan Rubin share images and history of the schooner August Moon, a classic wooden British Columbia vessel built by the late Allen Farrell. Her trademark red sails allow her to be picked out in the Gulf Islands from a distance. An encounter with her owners (past and present) is a pleasure as is the workmanship in the vessel.

New Arctic Book Just Published Arctic Cargo

21/10/2016 "Arctic Cargo: a History of Marine Transportation in Canada’s North" (2016) Christopher Wright Digby NS. (571 pages paper bound) C$44.95 ISBN 978–0–9952525–0–9. (Follow this link to see the details) Christopher Wright has created a reference compilation combining detailed chapters with shorter essays supported by extensive reference material spanning more than 400 years of transportation history in Canada’ Arctic. The Arctic is a neglected topic for Canada, in many ways. It is isolated geographically, culturally, and economically.

Silver Fir: Forestry Patrol Vessel and Workboat Silver Fir

20/10/2016 Old patrol vessels of the British Columbia Forest Service are very popular with marine buffs. Their beautiful lines and fine workmanship have made them popular preservation vessels. The Silver Fir, resident at Mudge Island BC, is one of them. Contributor Chad Giesbrecht shares images of his vessel which is normally seen at vessel rendezvous.

Dawe Shipyards Ltd. and It’s Predecessors Dawe Shupyard

16/10/2016 Contributor Bruce Dawe teams up to share the story of a family enterprise that evolved into several well–known ship building and ship repair companies.

Fisheries Reserve Vessels Still Afloat in 2016Fisheries Reserve Vessels Still Afloat

15/10/2016 There are still a number of vessels still afloat that served in the RCN during the Second World War, but they are rapidly disappearing.

Classic Yacht Cresset Classic Yacht Cresset

08/10/2016 Contributor Trevor Webster teams up to share the story of an unusually beautiful classic yacht he has restored. The Cresset has a record for winning races and for Beautiful lines and workmanship.

Captain Roland Joel Roberts Captain Roland Joel Roberts

06/10/2016 Contributor Caroline Gilbert writes about British Columbia mariner Captain Roland Joel Roberts who served in the merchant service, wartime service in the navy and as a commercial fisherman.

HMCS Annapolis Propeller HMCS Annapolis Propeller

04/10/2016 Contributor Christoper J. Cole found this plaque to to the propeller of HMCS Annapolis in Esquimalt BC. The ship is now an artificial reef but the screw propeller was landed before the hulk was sold.

Trotman Anchor Trotman Manchor

30/09/2016 Contributor Christoper J. Cole found this monument in Ucluelet BC to the Trotman pattern anchor recovered from a deep water site in the Pacific Ocean.

McLure and Little Fort Reaction Ferries McLure Reaction Ferry

21/09/2016 Contributor Richard Howie shares images of the freshwater river reaction ferries operated by the British Columbia Government across the Thompson River.

Monument to HMCS Aurora HMS/HMCS Aurora

15/09/2016 Contributor Christopher Cole tells about the background to a memorial to HMCS Aurora that sits in front of the Merchant Navy, Army, Navy & Air Force (ANAF) Hall at Sidney BC.

HMCS Stettler: a snapshot of an operational history HMCS Stettler

07/09/2016 HMCS Stettler was a Frigate of the RCN built for the the Second World War. She served in the North Atlantic against U–boats until the end of the War. Afterwards, she was transferred to the Pacific Coast. With the advent of the Cold War she was re–commissioned. Besides carrying out patrol duties she served as a training platform for naval personnel.

Moving Nested Fishboats: Sharing Local KnowledgeMoving Nested Boats

01/09/2016 British Columbia fishermen share local knowledge of how they move inner nested fishboats at crowded floats so they can depart for a day’s fishing. It’s not as easy as it looks!

BC Coast LighthousesLighthouse

01/09/2016 Captain Alec Provan has shared his collection of images of BC coast lighthouses in a series of articles. This link will take you to the index page.

Power Cruiser Seamus Seamus

30/08/2016 The power cruiser yacht Seamus was the childhood home of contributor Glen Billwiller who shares memories and images from his current home in Western Australia.

HMCS Sans Peur: Second World War Armed Yacht HMCS Sans Peur

28/09/2016 HMCS Sans Peur was a British–built luxury yacht that was commissioned into the RCN in the early days of the Second World War. Based in Esquimalt she carried out patrol and training duties. She was transferred to the East Coast toward the end of the War and passed back into civilian service still afloat as late as 1975, and possibly later, in Japan.

Solander Island LightSlander Island Light

15/08/2016 Contributor Captain Alec Provan teams up to share his photograph of Solander Island Light, a spot that is very difficult to access and one which is not open to the public due to the environmental sensitivity of the island.

Arctic Barges – An Unusual Tribute to the Fur TradeArctic_ Barges

10/08/2016 Contributor George Duddy shares the research he has undertaken on the vessels used to transport goods and equipment into the Arctic from Canadian ports. The L.A. Learmonth, Scotty Gall and Johnny Norberg carry names charged with the nautical history of the Canadian Arctic Ocean.

An Album of Images of the RCMP St. Roch RCMP St. Roch

05/08/2016 Contributor Kirk Friederich shares an album of images of the RCMP St. Roch collected and taken by his father Constable John Friederich RCMP who, in 1940, served as Assistant Engineer on the voyage north into the Arctic. He was apparently an enthusiastic photographer who recorded some interesting views of the early part of the voyage.

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: October 14th, 2016

Databases have been updated and are now holding 48,650 vessel histories (with 3668 images) and 57,353 mariner biographies (with 3268 images).

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