Who knew pilings could be so Photoworthy?

The Port Essington pilings that once supported the docks and buildings of the thriving cannery town were  one of the most photographed items on that day of the tour.

Below are three of the guests photos that they took that day.

the Pilings melting away into the water. Photo by Andrew Pugh
Another interesting view of the pilings by guest Colin Franks
And finally Ute Wilder’s perspective

Port Essington then and Now!

Port Essington is one of the sites we will visit on both the Ghost Towns and Jet Boat Photography Tour.  The Town was named by Captain George Vancouver in 1793 after one of his Royal Navy Friends but the town already had a First Nations name of Spokeshute.  The place provides an opportunity to get some very unique photos and to explore the remnants of the people that left 100 years ago.


It is amazing how a once thriving town can look like it was almost never there but for those that like to explore there are thousands of items lying in on the beach and foreshore forest just as they were 100 years ago.


The Town that got Lost – Anyox

One of the things we do to prepare participants for our Ghost Town visit is to send out some relevant reading material.  One of the book we send out is the “The Town that Got Lost” – The story of Anyox!  It is a great read, even if you do not plan to go on the tour.

For almost 38 years Anyox has been nothing but suddenly it lives again in the warm, loving memories of a writer whoi was a boy in the northern British Columbia town where the largest copper smelter in the British Empire was located. But this is more than history of a vital part of British Columbia’s past; its a human story of 3000 people who found strange happiness in a town cut off from the world by mountain and sea, drenched with coastal rains, choked with sulphurous smelter gas, bereft of grass and flowers and buried each winter in snow. People were saddened when it came time to leave. since then fire, weather and time have erased all but a few traces of the haven from a cruel world, that was Anyox.  The author went back and found these few traces and each of them evoked a story.  He has put them together to recreate the “The Town that Got Lost”.


The town that got lost – The story of Anyox

Oolichan Experience

Oolichan are a smelt-like fish that are very important to the Nisga’a because of their high grease content. It is well deserving of the name “candlefish” because they can be made to burn like a candle. For the Nisga’a, the Oolichan was a “saviour” fish, due to it being the first fresh food source after the long north coast winter. Oolichan are an anadromous species that spend most of their life in the ocean and like salmon, they return to freshwater streams and rivers to spawn and die. As they struggle upstream, oolichan can be easily caught in traps or nets. From time immemorial, the Nisga’a have processed the oolichan in a variety of different ways andcontinue to carry out this tradition today.  This tour is scheduled to be delivered  in March 2016 in the Nass Valley.

The bins are starting to fill after the first pull of the Oolichan nets
Can you tell which is the male and female oolichan?
The crew from Walter’s camp check the Oolichan nets on a rainy Nass River

Kitsault in the News!

One of the stops on the Ghost Town Tour is Kitsault

The town of Kitsault was established in 1979 as the home community to a molybdenum mine run by the Phelps Dodge corporation of the United States. The community was designed for 1,200 residents and included a shopping mall, restaurant, hospital, swimming pool, bank, movie theatre and bowling alley.[1] In 1982, however, prices for molybdenum crashed and the entire community was evacuated after just 18 months of residence. Now the only thing missing are the people.

In 2004, the ghost town was bought by Indian-American businessman Krishnan Suthanthiran for $5.7 million

Ninety-four homes, two hundred apartments, a hospital, shopping mall, swimming pool restaurant, movie theatre, sports centre, a Royal Bank; all the amenities you could possibly need in this remote part of the world await behind the towering mountains.

Here are a few videos and articles on Kitsault that have made the news in the past.

16×9 – Ghost Town: Canadian community abandoned 30 years ago


Wings over Canada – Kitsault


Northword Magazie – Kitsault and Alice Arm

Jet Boats 101

A jetboat is a boat propelled by a jet of water that is propelled through a corkscrew like impeller that is shot out of the back of the boat. Unlike a powerboat or motorboat that uses a propeller in the water below or behind the boat, a jetboat draws the water from under the boat into a pump inside the boat, then expels it through a nozzle at the stern.  The benefit of this is that there is no propeller or leg hanging down below the boat and this allows the boat to navigate very shallow water and get to places it wouldn’t otherwise be able to.  We utilize two jet boats with inboard jets to navigate the rivers on this tour.  They also make a great platform for taking photos.  If you haven’t been on one before it is quite the experience.  I still get goose bumps when cruising a new remote river in search of adventure as you never know what awaits around the next corner.

How a jet boat powers itself
The jet boat accessing amazing locations
Taking photos from the boat
The exhilaration of cruising up a new river



Anyox Powerhouse No.1

Constructed in 1911, Powerhouse No. 1 was the heart of the mining and community operations, providing electricity for the smelter, machine shops and other mining operations, as well as the town, until the mine closed in 1936. Secondary powerhouses and substations in the mine site produced electricity for the ore-haulage railway trolleys and other equipment. Constructed of brick and steel, 50 feet wide by 180 feet long, the building’s concrete foundations are laid on solid rock. Brick for the Powerhouse was originally imported from Sidney Island. Later brick, for refurbishing the building, was likely produced at the brickworks on the Anyox site. The building is a massive, elegant structure with an unobstructed interior volume. Ten bays with curved window openings and clerestory windows along both sides of the upper portion of the roof contribute to an impressive facade. A 15-ton crane, used to move the machinery, runs the entire length of the interior of the building.


Here are a before and after photo.  Participants on the Ghost Towns Tour will have an opportunity to photograph and explore this iconic building.

Anyox Powerhouse No 1
The Anyox Powerhouse Today

Kitselas Canyon Historic Site

We mentioned the Kitselas historic site in a previous blog entry but it deserves another post as the canyon ans site is an amazing place.  Not many people have the opportunity to visit the canyon by jet boat and visit Ringbolt island.  By viewing the canyon by boat it provides a unique perspective when we are toured around by Kitselas First Nations member Web Bennet.  Web is a wealth of knowledge and can tell you anything about the history of the area.  On this day we jet boat up the Skeena and ride through the boiling waters of the canyon.  After exploring Ringbolt island we have a shore  lunch in a secluded beach right in  the canyon.  After lunch we hike up a short trail where Web meets us with his UTV and passenger trailer.  He shares his knowledge and shows us the sites as we wind along a path through the beautiful hemlock forest.  Highlights include the longhouses, petroglyphs, totem poles, lookout, dugout canoe, interpretive signs and the flora and fauna.  This day is one you will remember for a long time.

Cruising along the Kitselas Historic site path in the UTV Passenger trailer


Kitselas Longhouses
Petroglyphs – Web will explain the significance of this

UNBC Jet Boat Photography Tour makes the BC Magazine “Super 7” Tours list

The recently released British Columbia Magazine features the “Super 7” Top BC Tours.  The UNBC Photography Tour made the list.  The Spring 2015  issue is on newstands now!

Here area  few photos of the magazine and the article.

Spring 2015 British Columbia Magazine
Jet Boat Photography Tour makes the Super 7 list
Photo is from the Port Essington day
Jet Boat cruising through Kitselas Canyon
British Columbia Magazine article

Fraser River White Sturgeon Experiential Tour

Just Announced!

Don’t miss this chance to be part of the exclusive Experiential “White Sturgeon” Biology Tour!

Two full days of Jet Boating on the Upper Fraser River as we take part in a hands-on White Sturgeon capture and release program.

Limited to 6 persons per tour!

Registration Link


We are pleased to announce that we are working in conjunction with the Lheidli T’enneh on this White Sturgeon Capture and Release Program and are providing an opportunity for the public to be a part of this unique experiential Tourism Program.