Alive in Dead Point Cove

Looking at the little rocky islets in Dead Point Cove. Route map will be added later.

Why this name was given to this place I have been unable to discover (the water CAN be “dead calm” like deep green glass), but Dead Point on the northern shore of Harbledown Island is a lovely spot, and we anchored on Monday afternoon in the placid cove which it protects. The scenery here is typical of the anchorages we’ve enjoyed recently, and is similar to what one sees along the shores of the MANY rocky, wooded, driftwood-studded islands through which we motored from Echo Bay. Along some shores, massive cliffs rise from the sea’s surface (see photos in the Simoom Sound post), and forested hills heave up farther inland. Next among the land-layers come the blue-green lower mountain slopes, with azure peaks beyond them and even loftier ones, often crowned with snow, being visible in the far distance. Sometimes the mountain summits form gigantic blue bowls filled with billowing mounds of whipped cumulous-cloud-cream that spill over the sky and drop chilly showers upon the sailors passing beneath!

On our way here we passed Village Island, where the ruins of the once-thriving Mamalilikulla First Nation’s settlement of Mimkwa̱mlis, meaning “village with rocks and island out front” are being reclaimed by the forest. After the Canadian government outlawed the potlatch as a “barbaric heathen practice,” many of the people were arrested and jailed, and the village was abandoned in the 1960’s. You can learn more here:

The boat spent a restful afternoon swinging at anchor and we read, rested, wrote, enjoyed the varying views of our surroundings (looking out Braesail’s port lights (windows) or watching from the cockpit as the boat moves circularly is like watching the world go by from a seat on a merry-go-round), and took up some “boat-keeping” tasks. Walt spent a great amount of time trying to get our satellite phone, the Iridium GO, to function properly, and he will have to continue his task after we’ve moored in Alert Bay on Tuesday afternoon. Perhaps he can find someone in Technical Support (office in New Zealand!) to assist!

2 thoughts on “Alive in Dead Point Cove

  1. One can never tell what (if anything) was going through the mind of Capt. Vancouver, assuming his crew is the source of the name (figuring that it’d be Muerta Bay if Quadra dubbed it). Even Walbran doesn’t know.

    Speaking of Walbran, the UBC Library’s open access has an online searchable or downloadable PDF version of the 1909 edition, which is one of the generally-considered-definitive references for stuff like this. There are a couple of subsequent gazetteers that build on it (particularly for places that have had their names corrected to their original First Nations monikers), but when next you’re on decent internet, it’s a 266MB download for offline use from — enjoy!


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