The story of the schooner Misty Isles is one of history, imagination, and craftsmanship.
Born in 1894, Frank Edmund Fredette grew up in Victoria, B.C., and at the age of 14 left his home waterfront aboard the Scandinavian sealing schooner Eva Marie. He quietly took his place onboard as a “boat puller”, headed for the Bering Sea at the rear end of a crew consisting of older First Nation and immigrant sailors and hunters. While rowing sealing dories at sea, he became inspired by the lines of the commercial schooners on which he sailed and lived upon. Fredette’s legacy to this day, is that of a Canadian master mariner and the marine architect behind the F.E. Fredette auxiliary schooner. With over 200 builds, Frank captured elegant and functional visions of ships caught in the interface between sail and combustion propulsion.
Misty Isles is inspired by the experiences and design vision of Frank Edmund Fredette. Based on his plans for the sealing schooner Pescawa (hull #74), a scaled down version was built by Ken Campbell in Fanny Bay, B.C. in the 1980s, with the salmon harvest in mind. Rigged for sail to save fuel to and from the fishing grounds, it trolled the Haida Gwaii and North Vancouver Island waters by gurdy and gaff-hook, until the mid 1990s.
With fresh attention given to its inherent comfort and seaworthiness, it was expertly repurposed as a passenger vessel on Cortes Island in 2001 by a team of mariners, woodworkers, and proud troubleshooters. Consistently operated and maintained with experience and care, the schooner Misty Isles is a well loved and respected member of the West Coast maritime community, and a Desolation Sound icon.
At 43 feet in length overall with a 12 foot beam and a full keel drawing roughly 7 feet of water, Misty Isles is a Gaff rigged schooner with a certified capacity for 12 passengers and 2 crew. The spacious fish hold has been tastefully converted into guest accommodations with two queen sized beds, a washroom, and ample storage space. A classic west coast wheelhouse is the heart of the vessel. Well lit by windows and portholes, the Yellow Cedar interior envelopes the navigation station and galley space, with steps leading forward into the foc’sle where the ships library awaits next to the diesel stove as well an additional washroom and V-berth bunk . The outer decks are open to all, with lots of seating space and an aft deck awning for raining days, or casting shade during summer heat waves.
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