We did not know the wreck was there. It was the opportunity for a quiet anchor and perhaps some wildlife viewing that brought us to Barnard Harbor on Whale Channel and Princess Royal Island. We spotted the wreck the next morning when the low tide revealed the hulk sitting on a small gravel beach at the north end of the bay.
Our shore party quickly identified the wreck as a tugboat, heavy deck gear for handling cables revealing the purpose of the stoutly built vessel. Her name was also found, carved on either side of the prow… The Eldoma.
We puzzled over the name, a bit Spanish perhaps? But the word was conflicted, El would be masculine, but Doma would be feminine. What?
The wreck is an attractive photographic subject, a few minutes were spent walking around the vessel and shooting a few pictures. This also revealed that the pile of debris in front of her is a second wreck, a much smaller vessel decayed to a bit of framing with an engine in the center.
It is only after returning to civilization that the identity of the wreck is revealed. A quick internet search turns up a history of the vessel. The 65ft tugboat was custom built for the Hodder Towing Company in 1924, the Eldoma was designed for towing log rafts and barges in the Vancouver and Fraser River area.
The solution to her name is also found in the history. She was named for the women of the Hodder family of the time, the mother Elizabeth and daughters, Dorothy and Margaret. Take the first two letters of each name and you have El Do Ma, or simply Eldoma. No wonder we were unable to figure out the name.
Somewhere along the line she was sold to another towing company and renamed. The last mention of the vessel in the history is a sighting in the Queen Charlotte Islands under yet another name. I was unable to find anything on how she came to be wrecked in Barnard Harbor. Indeed there is very little mention of the wreck. Multiple searches fail to locate any mention of the wreck online, and only one image of the wreck by professional photographer, Richard Nowitz. Odd for an interesting wreck that has surely been visited may times by cruising folks, guests of a floating fishing lodge in the bay, and fishing boats that pass through the area.