Hornby Island, British Columbia
Beaches and Shark Teeth
Alex Discovers Hornby Island
We hunted for fossils on Hornby Island British Columbia on a dull wet day.
Fossils of shark teeth and other fossils from the Triassic period are common on the island.
There are lots of Karmutsen Triassic period rock on Vancouver Island and Hornby Island got its share.
When this volcanic rock was thrown up out of the ocean it trapped thousands of sea bed animals and locked them in time, their fossils giving us a picture of ocean life 230 million years ago (1).
It sure wasn’t a day for the beach to build sand castles, so we opted to join the fossil hunters.
We drove to the end of Savoie, off Central road and walked down a pathway onto the rocky beach at low tide.
We had never looked for shark teeth fossils before, and we saw a woman carrying a hammer and a large knapsack. She looked like an expert so we asked her for some advice.
She was happy to show us her morning's find of sharks teeth and ammonite fossils.
She also showed us where to look for sharks' teeth in the tide pools and the slate like rocks that formed them. She told us where our group was, some two hundred meters away.
We were glad we wore old runners to splash through the water and across the sharp rocks. Our guide also had specimens of fossils.
The first ferry takes one to Denman island, the second leaves Gravelly Bay at the south east end of Denman island. Just follow the cars when leaving the ferry or lead them across the island turning left at the top side of Denman village, following Denman road then turning south on East road.
Alternative route is turn right on Lacon road and left on McFarlane, then right on East road. There’s usually a string of cars racing for the Hornby Island ferry. Remember the last ferry from the island is six pm in the summer.
Hornby Island Beaches:
Both these beaches face south and provide both sunbathing and swimming. Tribune is a great place for a family with clean white sands for kids to build castles. It’s fairly sheltered for a boat to anchor but beware of the south east Qualicum winds.
There is no overnight camping at either Tribune Bay or Helliwell Provincial Parks.
Hornby Island is an artists paradise and many of its residents are artists from the "hippy" generation of the 70s.
On market day on Saturday, near the community hall, one can pick through a wide range of arts and crafts or visit the numerous art galleries and potteries.
Fishing on Hornby Island British Columbia
Mooch for coho (silvers) or troll deep for spring salmon that may weigh in at over forty pounds. In the eighties the fishing was awesome, limits could be caught in a couple of hours.
But they are still there --- watch for the terns diving onto herring shoals ---that’s where the coho are.
There’s a marina at Ford’s cove ---I caught a big ling cod there two years ago---on a buzz bomb. Read your regulations carefully--- I released it when I found they are catch and release.
Hire a guide for salmon. He knows where the best spots are and will provide the tackle.
One can spend a week on this lovely island --- On the beach --- seeking fossils ---walking the trails --- or fishing for salmon.
Our Thanks to Alex for another inside Vancouver Island discovery: and there is nothing to stop you from doing the same thing!
[Ref:(1) R. Ludvigsen and G Reard. West Coast Fossils. 2nd edition. Harbor Publishing 1998]
New! CommentsHave you been here/done this? Tell us how it was!