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Coal Harbour, Celebrating Whales

On the shores of Holberg Inlet, Coal Harbour claims a colourful history. Coal Harbour's name emanated from the mineral that brought the Northwest Coal Company to the shores of Stephen's Bay. The coal seam failed, but the name lived on. During World War II, a reconnaissance seaplane base was built and over 250 air force personnel were stationed here. After the war many of the military buildings were converted for a new industry - commercial whaling, until scarcity of whales and international conservation pacts closed the station.

Today, Coal Harbour celebrates the whale. The 20 foot high jawbone of a blue whale - the largest whale of all is on display in town. Humpback whales and "transient" killer whales play and feed in area waters and are even occasionally seen from Coal Harbour's docks. Annual grey whale migrations pass close to nearby Quatsino sound shores. Wander along the shore and spot eagles and other seabirds. At low tide, walk the beach and explore the tidal pools or have a picnic at nearby Quatse Lake. The calm, protected waters of Holberg Inlet, Quatsino Narrows and Rupert Arm are a boater's and fisherman's paradise...and are routes to Quatsino Sound and the wild Pacific. Take a boat trip to the charming village of Quatsino. A nearby First Nations village offers visitors an opportunity to observe artists and artisans at work ...preserving their ancient traditions. There are also offers many beautiful campsites and hiking trails for outdoor adventure.

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