Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Ship Cadboro

The bay where Bernie and I live and usually take our kayaks has an odd name. It's easy to pronounce and easy to spell, and isn't a familar or ordinary word. It's Cadboro.
The bay was named after a ship built in the shipyard at Rye in England for the Hudson's Bay Company in 1824, the brigantine Cadborough, later known as the Cadboro. The "borough" part is a familiar English word, and though it used to be pronounced Cad-bor-ufhh ending with a rough gutteral sound like the -ch in the Scottish word loch, it seems that the ship's name was pronounced Cad-bor-ow by the time the Cadboro arrived here on the West Coast in 1827.
Here's a photo of the bay from a high point on the bluff.
I found a photo of the bay at Saanich Parks' website, on their page about Gyro Park on the Cadboro Bay shoreline. Check it out here, or another page here.

It's interesting to paddle here and learn a little about the recent boating history of the area, and the ship for which the bay was named. This brigantine was a fairly light and small ship with two masts and several sails, 56 feet long with a beam of 17 feet at its widest point. That's pretty big when compared with the many yachts at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club here in the bay, but not big at all when compared to the mega-yachts that will berth new marina proposed for Victoria harbour. When the Cadboro was travelling along the Coast, there were many First Nations canoes that were both longer and higher above the waterline.

The name Cadborough has been sticking in my mind, though, after finding references to the Cadboro in Nancy Marguerite Anderson's interesting book, The Pathfinder: A.C. Anderson's Journeys in the West. So I looked the word up online, and found a book of local history by Danda Humphrey -- On The Street Where You Live, Volume 3: Sailors, Solicitors, and Stargazers of Early Victoria. Here's a link to an excerpt from Humphrey's book, where you can see some photos of the bay pre-1900 and a drawing of the ship.

I also found some references to Cadborough, which is a town in East Sussex, England, part of Rye where the ship was built. There's even a place that rents out holiday cottages, called Cadborough Farm.

The upshot of all this Cadborough talk for kayakers is a confirmation that while Cadboro Bay is a great place to paddle, and apparently has been since the end of the Ice Age, plan to keep your kayak out of the parking lot at Cadboro-Gyro Park on August 11, 2013. That's the day of the summer festival in the park, which will have the parking lot crammed. Both the beach and the picnicking area will be full of people having fun.

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