SHIPPING NEWS: Philip’s flag coming to Qualicum

Ballenas Power Squadron helps celebrate 75th anniversary

A special 75th anniversary flag

A special 75th anniversary flag

The Ballenas Power and Sail Squadron is welcoming a very special visitor this month and they are inviting both their members and others in the community to come and say hello.

That visitor is the Power Squadron’s 75th anniversary flag, which was officially sponsored by none other than Prince Philip himself.

Past commander and training officer Bob Lineham said the flag is currently on a dry land cruise across Canada and will find its way into the Thalassa Restaurant at the Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21.

While the breakfast event is designed for members of the Ballenas Power and Sail Squadron, Lineham noted an invitation has been sent to the Nanoose Power and Sail Squadron as well.

“If anyone from the public wants to come, they would be welcome as well,” he added.

There could end up being a fair few of those, because more than 1,000 people have taken the course from the Ballenas crew, while a whopping 430,000 have taken it across Canada since the squadron’s inception in 1938.

For more information visit the squadron website at



• Although it’s too late to sign up for the Ballenas Power Squadron’s fall basic safe boating course — which started Tuesday — there is still time to sign up for the really meaty courses.

The Boating Essentials course kicks off on Oct. 1 and runs Tuesday nights for nine weeks until the end of November.



• A higher volume of ice than expected in the Northwest Passage has scuttled an attempt by a group of  adventurers to row from Inuvik, Northwest Territories to Pond Inlet in Nunavut.

The four-man team experienced strong headwinds and ice-choked channels that eventually made them decide to pull the plug on their attempt.



• Glenn Wakefield may be 63, but the Vancouver Island man still believes he has time to fulfill a lifelong dream. The Victoria resident embarked this week on an adventure that will see him attempt to sail solo around the globe.

Wakefield made one other attempt to make the circumnavigation five years ago, but was forced to abandon the attempt due to heavy storms at Cape Horn at the bottom of South America.



• The west coast of Vancouver Island has been justifiably called the Graveyard of the Pacific because of all the shipwrecks that took place there, but it’s not the only notorious stretch of coastline on the planet. On the coast of Namibia however  lies a stretch of the Namib desert that bears its own well-deserved grim title: the Skeleton Coast.

That coastline has claimed everything from Spanish galleons to modern cargo ships, one of which went down on this date in 1904.

Shrouded in dense fog, the Eduard Bohlen, a 310-foot, 2,272 gross ton cargo ship ran aground and was wrecked at Conception Bay while steaming from Swakopmund to Table Bay. The rusting remains of the ship remain swathed in sand to this day, laying about 400 metres from the coast. It is one of the most photographed shipwrecks in the world.