Pachena Point Light, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

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Pachena Point Light, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

by | Apr 12, 2020

The Pachena Point Light Station is located on Vancouver Island in the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, about 82 miles (132 km) northwest of Victoria and 8 miles (13 km) south-southeast of Bamfield, British Columbia. Pachena Point is a headland where high cliffs meet an often tempestuous sea. An anglicized version of a Nitinaht name, Pachena means “foam on the rocks” and represents both the character of the place and the First Nation Pacheedaht Tribe.

The light station at Pachena Point was built in 1908. The original lantern and 1st order Fresnel lens are in a 66 feet (20 m) tall octagonal wood tower with a focal plane of 154 feet (47 m). The light station is staffed and has two keeper’s houses and other buildings. The station has changed little in more than a century, and the Canadian Coast Guard carried out a major restoration of the lighthouse in 2015-16.

The seas surrounding Pachena Point are littered with the wreckage of scores of ships that tried to navigate the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Graveyard of the Pacific is a somewhat loosely defined portion of the Pacific Northwest coast stretching from near Tillamook Bay on the Oregon Coast northward past the treacherous Columbia Bar and Juan de Fuca Strait, up the rocky western coast of Vancouver Island to Cape Scott. Unpredictable weather conditions, including storms and fog, and dangerous coastal characteristics, including shifting sandbars, tidal rips, and rocky reefs and shorelines, have caused thousands of ships to wreck in the area since European exploration of the area began in earnest in the 18th century. Read more here and here. Explore more of Pachena Point here:

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