Return to Sisters at Christmas c. 1927

– as written by Elizabeth Kate (Stannard) Smithman (Wife of Henry Herbert Smithman who was Senior Keeper at Sisters Island 1927 – 1929)

We were there [Nanaimo, BC ] nearly three weeks and it was two days before Christmas then. I wanted to be back on the lighthouse for Christmas as Bert was there with the other three boys.

I phoned The Government Office to see if any boats were going up that way, but everyone was off on Christmas and New Year’s holidays. I went all around the wharf looking and asking anyone with a boat to please take us up to the lighthouse. No one wanted to go at any price! They knew the old gulf too well and didn’t want to risk it.

I kept going back and asking them to please take a chance and go. At last an older chap said “Alright, we will start out but I don’t think we will make it”. Continue reading

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. Continue reading

Recent Storm on Cape Scott 2012

Cape Scott on a good day - photo Harvey Humchitt, Jr.

Every winter the West coast of Canada is pounded by storms with Hurricane Force winds (scale 12 on the Beaufort Scale).

Below you can read what the lightkeeper at Cape Scott lighthouse posted for this April 02, 2012 storm. The keeper, Harvey Humchitt, Jr. posted this information on his Facebook page.

Wind southwest 10 to 20 knots (18 to 37km/hr) increasing to southeast 20 to 30 knots (37 to 55km/hr) this afternoon and to 30 to gales 40 knots (55 to 74km/hr) early this evening. Wind increasing to southeast storm force 50 to 60 knots (92 to 111km/hr) near midnight except HURRICANE FORCE 65 knots (120km/hr) near the headlands Monday morning. Wind diminishing to southwest 25 to gales 35 (46 to 64km/hr) near noon Monday.

04:43 PST MONDAY APRIL 2, 2012 Hurricane is here full force hittin us hard at 80 knots 150km/hr, and a ton of rain

07:34 PST MONDAY APRIL 2, 2012 We were hit by almost 200km/hr winds that took out two storm doors, the crown on a spare house, the siding on a spare house and flooded our engine room. Winds are still gusting to 180km/hr, and horizontal rain.

11:38 PST Final Hurricane status report, winds hit 230 km/hr, lots of heavy rain that dumped 40mm of rain and the seas hit near 30ft. Damage done, two screen doors lost, siding on one house gone, crown on roof…gone, flashing for roofing…..gone, 3 trees fell, bassement in spare house flooded, engine room flooded and a stick punctured a hole in our sat dish for the tv but still works. In all….a typical British Columbia North Coast Hurricane. This is probably the last Hurricane force wind we will see now until the fall.

I do not think I have ever seen a storm like this when I was on the lighthouses – at least one  quite as strong in intensity. Climate change? 

Below are some photos Harvey made after the storm had gone through. Note the stormy seas and ragged clouds. Remember, these were made after the storm passed over. During the storm you cannot even get outside the house sometimes.  (All photos credited to Harvey Humchitt, Jr.