A to Z West Coast TrailWilliam Philip Daykin was the first lightkeeper of the Carmanah Point Lighthouse from 1891 to 1912. In books and newspapers he is either written as Phil Daykin or W.P. Daykin. He and his wife Helen Strelley Marriott Daykin had five sons, Charles Thomas Daykin, Edward "Ted" Daykin, William Taber Daykin, Roby Strelley Daykin and Philip Culme Daykin. He kept a meticulous lighthouse diary in which he recorded every ship sighted from his commanding view from the lighthouse tower.

West Coast Trail Shipwrecks

 Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailAlaskan at 4k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailSoquel at 5k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailSarah at 7k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailBecherdass-Ambiadass at 8k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailMichigan at 12k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailUzbekistan at 13.8k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailVarsity at 17.6k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailValencia at 18.3k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailJanet Cowan at 19k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailRobert Lewers at 20k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailWoodside at 20.2k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailUncle John at 26.2k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailVesta at 29k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailRaita at 33k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailSkagit at 34.2k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailSanta Rita at 37k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailDare at 39k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailLizzie Marshall at 47k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailPuritan at 48.5k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailWempe Brothers at 49.4k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailDuchess of Argyle at 58k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailJohn Marshall at 62.3k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailWilliam Tell at 64.2 Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailRevere at 69k Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailCyrus at 75k

West Coast Trail Campsites

Pachena Bay Campground West Coast Trail CampsitesMichigan Creek at 12k West Coast Trail CampsitesDarling River at 14k West Coast Trail CampsitesOrange Juice Creek at 15k West Coast Trail CampsitesTsocowis Creek at 16.5k West Coast Trail CampsitesKlanawa River at 23k West Coast Trail CampsitesTsusiat Falls at 25k West Coast Trail CampsitesCribs Creek at 42k West Coast Trail CampsitesCarmanah Creek at 46k West Coast Trail CampsitesBonilla Creek at 48k West Coast Trail CampsitesWalbran Creek at 53k West Coast Trail CampsitesCullite Cove at 58k West Coast Trail CampsitesCamper Bay at 62k Thrasher Cove - West Coast Trail CampsitesThrasher Cove at 70k Pacheedaht Campground

Daykin's son Phil Daykin and David Logan of Clo-oose responded to numerous shipwrecks along this particularly brutal and notorious stretch of the Graveyard of the Pacific. They both arrived at the cliff overlooking the horrific scene of the Valencia, just moments before its 36 hour ordeal of being pounded by waves finally smashed her and remaining survivors into the sea. In R. Bruce Scott’s excellent book, People of the Southwest Coast of Vancouver Island, he writes about his interesting life during the years he manned the Carmanah Point Lighthouse. The Carmanah Point Lighthouse is located near the 44km mark of the West Coast Trail. It guards the entrance to Juan de Fuca Strait opposite the Cape Flattery Lighthouse. If you look on a map the Carmanah Point Lighthouse is not that far from Victoria at 100km and Port Renfrew is just 25km away. Despite this relative closeness, was for decades the most inaccessible lighthouse along the British Columbia coast. No roads or trails existed to it and boats were often unable to be launched to reach the supply ship waiting offshore in stormy seas. Several weeks passed between supply drops during the stormy winter months and fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and other essentials had to be hauled in through brutal rainforest trails from Clo-oose. It was not unusual to have freight dropped off in Port Renfrew when winter storms prevented safe landing at Clo-oose. When storms subsided local First Nations people were hired to bring it in by canoe. The unreliable supply drops were only one of many challenges faced by Daykin and his family. Machinery often broke causing Daykin to manually operate instruments through the night. Coal to fuel the lighthouse was often poor quality and required him to laboriously clean the lenses. On top of all that there were frequent shipwrecks near the lighthouse that the Daykin's were often called to help. 

Two of Daykin's sons suffered tragic deaths in two consecutive years. Edward “Ted” Daykin in 1893 and William Taber Daykin in 1894. Ted Daykin was just 16 years old when he went on a prospecting trip near the mouth of Nitinat River with his friend Edwin Duncan MacNaughton. They never returned. Their boat was found floating in Nitinat Lake with all of their camping gear, guns, food, etc. A massive search was undertaken though they were never found. The Daily Colonist newspaper ran a story on October 3rd, 1893 titled, "Anxious Hours of Waiting" followed by, "Grave Fears Entertained for the Safety of a Victorian and His Companion" and "Each Succeeding Discovery Strengthens the Belief That They Have Been Drowned".

The following year, Daykin’s 17 year old son William Taber Daykin was taking the trolley that ran from the lighthouse down to the shore. This steep, cable trolley was powered by a gas powered winch. One day as his son was riding the trolley down and a cable broke, throwing the boy off and down onto the rocks far below. Severely injured he was rushed to Victoria on the lighthouse tender Quadra to St. Joseph’s hospital. He died soon after arriving at the hospital on September 19th, 1894. He was buried in Ross Bay Cemetery in Victoria.

He continued as lighthouse keeper at Carmanah Point until he was unable to physically keep up with all the rigorous tasks. He was replaced in 1912 and transferred to the Macaulay Point Lighthouse at the entrance of Victoria Harbour. This posting was much easier for him to cope with, with his failing health. He would eventually die of the flu, which he often suffered very badly from and was blamed on one winter night climbing the exposed stairs up to the top of the lighthouse.

More West Coast Trail Glossary A to Z

West Coast Trail A to Z

There are quite a few books about West Coast Trail shipwrecks, though many of them are tough to find and written decades ago. Here is a list of the ones we have found with the best information on the often scarce history of many of the lesser known shipwrecks ...
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The Pachena Point Lighthouse is an interesting bit of west coast history that you can visit. You can only see the grounds outside and not in the lighthouse itself. The view down from the 100 foot cliffs surrounding the lighthouse are beautiful and a vivid look at how ...
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Owen Point, at about the 67km mark on the West Coast Trail is home to a stunningly colourful and well hidden area of sandstone caves carved out by the ocean. Centuries of crashing waves have gouged out huge, circular openings in the cliffs jutting out into the ...
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Day 5 on the West Coast Trail is a stunning, very difficult and tremendously enjoyable day of hiking. Walbran Creek is gorgeous campsite to wake up to. Your tent will open up to a sweeping view of ...
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The West Coast Trail

The West Coast Trail was created after decades of brutal and costly shipwrecks occurred along the West Coast of Vancouver Island.  One shipwreck in particular was so horrific, tragic and unbelievable that it forced the creation of a trail along the coast, which ...
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Victoria Hiking Trails

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