The following photos were sent to me by David F. Pearce for publication here. Please respect his copyright. You may download the photos for your own photo collection, but they are NOT to be reposted to another website. Thanks – retlkpr
The idea for this story came from an article in the Vancouver Sun newspaper. I asked for permission to reprint it here for all to see, and they said I would have to pay them. This was an article about the Inside Passage ferry trip with mention of a couple of lighthouses – very few actually. I am not even going to mention the title of the story – how can they turn down free advertising. 😉
When you visit Canada do you plan on seeing some lighthouses? We have twenty-seven (27) manned lighthouses on the west coast of British Columbia (BC); Canada. There are other unmanned lighthouses that are available for viewing also. You can see some of them if you wish with the BC Ferries, plus enjoy wonderful trips through BC waters.
The Inside Passage
Let us start with the longest trip first. How about fifteen (15) hours on a luxurious ferry in daylight so that you can make many photos. Fifteen hours may seem like a long time, but there is so much to see that time flies by, especially if the weather is fine.
The following memory was passed on to me by Margit Losel. It happened during their time at Boat Bluff in the years 1977 – 1980. They were lucky! They were able to get off and on the lighthouse. Some stations were too isolated for this method to work. – retlkpr
Boat Bluff c.1970s - photo Ray McKenzie
We were living on Boat Bluff Light and my oldest son Simon was an infant. He developed a very bad case of Croup. One stormy night he all but stopped breathing and we tried frantically to get some help.
We finally managed to get a radio patch through Bull Harbour Coast Guard Radio with a doctor in Bella Bella. The radio reception was so poor that the connection with the doctor broke up all the time, but we did understand that Simon needed medical attention as soon as possible.
The Lightkeeper – many years ago he had no contact with anyone – now the whole world can communicate with him and through him!
Around 2004 the Canadian government decided to limit the weather report information put out by the lighthouse keepers to a very restricted set of criteria.
Wind detecting devices (anemometers) were removed, pressure detecting devices (barometers) were removed and devices for measuring cloud height (ceilometers) were also removed. Basic weather training was kept to a minimum. The lightkeeper was left to his own devices to observe and report the weather every three hours to his designated Coast Guard radio station.
No one was interested or affected . . . except those that used the weather reports! – the aircraft pilots, cruise ships, fishing boats, recreational boaters, and others that travelled the wind-swept and storm-lashed west coast of British Columbia. This coast is over 7,000 kilometres long from Vancouver, BC to Alaska, USA if you follow all its indentations, and sometimes these indentations are a life-saver when a storm blows up. (see the article Why We Need MORE Lighthouses . . .) Continue reading →
The derrick is another lifting device used on stations that do not have a rock in the sea for a highline and where seas were also relatively calm. It was used like the highline to lift and lower items to and from the work boats or lower the keeper’s boat or station boat in and out of the water.
Definition – “a derrick is a lifting device composed of one mast or pole which is hinged freely at the bottom. It is controlled by (usually 4) lines powered by some such means as man-hauling or motors, so that the pole can move in all 4 directions. a line runs up it and over its top with a hook on the end, like with a crane. It was commonly used in docks.”Derrick (Lifting Device), 28 april 2006 12:06 UTC, Wikipedia, The Free EncyclopediaContinue reading →
– Ray MacKenzie (Assistant Keeper on Boat Bluff 1982 – 1986)
Boat Bluff at low tide, Summer 2003; Mike Higgins photo
My wife Petra and myself and our dog Butch arrived on Boat Bluff Lightstation on the 2nd day of October, 1982 aboard the Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker “CCGS Wolfe”, having been picked up in Port Hardy by Capt. Mellis on the CCGS WOLFE whilst it was on it’s fall re-fuelling run.
It had been a very nice, albeit long trip, as we were on the fall refuelling run. We had an opportunity to go ashore at a few of the stations which made it very interesting to a couple of greenhorns with stars in their eyes. Continue reading →
The following memory was passed on to me by Margit Losel. It happened during their time at Boat Bluff in the years 1977 – 1980. They were lucky! They were able to get off and on the lighthouse. Some stations were too isolated for this method to work. – JAC
Boat Bluff c. 1970s - photo credit - Ray Mackenzie
We were living on Boat Bluff Light and my oldest son Simon was an infant. He developed a very bad case of Croup. One stormy night he all but stopped breathing and we tried frantically to get some help. Continue reading →