Nootka Island

Nootka Island, BC
Friendly Cove, Nootka Island, BC, Photo By Bud Logan

Off the west coast of Vancouver Island is the small community of Yuquot on Nootka Island, Yuquot is also known as Friendly Cove and was the site of the first contact between Europeans and First peoples in British Columbia. In March 1778, Captain James Cook of the Royal Navy became the first European to set foot on British Columbian soil when he visited Friendly Cove on Nootka Island.

On March 22, 1803, while anchored in Nootka Sound, the trading vessel Boston was attacked by Nootka natives, with 25 of her 27 crewmen being massacred. John R. Jewitt and John Thompson, both survivors of the attack, became slaves and were owned by Chief Maquinna. There is a lake close to Yuquot name Jewitt lake, named for John R Jewitt.

In the 70s, I worked for Art Mangles out of Plumper Harbor, we were logging further up the island, past friendly cove at the lagoon. We would fly into Plumper Harbor and then take a boat out to our very small 5 man camp. Our shack was pulled up on the beach and was not level, not level at all. We had a wooden tree and an old Madill yarder. We were logging across the lagoon. If the tide was low we could walk across to where we were logging and if the tide was high, we would grab a log with a choker and the yarder operator would haul us across.

If the yarder operator was in a mood, he would sometimes stop half ways across and just dunk you in. I liked the days the tide was out best.

Grey Whale, Marine Animals, Nootka Island, BC
Grey Whale, Nootka Island, BC, Photo By The N.O.A.A.

We would not log on Sunday and that was my day to just hang out at the beach. One Sunday I was relaxing against some logs on the beach, reading a book and just enjoying the day, when all of a sudden, not more than 5 meters from me, the ocean exploded and something big came bursting out from the calm waters. It was a gray whale rubbing on the beach, man that just scared the bejeebers out of me. I sure laughed after that. It was so close that I got wet from the splash.

There are quite a few nice lakes on Nootka Island and many hiking trails for visitors to use. The Nootka trail that runs from Friendly cove out to Louie bay is a popular trek, and you can take numerous side trails to interesting points of interest.

Nuchatlitz Provincial Park is located at the very northwest tip of Nootka Island and includes numerous small island groups. This area is perfect for kayaking, and you can see all kinds of wildlife here, like Whales, Sea Lions, Seals, otters, and numerous seabirds.

Nootka Island has many bays and inlets awaiting your kayak and many beautiful trails awaiting your hiking boots, so come on and see for yourself. Don’t forget to bring your camera.

A message from Bud

One thought on “Nootka Island”

  1. Hi
    I am interested to find out more about Nootka Island old stories. around plumper. old fish canneries etc….logging areas. if you have any to share. thank you

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