One of the iconic towns of the Skeena River is the town of Port Essington. Founded by Robert Cunningham in 1871 and a fall camping spot of the Tsimshian known as Spokeshute this site has over a wealth of interesting sites and features that will truly amaze you! A jungly 100 year cemetery with hundreds of moss covered headstones, a grisly boneyard of cow skulls and bones, a one km long boardwalk falling into disrepair, pilings protruding out of the brackish river on their last legs, a boiler form the Cunningham sawmill, old bottles, trinkets, and remnants from over 100 years of habitation. The One day Port Essington Experience will jet boat you back in time to a place that few have visited and explored.
One of the most photographed items on our visits to Port Essington is the abandoned boat lying in the deep sedge grass. I was fortunate enough to find out some more information on the boat and acquire a photo of the boat when it was seaworthy. The boats name is the Hi-Lo and it was a small crab fishing boat that plied the inner water of the coast in search of crabs. The lady who told me about it said that she remembers fishing on it it with her grandfather and rolling out a sleeping mat on top of the warm engine compartment at night time to go to sleep. The boat looks a little worse every year we go back there but still stands out prominently in the dark green sedge grass. We visit Port Essington on a few of our tours and we are doing a Brand New one day tour to Port Essington May 27, 2017. Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the town that still “Stands Guard over the Mouth of the Skeena”
On all of our Adventure tours the chances of seeing some sort of wildlife are almost guaranteed. The places we visit are remote and relatively untouched with few visitors. The bird life is amazing with so many species and a variety depending on where we are. There is always a chance to see a bear or moose and the odds go op greatly when we target the species. Here are just a few photos of some of the wildlife.
On our UNBC Adventure Tours guest safety is one of our main concerns. With many of our tours utilizing jet boats we must enure the drivers have a vast amount of experience driving jet boats and familiarity with the rivers and ocean that we take guests up. We many pre-trip inspections of the waters we venture into to ensure we do not incur any surprises. One of our drivers is Terrace resident Fred Seiler and owner of Northwest Jet Boat Services http://northwestjetboat.ca/. Fred has thousands of hours of experience on the rivers and also instructs our UNBC Jet Boat Safety course. Our guests are in good hands with Fred at the helm of the jet boat.
The jet boat is one of the most versatile modes for transporting guests into remote and otherwise inaccessible locations. These boats have alot of horsepower that allows us to carry 5 guests per boat and move them up rivers to amazing places with incredible scenery. Most of our tours utilize jet boats for a portion of the trip as we navigate larger rivers like the Skeena and Fraser and then smaller tributaries of the Skeena and rivers off remote ocean inlets. Navigating up and down rivers provides an exhilarating experience as you never know what is around the next corner. They are great for photography as they can be stopped quickly and held in place to allow guests to get that shot of a lifetime.
This is our third new tour that we are introducing this year. This tour will amaze you with the vast historic remnants from this remote area of the lower Skeena River. This one will fill up quickly so don’t wait too long to sign up for this truly unique adventure!
The Port Essington Experience is a unique adventure on the tidal portion of the lower Skeena River. The once thriving cannery town and service centre for the Skeena Region has almost 100 years of history to explore.
The overgrown cemetery with hundreds of headstones is a highlight of the tour. The low tides of the Skeena will expose a myriad of historical features rarely seen, like the eerie “Essington Bone Yard” with skulls and bones.
Artifacts from the canneries past lie abandoned on the beach and inland. These will help us learn more about the incredible history of the town that the Tsimshians called “Spa Xksuutks”.
Our adventure will also include stops at other Skeena Cannery sites like Claxton, Carlisle, Balmoral, Haysport and Cannery Row. We will boat by the unique and rarely visited Icelandic community of Osland with its km long boardwalk. You won’t want to miss an opportunity to visit these rarely visited and unique sites on the lower Skeena River.
A one-of-a-kind experience. Since 2014, UNBC Continuing Studies has been offering awe-struck adventurers rare access to seldom-visited historic sites, wondrous wildlife, and stunning natural scenery that is distinctly Northern British Columbia. See our list of past and new tours that are now open for registration. Check back daily for blog posts on all of the tours!
Upper Fraser White Sturgeon Biology Experience May 4-5, 2017
Prince George, BC
Canneries of the Northcoast
May 8-June 11, 2017
Cassiar Cannery, Port Edward, BC
Historic Fort George River Journey
May 15 or June 17, 2017
Prince George, BC
The Port Essington Experience
May 27, 2017
“The Town That Got Lost” Anyox Exploration
June 3-4, 2017
Northwest BC Grizzly Bear Discovery Tour
June 6-10, 2017
Skeena River Historical Jet Boat Journey
August 1-6, 2017
Hazelton – Port Edward, BC
Ghost Towns of Northwest BC
August 20-26, 2017
Combining the knowledge of local experts with unique destinations and activities, Continuing Studies’ jet boat tours will provide you a spectacular story all your own.
“It was indeed one of the best travel and educational experiences that I have encountered.”