Category Archives: history

To Simson in a Tin Boat

Simson Provincial Park might be the least visited provincial park within a couple of hours of Vancouver. It’s so close and just a little bit tricky to get to.

Occupying most of South Thormanby Island it’s accessible by boat only, ideally a small one or a kayak. In this case we took our 20′ tin boat which we could drive up quite nicely on to the rocky beach at Farm Bay.


There’s good camping in a small clearing just above the beach. There’s also a great spot in Long Bay, just next door.


The walking is easy through the old logging roads and skid trails that cross the island. Farm Bay Road is the major route. Signage is not to the usual provincial park spec.



The beavers here are especially talented. This is one of the prettiest dams we’ve seen, and makes an excellent foot bridge. The dam creates a small lake, which is now beginning to flood the apple and cherry orchards of the original farm.

Pulling Together

What a great day for a boat ride.

A friend was participating in this year’s Pulling Together canoe journey. The canoe journey is an annual event and was conceived to build relations between the RCMP and Aboriginal Youth. It now involves aboriginal youth as well as participants from various police departments as well as other enforcement and public service agencies. The one week journey provides an opportunity to grow and learn as they paddle, sing, drum, eat, and engage in protocol.

This years journey was hosted by the Sliammon nation (between Powell River and Lund). Travel was around the Malaspina Peninsula. The last leg, from Stillwater to Saltery Bay is about 20 miles up the Strait from Secret Cove. We hopped in the boat and went for a look.







The Islands of Secret Cove

The Islands of Secret Cove: TURNAGAIN, JACK TOLMIE, ECHO AND


 These four islands are all accessible at low tide by land due to their close proximity to the shoreline of Secret Cove.


Jack Tolmie Island is 1.5 acres in size and is the south side of the navigational entrance to Secret Cove. It was subdivided along with Tiki Island by the Hoffer family in 1963. Subsequently the Hoffers sold Tiki Island as one parcel and Lot 11 (Jack Tolmie) and the remainder of Jack Tolmie. Jack was the grandson HBC Chief Factor W.F.Tolmie, and a nephew of Premier S.F.Tolmie.

Western Eagle Enterprises, Inc. purchased Jack Tolmie Island in 1970 and  spent three years working with the Ministry of Transportation and Highways and the SCRD’s Planning Department, designing, planning and negotiating a 84 acre new subdivision on the mainland called the Tideways. Jack Tolmie was encompassed with the development.

Tiki Island’s water and power services were connected to the new subdivision’s infrastructure.

Turnagain Island is approximately 92 acres in size and comprised of three large lots, two of which are serviced by SCRD water and BC Hydro. There are two easements registered on title, one for utilities over lands on the mainland and for BC Hydro.

 Echo Island is a 3 acre lot and has water and power services from the mainland to one single family dwelling. There are multiple easements registered on title over other lands for right-of way for telephone, electrical, water and sewer lines.