A Trip to Scarlett Point c. 1973

– as told to me by Jean (Bartle) Konkle (daughter of relief keeper Albert Bartle)

I remember going to Scarlett Point one Easter Weekend, the first time we (my husband Rodger and I) had been there. We traveled ten long dusty hours up mostly gravel road to Port Hardy . There we planned to catch a fish boat out to the island. But although the harbour at Port Hardy was glass, nobody would take us out.

Although we couldn’t afford it, we had only the long weekend, so we attempted to charter a helicopter, but they wouldn’t go out in this weather.

32 foot fishboat - photo Ray Morgan

We went back to the fish docks, where we found a 32 foot fish boat to take us out. It leaked diesel, and I lost my breakfast.

When we got to Scarlett, Ralph and Brian came out to meet us in the station boat. The waves were so high, we had to wait until the gunwhales of the fish boat were even with the 14 footer to transfer across.

As I jumped off the fishboat, my foot caught in some ropes, and up I went as the waves moved. Ralph put his big bear sized arms around me and held me tight against his life vest (We weren’t wearing any), and said, “Hi, I’m Ralph”.

Fortunately for us, the weather was calm when we returned to Port Hardy at the end of the weekend. I won’t ever forget being in the trough of the waves, where all you could see as you looked up, was water. We loved the island so much we told my parents about it, and from there they got into relief (lighthouse) keeping.

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Another Trip to Scarlett Point in 2006

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