Shipwreck Icon West Coast TrailPeople of the Southwest Coast of Vancouver Island is R. Bruce Scott's third wonderful book on the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. His first book was "Breakers Ahead!", which focussed on the incredible number of shipwrecks along the coast of Vancouver Island. His incredible knowledge of the area allowed him a deeper understanding of the tragic events along the coast. "Breakers Ahead!" is arguably the best book on West Coast Trail shipwrecks.

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

While "Breakers Ahead!" was written to motivate the creation of the park that would encompass the West Coast Trail, R. Bruce Scott's second book, Barkley Sound a History of the Pacific Rim National Park Area laid out a wider history of the area. This amazing book published in 1972 has a chapter on Pacific Rim National Park, a few chapters on some of the first European explorers. He then has chapters covering some of the trading posts and early settlements along the islands west coast. He has an interesting chapter on the Cape Beal Lighthouse, the Carmanah Point Lighthouse and the Pachena Point Lighthouse. Another chapter is devoted to the history of the West Coast Telegraph line. The extraordinary story of the Valencia shipwreck he tells beautifully in Chapter 13. Chapter 16 is all about the West Coast Lifesaving Trail. He also has several chapters on the history of Bamfield where he resided for much of his life. Scott's third book of the trilogy is People of the Southwest Coast of Vancouver Island. Published in 1974 this amazing book delves into the lives of many noteworthy people along the west coast of Vancouver Island. Daykin of Carmanah is an amazing chapter on the history of the lighthouse keeper that we hear about often when reading about West Coast Trail shipwrecks.

People of the Southwest Coast of Vancouver Island

Phil Daykin was the lightkeeper of the Carmanah Point Lighthouse from 1891 to 1912. He kept a meticulous lighthouse diary in which he recorded every ship sighted from his commanding view from the lighthouse tower. 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.

Carmanah Lighthouse on the West Coast Trail

Phil Daykin of Carmanah Point Lighthouse

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. Scott also recalls the tragic deaths of Daykin’s two sons. One of his sons, at just 17, 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 he died instantly falling onto the rocks far below. He lost another son years later when his son and a friend went on a hunting trip up Nitinat Lake. When they did not return a search party went to find them and discovered their boat floating in the lake. Their guns, gear, bedrolls and all their belongings were on the boat, yet no sign of them or where they could have gone. It was though unlikely that they could have drowned as they were both excellent swimmers and the disappearance remains a mystery to this day.

Phil Daykin Retires to 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.

The Surprising History of Clo-oose

Chapter 8 is an amazing history of Clo-oose. This town was thought to become a popular tourist town and various circumstances resulted in it not taking hold and after a few busy decades it was abandoned. You will walk through Clo-oose when hiking the West Coast Trail and see that is is now comprised of just a few First Nations houses. Yet another amazing chapter is entitled, David Logan of Clo-oose. Most of the major shipwrecks along the West Coast Trail involved him to some degree. Logan and Daykin facilitated the rescue of countless shipwreck survivors. An amazing book, and without it many of these interesting characters would be largely forgotten from history. People of the Southwest Coast of Vancouver Island can be found online at a few places including Amazon.

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"Breakers Ahead!" written by R. Bruce Scott, who began living in Bamfield in 1930 and spent the next few decades pushing for the development of a park on the west coast of Vancouver Island.  After he retired in 1960, he began researching and writing this book, ...
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The Revere shipwreck lays at the bottom of Port San Juan between Thrasher Cove and Owen Point. Thrasher Cove is the first or last West Coast Trail campsite you will encounter. She was a large 3 ...
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The Valencia is usually regarded as the worst shipwreck disaster in the West Coast Trail and the final impetus for the creation of the West Coast Trail. The SS Valencia was an iron-hulled, 1600 ton ...
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The John Marshall shipwreck is located under the waves just outside the mouth of Camper Bay at the 62 kilometre mark of the West Coast Trail. Owing to the great difficulty and slow progress hikers ...
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Just past the 20 kilometre mark of the West Coast Trail you will find an anchor of the Woodside on the beach. The Woodside, an 87 foot long steamer built in Sooke, British Columbia in 1878. Sooke is ...
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Built in 1864 the 1376 ton, 3 masted ship, Becherdass-Ambiadass was wrecked on the rocky shore only a half mile from Pachena Point. This British ship was returning from Shanghai to Moodyville (now ...
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