The Monument Plaque to Joshua Slocum

by John M. MacFarlane 2017

Plaque Monument

The plaque commemorating Joshua Slocum on the seawall at the Inner Harbour in Victoria BC. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

Few people realize that the most famous sailor Joshua Slocum of Spray circumnavigation fame has a direct link to British Columbia and Victoria. He is somewhat overshadowed here by the memory of Captain John Voss and the Tilikum. But that is because Slocum had very little contact with Victoria and Vancouver.

While in the Philippines, in 1874, Slocum organized native workers to build a 45–ton steamer in a shipyard on Subic Bay. In partial payment for the work, he was given the ninety–ton schooner, Pato (Spanish for "Duck"). He made a few inter–island trips before starting out on a major voyage.

With his wife and three children on board they crossed the South China Sea to Hong Kong. In 1877 she hired a crew of hunters and sailed to Yokohama and on to Kamchatka to fish for cod. After two weeks of fishing he was fully loaded and shaped a course for the American West Coast. Hiring a crew, he contracted to deliver a cargo to Vancouver and Victoria in British Columbia. Thereafter, he used the Pato as a freighter along the west coast of North America and in voyages back and forth between San Francisco and Hawaii. During this time he was also a correspondent for the San Francisco Bee. The Slocums sold the Pato in Honolulu in the spring of 1878.

Joshua Slocum

Joshua Slocum (Photo source unknown. )

The monument was placed by the The Joshua Slocum Society International. Since that time the Society was unfortunately disbanded in July 2011. The Society’s mission was to honour all solo long distance sailors that accomplish epic voyages. Captain Sven Johansson piloted teh Belvedere (commemorated also at this location) through the Northwest Passage.

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2017) The Monument Plaque to Joshua Slocum. 2017.

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