Elkington Forest is located 35 minutes south of the idyllic seaside village of Cowichan Bay. This picturesque marine community offers visitors the opportunity to boat, fish, kayak and whale watch, and to learn more about maritime history on the West coast.
It began as a boat building school in the 1970’s. Today it’s a showcase for Cowichan Bay maritime history. The Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre and Cowichan Wooden Boat Society continues passing on the valuable skills of wooden boat building and also serves to protect and promote the maritime history of the Cowichan Bay area.
The Centre is uniquely designed as a series of galleries, the first three open-ended galleries of displays lead you to a two-level building housing environmentally sensitive artifacts, model boats, marine photographs and a fascinating marine library. It’s all anchored by a part of marine history itself – an 82-meter former Chevron Oil facility pier, extending into Cowichan Bay.
The Cowichan Wooden Boat Society still conducts boat building classes in the Centre’s workshop, where you can experience the pleasures of working with fine woodworking tools with the guidance of top instructors. Classes, running May through September, will have you turning out your pride of workmanship in a matter of weeks. The Society is also committed to the restoration and repair of wooden craft.
The Society’s members and volunteers are an energetic crew, creating awareness and celebrating maritime history at a stream of maritime events, like the Fast and Furious Boat Building Festival, Maple Bay Boat Show and Christmas Sail Past. The Centre is also home to the Cowichan Valley Dragon Divas.
Elkington Forest is only 30 kilometeres from this local attraction, and nearby to many other attractions, organic farms and eco-friendly businesses on Southern Vancouver Island.
Photo: View from the CBMC moorage dock of the third exhibit pod and the Pavilion. From: http://www.classicboats.org/