Shipping News: Lots to see in Nanoose Bay

Nanoose Bay residents were treated to the unusual sight of a Canadian submarine this week. - Photo submitted by Chris Bob
Nanoose Bay residents were treated to the unusual sight of a Canadian submarine this week.
— image credit: Photo submitted by Chris Bob

When Chris Bob went out for his first day in the commercial crab fishery on Saturday, he got a whole lot more than a good haul of the tasty toe-pinchers.

He also got an eyeful of Canadian submarine.

“We were out there off Maud Island crabbing around and we could see a submarine coming from Nanaimo,” he said. “We had time to pull up our traps and rebait and then get some nice shots.”

Bob said he has seen submarines in the area before, but it’s far more common to see orcas and other wildlife.

“It used to be parked across at the naval base,” he said.  “It has been in and out and back and forth quite a bit recently. This is the most I’ve seen it in quite a few years.”


• The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society is looking for funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Speaking as a delegation at Tuesday night’s RDN committee of the whole meeting, society crew member Tom Hoefle said the Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Station 59 in Deep Bay is seeking $5,000 per annum.

Since they began keeping records in 2005, Station 59 volunteers have logged 161 callouts, saving three lives and rescuing 113 people from imminent danger.  They have also saved an estimated $1,897,000 in property.

He said although RCM-SAR Station 59 receives partial funding from B.C. Gaming, they need a stable source of funding.

The area they cover, from  Hornby and Denman Islands to the shoreline of Area H is one of the busiest on the B.C. coast, he added.

The RDN didn’t make any decisions based on the presentation.


• “So I says to Susie, what were you thinking wearing that dress and then she said ...”

There may be a time and a place for everything, but idle gossip on a VHF marine radio may not be the format.

There’s actually quite a lot to know about using a VHF marine radio safely, correctly and courteously and the Nanoose Power Squadron is gearing up to teach boaters all about it.

They’re putting on a  VHF Marine Radio safely, correctly and courteously, starting on April 15.

The course will run for four evenings, April 15, 22 and 25, with the exam scheduled for April 29.

The fee is $80 for squadron members and $105 for non-members.

The purpose of the course is to provide training on emergency radio procedures along with everyday operating techniques and hands on use of the Marine VHF Radio.

Those who successfully complete the course will also receive the ROC(M) license which is a Canadian federal government issued card allowing you to operate a marine VHF radio. This is now a legal requirement for anyone operating a marine VHF radio and there are penalties for those operating a radio without a license card.

Registrations are open now.

For more information e-mail radio@nanoosecps.ca.


• Veterans of the Battle of the Atlantic are getting scarce as the years move on, but Rev. Brian Kirby says there will be at least one more Battle of the Atlantic service at the Qualicum Beach Legion.

This year’s service is slated to be held on Sunday,  May 5, starting at 11 a.m.

Kirby said one of the highlights of this year’s service will be a naval veteran sharing some of his experiences. As well, various dignitaries, including the commanding officer at CFMETR will lay wreaths at the Cenotaph.

Watch this space for more details as the date draws near.


• For the crew members who perished when she went down, the Georges Valentine was anything but romantic.

Built in England in 1869, the iron-hulled barque was originally named Cape Clear, but this was changed in 1889, when she was bought by a French company based on Bordeaux.

After having all her steam machinery stripped and then rigged as a three-masted barkentine, she changed hands several times before, in October of 1904, she found herself bound for Buenos Aires with a load of milled mahogany.

Although the crew of 12 sighted Havana, Cuba on Oct. 13, a storm hit, blowing the ship to Florida, where she ran aground and sank, taking the lives of five men.

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