Virtual Nautical Nights Speaker Series
Our programs are delivered online, LIVE using Zoom Meetings, where you have the chance to interact with our museum educators. After purchasing a Live program, you will receive a link for the Zoom Meeting. Please check your junk mail for this e-mail from SendOwl.
Pour yourself a drink and log on to the Maritime Museum of BC's Nautical Nights Speaker Series. This series focuses on discussion about our unique maritime heritage, culture, and environment! Each month features a new speaker and topic.
THIS MONTH'S SPEAKER: TYLER HOOPER
Dead Reckoning: The Sinking of the SS Valencia and the creation of the West Coast Trail
On Saturday, January 20, 1906, the steamship Valencia left Meiggs Wharf in San Francisco bound for Victoria then Seattle. But as the steamship made its way up the coast, Captain Oscar M. Johnson lost his bearings in the foggy and rainy abyss of the Graveyard of the Pacific. Just before midnight on January 22, 1906, the steamship Valencia ran aground, just a few hundred feet from the desolate coast of Vancouver Island.
For the next several days the breakers of the Pacific Ocean pounded the wrecked steamer, slowly crushing the ship and pulling its passengers to a watery grave. Of the 173 souls on board, only 37 would endure. No women or children survived the wreck.
Later, the press would call the government’s inaction on improving life saving stations along the coast “wholesale murder” and the sinking would force both the U.S. and Canadian government to re-address maritime safety on the west coast.
This is a story of protest, outrage, and change, as the sinking led to the creation of future life saving devices on the west coast, including the now famous West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island.
The sinking of the Valencia encapsulates all the tragic archetypes of the human experience—hubris, tragedy, and heroics. Dead Reckoning is a presentation akin to the wreck of the Titanic in sheer horror, but ultimately showcases the endurance of the human spirit in times of disaster.
About the Speaker: Tyler Hooper is a writer who resides in Victoria, B.C. He has a master’s degree in history from the University of Waterloo and a passion for historical storytelling. He hopes to publish a book on the sinking of the SS Valencia and its importance in establishing life-saving measures along the west coast of Vancouver Island.
The Maritime Museum of BC does not want to cause additional financial hardship at this time to any who would like to participate in our programs and lack the ability to pay. Free attendance at these programs is available. please email us at email@example.com to request your free Virtual Program discount code.
Please note: Registration for LIVE programs must occur at least 2 hours before the scheduled program and provide an e-mail, or we can not guarantee that you will receive the link to participate. We will contact you before the program, and are available for Zoom troubleshooting aid up to 2 hours before the program start time.