The Valencia Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailShortly after 3pm on Tuesday afternoon on January 23rd the Valencia’s owners in Seattle received a message that the Valencia had gone ashore somewhere west of the Carmanah Lighthouse on Vancouver Island. The Queen, another Pacific Coast Steamship Company vessel was arriving in Victoria and it was ordered to rush to the Valencia to offer assistance. The call was put out to all tugs in the area to help, however none were available and ones that were available were at Neah Bay and the communication line was broken and they couldn’t be called.

The Valencia Disaster

 Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail1. The Valencia Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail2. The Voyage Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail3. The Boats Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail4. The McCarthy Boat Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail5. The Bunker Party Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail6. On the Valencia Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail7. The Rafts Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail8. The Turret Raft Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail9. The Rescue Ships Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail10. The Aftermath Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail11. The Survivors Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail12. The Lost 

The West Coast Trail

Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailPrologue Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail1: The West Coast Trail Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail2: When to Hike & Fees Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail3: Trailheads Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail4: Getting There Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail5: Considerations Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail6: Campsites Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail7: Shipwrecks Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail8: Routes

 The Topeka, another vessel belonging to the Pacific Coast Steamship Company in Seattle Harbor was finally reached and ordered to rush to the Valencia.

Captain Cousins of the Queen arrived at Victoria, discharged all passengers and left for the Valencia at 5pm Tuesday afternoon. She arrived off Carmanah Lighthouse at 10pm and waited until morning to begin searching for the Valencia. Captain Cousins was told in Victoria that she lay 4 miles west of Carmanah Lighthouse. She wasted valuable hours searching before being instructed by the Carmanah Lighthouse keeper that she lay 18 miles west of Carmanah. During the search she passed two Canadian vessels, Czar and Salvor near the Carmanah Lighthouse. Keeping a mile or two from the shore, the Queen finally spotted the Valencia at about 930am Wednesday morning. She kept a safe distance from shore of about a mile to a mile and a half. The Czar, a small tug was spotted passing far out to sea and the Queen steamed about a mile further out to intercept her.

Soon another Canadian vessel arrived, the Salvor, a wrecking vessel. When the Queen first arrived on the scene the crew spotted survivors on the Valencia clinging to the rigging. Both the Salvor and the Czar stayed in the area briefly and reported later that they believed there were no survivors on the Valencia and departed at 1015am. The two ships intended to go to Bamfield and help organize a shore rescue.

After the Salvor and the Czar departed the weather worsened and fog came in and the Queen could no longer see the Valencia. She was now two to three miles from the Valencia and had yet to launch any boats to go to the wreck.  At around 11am the Queen was steaming seaward abandoning the Valencia. She passed another steamer, the City of Topeka also owned by the Pacific Steamship Company and company officials on board ordered the Queen to return to Victoria and back to work as a cruise ship.  Frank Bunker, in an interview posted in the Victoria Daily Colonist on January 31st, 1906, learned of the conversation between the Topeka and the Queen. Captain Paterson of the Topeka asked the captain of the Queen if they had seen anything of the wreck. The Queen responded that she is in near shore, saw life aboard, people in the rigging and she is about three miles west of the big waterfall. Paterson then ordered the Queen to proceed to Victoria, and take up your passengers. The City of Topeka then cruised along the coast but in no time came within sight of the Valencia.

The captain of the City of Topeka would later report that he couldn’t find the wreck due to thick fog, however the men on the cliff above the Valencia reported seeing both the Topeka and the Queen when they passed each other and the Queen ordered back to Victoria. Shortly after the Valencia broke and sunk, the second raft that had been launched at about 10am was spotted by the Topeka between 1 and 2pm. They picked up the 19 men on board who were all nearly dead from exposure from the water filled raft.

The Valencia Disaster

 Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail1. The Valencia Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail2. The Voyage Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail3. The Boats Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail4. The McCarthy Boat Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail5. The Bunker Party Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail6. On the Valencia Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail7. The Rafts Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail8. The Turret Raft Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail9. The Rescue Ships Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail10. The Aftermath Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail11. The Survivors Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail12. The Lost 

The West Coast Trail

Shipwreck on the West Coast TrailPrologue Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail1: The West Coast Trail Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail2: When to Hike & Fees Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail3: Trailheads Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail4: Getting There Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail5: Considerations Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail6: Campsites Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail7: Shipwrecks Shipwreck on the West Coast Trail8: Routes

The Valencia wrecked just before midnight on Monday, January 22nd.  Thirty-four hours later, at around 9:30am Wednesday morning the situation on the Valencia was horrific.  Battered by waves, the ship was ...
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The Valencia departed from San Francisco at 11:20am on Saturday, January 20th 1906, bound for Victoria and Seattle. She cruised roughly parallel to the coast at a variable distance that ranged from about 8 ...
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When the survivors on the second raft were rescued by the Topeka just five hours into their ordeal and so close to death that they could barely stand, one of them asked about the first raft.  It was ...
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The Valencia was a 252-foot-long passenger steamship built in 1882 in Philadelphia. She served as a passenger ship on the East Coast or North America until 1898 when she was sold to the Pacific ...
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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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The Janet Cowan was a steel sailing vessel, four-masted, bark rigged, of 2498 tons built at Glasgow in 1889. She was wrecked at about the 19 kilometre mark on the West Coast Trail with several lives ...
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The Robert Lewers was a 185 foot, four masted schooner of 732 tons, built in Port Blakely, Washington in 1889. She was wrecked just past kilometre 19 on the West Coast Trail, just half a kilometre ...
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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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When shipping in and out of Juan de Fuca Strait rapidly increased in the mid 1800's and an alarming and costly number of ships were lost, the need for a inland trail was realized. It would take decades, and many more brutal and costly shipwrecks in the waters leading to
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The West Coast Trail is incredible. Everything about it is amazing. From the wildly, incomprehensibly enormous trees to endless jaw dropping views. And it's tough.  Very tough.  It is a trail that shouldn't exist. Hiking trails always form out of the easiest route worn ...
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The West Coast Trail hiking season is confined to just five months due to the dangerously stormy weather during the winter months. In the winter the days are short, tides are high and heavy rain and strong winds are frequent. Hiking the trail in the summer is tough ...
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There are three entry/exit points for the West Coast Trail, however the midway entry/exit point at Nitinaht Narrows is for hikers only hiking part of the trail. The two main entry points are at Pachena Bay in the north(Bamfield) and Gordon River in the south(Port ...
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There are lots of options to getting to the West Coast Trail. The trail is linear so you have to arrange to get to the trailhead as well as from your exit trailhead. Most West Coast Trail hikers drive to one trailhead then bus to the other and hike back to their car. ...
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The West Coast Trail is a very tough hike. About one out of one hundred hikers don't make it, they need to be rescued. That's why there are so many fees. By the time you are done preparing and registering, you laugh at how hiking got so expensive. Isn't hiking usually ...
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