The BC coast is truly a small community and word seemed to spread that the Columbia III was turning 50 in October. Phyllis Hicks of the Anglican Women’s Auxiliary in Campbell River called and asked if we would host a tea party to commemorate the event. She reassured us that she would mobilize her forces and that all we needed to supply was the boat, the tea and coffee. They would supply the “snacks”. . . . and did they ever! Each participant came bearing sweet offerings and the salon table was soon laden in a grand array of treats. Jeanette wrote us a great newspaper article after joining us, note-book in hand, during the tea. One story that I heard didn’t make it into Jeanette’s notes . . . it’s a story that Rev. Trefor Williams (who traveled on the Columbia III in the late 1950’s and drove the 100 miles from Nanaimo to join us) told of one of his first journeys on the boat.
Just to the east of our home is a tidal rapids called “Surge Narrows” and the current can run to 11 knots there. Well, Trefor was traveling with a new skipper on the boat in 1958 and they were a bit uncertain how to determine slack water in the “Surge”. I gather from Trefor that is was quite exciting as they were sucked sideways through the narrow gap at maximum ebb, narrowly missing the boat-wrecking Tusko Rock that sits mid channel…
Trefor Williams signs the Columbia III guest log during the tea party
Phyllis Hicks, the tea party commander!