Blunden Harbor

It is always nice to know a few safe harbors one can use to wait out bad weather. Before making the passage across Queen Charlotte Sound on a northbound journey there are a few such places to mark on your charts.

Google map of Blunden Harbor

On the north side of the Queen Charlotte Strait, behind Robinson Island, can be found the excellent anchorage of Blunden Harbor. The harbor offers complete shelter from any weather with room too anchor two dozen cruising boats in ample room. Entry is relatively easy, steer carefully through the channel marked on the charts.

This cove was once the site of a thriving Kwakwaka’wakw (Kwakiutl) fishing community. Little evidence can be seen from the water of the large settlement that once existed here, the forest has reclaimed much of the shoreline. It is necessary to go ashore one begins to see traces of what was once here.

There is currently (September 2014) an excellent metal dock on the north shore, extending into water deep enough to moor most boats. At the top of the dock is a sign asking to respect the village site. As there were no signs with any other rules we interpreted this to mean to tread lightly and take only photographs.

Our visit was a foggy one. It was clear enough when we entered in the evening, while a thick fog greeted us the next morn. Not to be deterred from a shore exploration we took a bearing to the dock using the Nordic Quest’s radar and set out on the launch. The boat quickly disappeared and we were enveloped in a world of grey. Holding as straight a course as possible, the dock soon loomed from the fog. Not a bad trick if I say so myself. Getting back was a matter of remembering the angle of the dock as we approached and reversing that course.

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Someone had clearly gone to great of effort to clear back the grass and brambles, a large cleared area was available atop the embankment. Piles of white shell spill from the embankment above the narrow beach, an excellent sign that this place has seen generations of habitation, possibly reaching back a millennia or more. The piles of shell are so extensive they can be seen in the satellite image on the Google map embedded above.

Just to the east (right) of the dock can be found the remains of one of the old cedar lodges. the great log structure has collapsed, the logs lying on the ground. All along the shore and eroding from the bank are innumerable traces of habitation. From the piles of shell, a rusting boat engine in the tidewater, broken crockery, and more.

A short bit of video is embedded below. It is a transcription of old film that shows life in Blundon Harbor when this place was still a thriving community…

About Andrew Cooper

An electrical engineer living and working on Mauna Kea, Hawai'i. Webmaster for the website. Sometimes the first mate/deckhand/launch driver/anchor detail/cook/dishwasher and mechanic aboard the Nordic Quest.
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