Saturday, May 5, 2012

#8 Namu

Of all the years we've cruised BC we've never stopped at Namu proper, but instead opted to anchor behind it in Rock Inlet, a very secure weather fortress. Today the Seeker crew is introducing us to Pete and the gals at Namu, the once busy fish cannery town. Namu is located on the mainland shoreline of the Inside Passage to Alaska.  Of course this cannery town was the namesake of the killer whale Namu, who was captured nearby in 1965 and was the second orca ever displayed in captivity.  Namu became a large fishing camp with an ice plant, salmon and herring packing lines, bunkhouses, wharves, hydro plant and fuel facilities and was one of largest salmon canneries on the BC Coast in the 1950’s. As many as 1000 employees lived in Namu.  The arrival of ice plants and brine tanks on fishing boats changed the industry, where previously the boats had to be within an hour's run of the cannery to prevent the catch from spoiling.  This led to the canning outposts' decline. The "large" canning plants were demolished in the 1980s but much of Namu still remains.  Pete and the gals are the present caretakers and live on the property year round, except during the stormy winter months when they move to Rock Inlet, just behind Namu. Pete says they catch salmon right off the floats in mid-summer.  So looks like the Wild Blue will be paying another visit on the Alaska return cruise.

Namu's old restaurant and dinner house

Namu had the largest operating cold storage building in BC.

Just two of the many diesel powered generators that kept the town lighted and heated, and the salmon cold.

Their's lots of scrap metal around, including this coastal freighter which amazingly is still afloat!

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