History, hiking and hot springs

As we explore the rugged West Coast of Vancouver Island equipped with accurate charts and modern navigational aids, we are humbled to think of the feats of the early mariners. Nootka Sound marks the site of the first permanent European settlement. Indeed, Esteban Jose Martinez was sent to establish the post because Spain was worried about incursions by the Russians who were in Alaska. Imagine that? Meddling Russians…

Ultimately, Bodega y Quadra and George Vancouver met at Friendly Cove to sort out their territorial differences. This stained glass ( a gift from Spain) illustrates the signing of the Nootka Convention, in which Spain relinquished to England all its claims to the Northwest lands. It baffles me why Spain would give a gift to commemorate their surrender of claim to the land, but here it is:

The church which housed the stained glass was formerly a Catholic Church, however it was deconsecrated in 1994 and native carvings were placed at the former altar.

The village which surrounds Friendly Cove is called Yuquot which translates to “Where the Winds Blow from Many Directions” Good warning for sailors!

After our encounter with a significant site of British Columbia history, we were off to well known Hot Springs Cove. Most people arrive in float planes and speed boats from Tofino, but we were fortunate to share the area with just a few other boaters and campers. The hot springs are located in another beautiful provincial marine park. The walk to the springs is through the temperate rain forest.

Through the years, visiting boaters have replaced the planks with the names of their boat. There were a few marriage proposal planks as well. Lots of great names…my fav is Exit Strategy.

At the end of the 1.2 mile trail was the Hot Springs. It was definitely worth the hike. The lowest pool mixes with the ocean water in a natural jacuzzi with each ingress of water.

A hot springs shower at the end of the day!

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