Submarine Races at McInnes

Submarine Races at McInnes


Our viewpoint - photo Paul Kurbis

On our lighthouse at McInnes Island we got to see many submarine races. It was usually a random event, and if the weather was good we would sit up at the front of the lighthouse beside the foghorns with our binoculars and radio and notepad waiting for the races to begin.


Weather like this was not good - photo Colin Toner

We were notified by radio beforehand and noted the times on our notepad. Good weather was always a necessity, as if it was too rough you would see nothing. The children loved the event as it could occur at any time of the day and so sometimes they could stay up late at night to watch and cheer, or even miss school.



If the weather was bad we went back and waited impatiently for the next announcement on the radio. They were mostly US submarines as Canada has not too many serviceable ones. Plus, the American ones were faster and provided more fun.


If you ever get a chance when near the ocean, try and take in this rare event. See the video below for a touch of the excitement!



Please note: today is April 1st and in Canada and the US, and perhaps other parts of the world, April 1st is known as April Fool’s day and it is a day to play practical jokes. Traditionally the jokes end at noon.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, the story above is fictitious, made up, a joke. I had the little photo¬†The Submarine (pictured above) sitting on my computer for ages. Wondering what to publish for today, I thought up this little idea. Tomorrow I will get serious again!

By the way, submarine races have been around for ages, probably since the advent of the motor car. Look at this Youtube video by Jan and Dean from 1965. The term submarine races was used as a humorous way to convey the message that a couple was or would be going somewhere to park, probably to make out. 

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Retired (2001) British Columbia lighthouse keeper after 32 years on the lights.

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