Monument to Tzu Hang and Beryl and Miles Smeeton

by John M. MacFarlane 2017

Plaque MonumentT

The plaque monument to Tzu Hang and Beryl and Miles Smeeton. (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection.)

There is a plaque monument on the seawall in Victoria’s inner harbour commemorating the Tzu Hang and Beryl and Miles Smeeton

Tzu Hang

The Tzu Hang in the Yarra River, Melbourne, December 1956. (Photo by A. Campbell–Drury.)

In 1939–1951 was owned by British Army Lieutenant Colonel Denis Swinburne. In 1951–1967 she was owned by Miles & Beryl Smeeton, Salt Spring Island BC. In 1976–1986 as a yacht she was owned by Robert Nance, Entrance Lakes, Victoria Australia. Robert Nance continued to sail Tzu Hang long distance, including another rounding of the Horn, and in 1979 the Smeetons joined him on a passage from New York to England via Labrador and the Faeroes. In 1982, Tzu Hang was bought by a drug dealer who used her to smuggle 20,000 pounds of marijuana from Colombia to Maryland. In 1988 she was seized by agents of the Drug Enforcement Agency. In September 1989 she was last reported sunk in Puerto Rico in Hurricane Hugo after being seized by the USCG for running drugs from South America. Her remnants were bulldozed into a landfill in San Juan Puerto Rico.

The Smeetons with John Guzzwell

Miles Smeeton, Beryl Smeeton, John Guzzwell and Clio Smeeton (in rear).

Miles Smeeton published ten books and Beryl Smeeton wrote and published two books. They were awarded the Cruising Club of America’s Blue Water Medal for 1973 and the Royal Cruising Club’s Medal for Seamanship.


The Cover of High Endeavours: The extraordinary life and adventures of Miles and Beryl Smeeton. (Photo from the collection.)

In 1991 I met a researcher, Miles Clark, who was collecting information on the Tzu Hang and the Smeetons as he was writing this book. Clark did a monumental job of research and the book is highly readable. Like so much of British Columbia’s nautical history these sailors are better known outside of Canada than in the Victoria area. Their adventures are like something out of a book – which is why I can recommend this account whole heratedly.

To quote from this article please cite:

MacFarlane, John M. (2017) Monument to Tzu Hang and Beryl and Miles Smeeton. 2017.

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