Breakwater work pauses for winter

Neil Horner photo Beachcomber Marina owner Ian Barnes (right) and contractor Donny Swaluk survey the work at Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay. - Neil Horner photoi
Neil Horner photo Beachcomber Marina owner Ian Barnes (right) and contractor Donny Swaluk survey the work at Beachcomber Marina in Nanoose Bay.
— image credit: Neil Horner photoi

Work has stopped for the winter on an ambitious expansion project for the Beachcomber marina in Nanoose Bay.

However, says contractor Donny Swaluk of Rock Box Aggregates, the project to extend the breakwater in order to expand the moorage at the private facility is well ahead of schedule.

“We’ve put in 1,800 truckloads of material in, ” he said. “It’s a pretty massive extension. It’s actually quite something to be working on top of it when the tide goes out, because it’s 50 feet tall.”

Owner Ian Barnes said the first phase of the expansion  will see the breakwater going out about 170 feet.

“It’s the Department of Fisheries and Oceans closed period, so we won’t be allowed to continue until December,” Barnes said. “However, there’s no way I’m going to open up the end of it in the middle of the winter season, so we likely won’t be able to finish the breakwater until June.”

Currently, the marina holds between 82 and 86 vessels, depending on their length and Barnes expects the expansion will create room for nearly half that many again, when the work is completed.

• When she was first launched in 1898, RMS Arabia was a modern marvel, the first passenger liner  on the planet to boast of a children’s playroom among its many amenities.

However, when she went to the bottom on this day in 1916, she was well past her prime.

The 500 foot passenger liner had a top speed of 16 knots, making her a sitting duck when a German U-boat spotted her steaming home to England from Freemantle, Australia.

RMS Arabia carried 187 passengers, mostly Australians when, about 300 miles off the coast of Malta, a torpedo tore into her hull.

The ship went down quickly, killing 11 of her crew.

The sinking of RMS Arabia, though tragic, helped spur recruitment.



• The ongoing consultation sessions to provide input on proposed cuts to BC Ferries routes will come to Nanaimo on Nov. 15. The group session, slated to be held at the Coast Bastion Inn, will run from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and again from 1 to 3 p.m.

Following this, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., residents will be able to take part in an open house at the same location.

No RSVP is required for the open house, but one is required to attand the group session: e-mail



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