Barkley Sound

Barkley Sound, also known historically as Barclay Sound, is south of Ucluelet and north of Bamfield on the west coast of Vancouver Island and forms the entrance to the Alberni Inlet. The Broken Group archipelago lies in the sound. Barkley Sound is part of the traditional territory of the Nuu-cha-nulth First Nations. In 1787, Captain Charles William Barkley of Imperial Eagle, explored the sound and named it after himself. Barkley traveled with his 17-year-old bride, Frances Barkley, the first European woman to visit what is now British Columbia.[1]:22[2]

Barkley Sound
French: Baie Barkley
Barkley Sound
Barkley Sound
Location in British Columbia
LocationVancouver Island, British Columbia
Coordinates48°53′56″N 125°16′28″W
River sourcesSarita River, Effingham River, Toquart River
Ocean/sea sourcesPacific Ocean
IslandsBroken Group

In 1791, the Spanish ship Santa Saturnina, under Juan Carrasco and José María Narváez, explored Barkley Sound in detail. The Spanish named it Boca de Carrasco.[3] Another Spanish name in common use at the time was Entrada Nitinat.[4]

In 1933, 27 years after the sinking of SS Valencia, the ship's lifeboat #5 was found floating in Barkley Sound. Remarkably, it was in good condition, with much of the original paint remaining.[5][6] The boat's nameplate is now on display in the Maritime Museum of British Columbia.[7]


  1. Akrigg, G.P.V.; Akrigg, Helen B. (1969). "1001 British Columbia Place Names" (3rd, 1973 ed.). Vancouver: Discovery Press. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  2. "Barkley Sound". BC Geographical Names.
  3. McDowell, Jim (1998). José Narváez: The Forgotten Explorer. Spokane, Washington: The Arthur H. Clark Company. pp. 68. ISBN 0-87062-265-X.
  4. Kendrick, John (1990). The Voyage of Sutil and Mexicana, 1792: The last Spanish exploration of the Northwest Coast of America. Spokane, Washington: The Arthur H. Clark Company. p. 241. ISBN 0-87062-203-X.
  5. Brodeur, Nicole (2006-01-10). "Maritime safety owes debt to Valencia victims". Seattle Times. Retrieved 2006-08-26.
  6. Paterson, T. W. (1967). British Columbia Shipwrecks. Langley, British Columbia: Stagecoach Publishing. pp. 72–76. Archived from the original on 2006-01-12. Retrieved 2006-08-26.
  7. McClary, Daryl C. (2005-07-29). "Wreck of the SS Valencia". Retrieved 2006-08-26.
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