Nootka Island and Friendly Cove

Nootka Island Coastal Trail

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Battered by savage storms on their voyage from Hawaii and seeking a place to make repairs and to find fresh water, Captain James Cook with his ships Resolution and Discovery, limped into this bay on March 29,1778. While the British anchored their ‘floating islands,’ the First Nations people shouted from their canoes: “itchme nutka, itchme nutka,” meaning “go around, go round” to a better anchorage at Yuqout, but Cook misinterpreted their shouts, believing they were calling out Nootka as the name of the area. Despite this initial misunderstanding, he and his men stayed for more than a month here, becoming the first documented Europeans to set foot in British Columbia. – Yuquot (Friendly Cove) Today

Of course it did not fare well for the First Nation People once the Europeans started showing up and claiming everything for their own.

MV Uchuck

The MV Uchuck III is a converted 1942 Minesweeper that services Nootka Island and multiple camps and settlements in the area. It carries freight, passengers and kayakers. This photo was taken in the 1970s but not much had changed when I returned in 2004.

Church at Friendly Cove

The first building one encounters is a Roman Catholic Church built in 1956 to replace the one built by Father Brabant in 1889.

Nootka Island Church

Stained glass window in the church

Friendly Cove

The real surprise is the interior of the church which now serves as a cultural center.  The altar and pulpit have been replaced with colorful native houseposts. Tucked away in the choir loft we found a few church remnants out of view.

Friendly Cove

Graveyard along the trail paralleling Friendly Cove.

Friendly Cove

Looking back at the Church along Friendly Cove. The beach is deceiving, it is not sandy, but made up of small polished stones. Walking along the shoreline is similar to walking on ball bearings.


We rented a cabin at the far end of Friendly Cove. We were unable to fasten the door because an earlier earthquake had shifted the frame. This was an issue because we were nervous that we might get a visit from a bear. We dined on fish the entire week.

Nootka Island in July

Our friends were hiking the trail while we stayed in the cabin. During the day we explored some of the tide pools and socialized with our relatives.

Nootka Island in July

It is an incredibly beautiful place


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