“We enjoyed boating together from the beginning.”
They met at a Junior Yacht Club, Jim was the Commodore and Betty was the Secretary.
Betty started sailing around eleven years old on small Sabots in Alamitos Bay. In her early high school years, Betty raced an 8-foot pram before she met a high school boy, her future soul-mate and husband. She joined his crew on his 17-foot National One Design, racing the waters of Newport Beach, Long Beach, and Los Angeles Harbor.
At the end of High School, Jim went off to war, where he spent four-years during World War II in the Pacific Northwest on small Navy ships, mostly the PCE 893. Jim fell in love with the area.
After the war, they married. Two years later, Jim asked Betty if she would like to move to the Pacific Northwest. Betty discovered a boaters’ paradise while visiting the area. They settled in Portland, Oregon where an old Navy buddy of Jim’s resided.
Photo by Tony Locke
In 1956, they longed to visit the Canadian Gulf Islands and Princess Louisa Inlet. Their 16-foot Mansfield boat had a 25-horsepower motor, the largest motor available in those days and they felt confident they could make it.
Their Mansfield was advertised as a 16-foot boat. Something they counted on when they applied with the Coast Guard to be assigned a number. The Coast Guard officially recognizes a 16-foot boat as a “real” boat. They were disappointed when the Coast Guard inspected the boat and informed them it was really only a 14-foot boat with a two foot “well” on the stern for the outboard motor. Since, this did not meet the requirements for a 16-foot hull, they were refused a number. A number that would provide them with some peace of mind and safety! They were now truly a small boat — a small boat with a BIG adventure planned.
In the winter of 1956–57, with the use of charts and navigational books, they planned their proposed route.
Betty and Jim Wright
On Saturday, July 13th, the boat was packed, ready for the seven-hour trailer journey from Portland to Anacortes, Washington, where they would launch the next day.
Thursday, July 18, five days later, they arrived at Irving’s Landing at the mouth of Pender Harbour for gas and supplies. Leaving Pender Harbour at 10:50 A.M., they soon arrived in Egmont, the last stop. After lunch, they headed out, only 80 miles left until they reached their final destination.
Original 1957 Trip
• Traveled 438 miles
• Traveled 36 hours with motor
• Used 86 gallons of gas
• Used 13 quarts of oil
• Traveled 14 days
Betty Wright – her support is strong for preservation of wild places such as Princess Louisa Inlet.
There are three reaches leading to Princess Louisa Inlet: Prince of Wales Reach, Princess Royal Reach, and Queen’s Reach, plus four-miles into the inlet. As they approached the last four-miles of their destination, the pristine scenery beckoned them to slow down and enjoy nature’s magnificent wonder. Granite walls towered over the inlet, cut out by an ice-glacier millenniums ago. The snow topped mountains rose sharply from the sea’s edge to heights of up to a mile. When the snow melts and the water is running, there can be up to 60 waterfalls flowing down the sides of these enormous rugged mountains.
The mountains along side us are so high. We felt small and insignificant.
Then we rounded the last corner at the head of the inlet and came upon the spectacular Chatterbox Falls. We were speechless. What God has created here is truly one of the most beautiful places on earth.
It was then that Betty discovered her passion for Princess Louisa Inlet.
Since that time, Betty had visited the Inlet nine times before she left this earth. Her passion for this beautiful location remained strong till the end. Her greatest hope was that it would remain as God intended it and never be developed or ruined.
Everyone who visits Princess Louisa must leave with a divine feeling for the spirit of the Inlet. It’s an experience that will last forever.
In memory of Betty J. Wright – 1924-2020.
Join the Princess Louisa Society
We can do our part as boaters to protect this beautiful, natural asset by providing donations or becoming a member of the Princess Louisa International Society. For an annual payment of $40, a membership card and decal are issued. For a one-time payment of $200, a Life Membership card, decal, and Burgee are issued. The Princess Louisa International Society is a federally registered Canadian charity and qualifies as a tax deduction. Canadian donors and members should make their donation payable to the Princess Louisa International Society. American donors and members should make their checks payable to the Princess Louisa International Foundation, which is a non-profit, charitable corporation recognized under the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. For more information on how you can donate to this important cause, go to www.princesslouisa.bc.ca
Friday Harbor 1957
Roche Harbor 1957