West Van, Vancouver and Port Alberni
Join Jacqueline and Dave for an evening of story-telling and Jacqueline’s stunning photography. Find out how we made out when our coastal route became so rugged that we found ourselves up on the cliffs above raging surge channels (more than once!), or what it was like to sleep in a little tent with wolves growling and snarling outside (turns out they were just playing…)
Tuesday November 19, Port Alberni at the Alberni Valley Museum, Port Alberni. Doors open and meet-and-greet with the presenters at 6:30pm, show starts 7:00pm. Entry is free at the door (you can RSVP on Facebook if you want, but it is not necessary) – but do get there early to secure your seat!
Tuesday November 12, West Vancouver at the Salomon Store, West Vancouver. Doors open and meet-and-greet with the presenters at 6:45pm, show starts 7:30pm. Entry is via a free ticket, which you can reserve here: Eventbrite ticket for Secret Coast Expedition show, November 12
Wednesday November 13, Vancouver at Fjallraven, West Broadway, Vancouver. Doors open and meet-and-greet with the presenters at 7:00pm, show starts 7:30pm. Entry is via a free ticket, which you can reserve here: Eventbrite ticket for Secret Coast Expedition show, November 13
Vancouver Island’s rugged, surf-washed outer coast is a wilderness that is home to bears, wolves and whales, yet visited by few humans. However, two and a half centuries ago, this region was the meeting place of four distinct cultures.
Why the “Secret Coast”?
Few Canadians know about the historic events that took place here: the important role that Spanish explorers played by making first contact with the Nuu-chah-nulth inhabitants in 1774 and founding the first European settlement at Nootka, or the tensions between American fur traders and the Nuu-chah-nulth, which culminated in the enslavement of two Americans by Chief Maquinna, then later the blowing up of the American ship the Tonquin in 1811.
And, although many Canadians have heard about, or even hiked, Vancouver Island’s famous West Coast Trail, few have heard of the wild, scenic, and even more rugged and remote coastal routes “up-island,” to the northwest.
In 2019, and with the support of the Royal Geographical Society of Canada and the Spanish Embassy in Canada and a number of other sponsors, two modern-day explorers voyaged to this remote coastline, spending one month in the wilderness, travelling both on foot and by ocean kayak.
Our route started in the north. We dropped in by float plane to Rugged Point, at the entrance to Kyuquot Sound, and hiked the shores of the Tatchu Peninsula, Nootka Island, and Hesquiaht Peninsula. There we picked up our sea kayaks and continued paddling on the ocean (just as the first Nuu-chah-nulth inhabitants did) to the village of Tofino.
During that month, we passed through the sites where many of these historic encounters took place – places now mostly wild and uninhabited. Our explorations and discoveries are being documented in words and in photographs: through social media and blog posts, and in media interviews and presentations, and eventually in a book.
Learn more about the history of this fascinating stretch of coast, or contact us with any questions or ideas. Many thanks to the wonderful sponsors of the Secret Coast Expedition 2019.