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Royston Shipwrecks: Aye.. Matey a Pirate Photography Adventure

Ahoy there, me hearties! Set your eyes on a breathtaking adventure filled with hidden treasures and lost histories as we explore the Royston Shipwrecks. With our trusty cameras, we’ll photograph the sunken ships at Royston British Columbia, to capture the enigmatic beauty of these sunken vessels. So hoist the sails, gather your crew, and let’s embark on a photographic escapade.

Table of Contents

About the Royston Shipwrecks?

Royston Shipwrecks is an impressive collection of sunken ships located off the coast of Vancouver Island. These vessels were sunk to create a breakwater in the Comox Harbour to protect the log booming grounds.

They have become a popular destination for photographers because of the remnants of the ships, creating a unique photo opportunity.

Are you aware that the wrecks have existed for about a century?

Where is Royston Shipwrecks located?

Royston Shipwrecks is located in Comox Harbour, just north of Courtenay on Vancouver Island. It is close to the Royston Community Hall and Royston Elementary Playground. It is also close to the Royston Wharf Viewing Stand.

  • Follow the old Island highway (19A)
  • Turn onto Hilton Rd outside Royston.
  • Parking is at the end of the road

Map to Royston Shipwrecks

What is the history of Royston Shipwrecks?

In the first half of the 20th century, the Comox Valley population grew because of logging in the area. The history of Royston Shipwrecks began in the late 1930s. The Comox harbour, in particular around Royston, was susceptible to high winds and waves in the winter.

This made it hard to move the timber, and dangerous, especially in winter. To combat this, the local loggers created a breakwater by sinking ships to protect the log booming grounds.

The ships were towed into the harbour, drilled full of holes, and sunk to help calm the hazardous waters that posed a threat to lumber production. By the 1950s, 14 old ships had been sunk to make the breakwater. These included a windjammer, a barquentine, a frigate, a tug and two harpoon boats.

Today, these ships are known as the Ghost Ships of Royston, and are a popular spot for kayaking, fishing and birdwatching. A local kayak company, Comox Valley Kayaks, offers tours of the wrecks, as well as viewing of the local wildlife.

Type of ships and names at Royston BC

The Royston Wrecks consist of fourteen (possibly fifteen) ships that were used as a breakwater to protect the log booming grounds of Comox Harbour.

The ships include

  • Melanope – 3 mast windjammer
  • Forest Friend – 5 mast barquentine
  • Laurel Whalen – 5 mast windjammer
  • Riversdale – 3 mast windjammer
  • Comet – 4 mast barque
  • HMCS Gatineau – destroyer
  • HMCS Eastview – frigate
  • HMCS Prince Rupert – frigate
  • HMCS Dunver – frigate
  • USS Tattnall – Destroyer
  • Salvage King – tug
  • Nanoose – steam tug
  • Qualicum – steam tug
  • Black – harpoon boat
  • Blue – harpoon boat

The Melanope, is known as the “ship of romance and death.” Sailors believe the Melanope is cursed due to an old woman stowaway who was forced to walk the plank.

What activities can be done at Royston Shipwrecks?

At Royston Shipwrecks, visitors can take part in a wide range of activities, such as kayaking and birdwatching. Kayakers can take a tour of the wrecks, as well as other local wildlife, and gain a unique perspective of the area. Birdwatchers can also take advantage of the local birds that have made the area their home. There is also a Royston Greenway Trail with plenty to see, such as the old train tracks that can still be seen poking out through the soil in areas. Fishing is also a popular activity at Royston Shipwrecks, especially in late August. There are also portable toilets available, and pets are welcome on a leash.

Taking photos at Royston Shipwrecks?

example of what type of pictures you will see at the Royston Shipwrecks

Best time of the day to take photos

I prefer early morning or very late at night. During the early hours of the morning, it is possible to observe the sun emerging over the distant mountains. Conversely, it presents a chance to capture photographs of the stars against the backdrop of the lights emanating from the town of Comox.

A calm day without wind is the perfect time to capture the rusting vessels in their watery grave. If like is on your side, you may see paddleboarders passing by.

Best time of the year to take photos of the shipwrecks

I don’t think there is a bad time of the year. The warm summer weather provides the perfect conditions for a sun-soaked shot. Whereas the Winter months allow us to capture the waves crashing into the ships. So if you’re looking for a unique photo opportunity, the only advice I can give you is ‘just go’.

What wildlife can be seen at Royston Shipwrecks?

At Royston Shipwrecks, a wide variety of wildlife can be seen. These include various types of birds such as eagles, cormorants, and seagulls, as well as seals, and other marine life. The breakwater created by the sunken ships also provides an ideal habitation area for many aquatic species.

Royston seaside trail.

The Royston Seaside Trail is a simple and enjoyable walk for people of all ages and skill levels. The Shipwrecks are right at the beginning of this 1.9 KLM in-and-out trail. Restrooms are at the beginning. If you want to pause for a minute and take in the views of the harbour, there are few access points to the water throughout the path.

Final thoughts about the Royston shipwrecks

In conclusion, photographing the shipwrecks is an incredible opportunity to capture the history and uniqueness of these iconic remnants of the past. The photographs serve as a reminder of the immense power of nature and the sea. Use varied angles and perspectives when photographing the wrecks to emphasize their unique features, including rusted metal hulls and marine life. With the right mindset and technique, photographing the Royston shipwrecks can be a truly rewarding and unforgettable experience.

Other great photo locations in the Area.

Cumberland China Bowls

The China Bowls in Cumberland, BC, are an absolute must-visit for both hikers and photographers. Not only is the scenery breathtaking, but the well-maintained trail, which is actually a logging road, makes it easily accessible. The beauty of the China Bowls is further enhanced by the numerous potholes, each with its own unique waterfall that flows from one to the next. These waterfalls offer a fantastic opportunity for photographers to capture stunning landscape shots.

In addition, the China Bowls are an ideal spot to cool off during a hot summer day. While the waterfalls may be too shallow to swim in, the refreshing cold water is perfect for dipping your feet in. So whether you’re looking for a picturesque hike or a unique photo opportunity, the China Bowls in Cumberland are definitely worth a visit.

Trent River Falls

If you’re looking for a unique and rewarding photography opportunity, that’s a short hike off the beaten path. Trent River Falls in Comox, BC, is definitely worth checking out. The falls feature a fascinating shape with a long cascade and an exposed rock face that makes for stunning photos. The river below the falls is also a popular swimming hole, providing a picturesque backdrop for your shots.

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