The Uchuck Years: A West Coast Shipping Saga

Overview

On the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, those days still exist, as this book reveals in vivid detail. Relating the trials and tribulations of what surely must be the last of Canada's historic coastal shipping lines, The Uchuck Years is a rare first-person account by an old salt who owned and captained his own vessels. Enduring for sixty-five years, the company that came to be known as Nootka Sound Service Limited is still in operation to this day, though David Young no longer owns it and has recently sworn ...

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Overview

On the wild west coast of Vancouver Island, those days still exist, as this book reveals in vivid detail. Relating the trials and tribulations of what surely must be the last of Canada's historic coastal shipping lines, The Uchuck Years is a rare first-person account by an old salt who owned and captained his own vessels. Enduring for sixty-five years, the company that came to be known as Nootka Sound Service Limited is still in operation to this day, though David Young no longer owns it and has recently sworn off serving as skipper even in a relief capacity.

Initially serving the communities of Ucluelet and Bamfield, the company refocused its efforts when Highway 28 was punched through the mountains from Campbell River to Gold River in 1959. Logging and mining camp bosses farther up coast in the Nootka Sound and Kyuquot areas were convinced of the company's usefulness, allowing it to move its service farther north along the remote West Coast. The four company vessels—all named Uchuck—have hauled passengers and freight ranging from the more usual outpost supplies to broken aircraft, totem poles and, more recently, kayaks and camping gear for eco-touring expeditions. Every day is an adventure on the Uchuck and the ships have been called upon countless times to perform boat rescue and other emergency support. Young's gripping first-hand accounts of stormy passages through waters once known as the "Graveyard of the Pacific" are interspersed with his anecdotes about the colourful boss loggers and hermits who make this storm-tossed but incredibly scenic wilderness one of coastal BC's most fascinating places. The Uchuck Years is transportation history par excellence, a great seafaring yarn and an important history of one of BC's most charismatic regions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550175820
  • Publisher: Harbour Publishing Company, Limited
  • Publication date: 5/30/2012
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,447,511
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 8.02 (h) x 0.72 (d)

Meet the Author

Author David Esson Young draws upon extensive company records as well as over forty years of experience with Nootka Sound Service, starting as a junior deckhand while in his teens and finishing as co-owner and ship's master. He lives in Royston, BC.

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Table of Contents

Maps of the West Coast of Vancouver Island 8

Introduction 13

Chapter 1 A Brief History of Marine Companies in Barkley Sound 17

Chapter 2 The Barkley Sound Transportation Company Ltd. 22

Chapter 3 Weather and Navigation 58

Chapter 4 The Barkley Sound Years 73

Chapter 5 The Early Nootka Sound Years 92

Chapter 6 The Lean Years 114

Chapter 7 The Beginning of the Turnaround 124

Chapter 8 Changing Times 144

Chapter 9 A Brighter Future 178

Chapter 10 The Refit Years 193

Chapter 11 Expanding Routes 215

Chapter 12 Dealing with Danger 251

Chapter 13 The Highways and Byways 264

Chapter 14 The Final Years 281

Epilogue 293

Acknowledgements 295

Index 296

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