July 20, 1792, The Sutil and Mexicana move into Arran Rapids…
“The Indians came and accompanied us in their canoes serving as pilots. We seized the opportune moment and were shortly beyond the most critical point, but the tide which had not stopped except for a moment, began the most critical point, but the tide which had not stopped except for a moment, began to acquire force and reached Sutil. It took away her steerage-way and began to carry her along. The Mexicana was somewhat farther along and succeeded in anchoring in Fabio. As soon as the Sutil escaped from the currents she proceeded toward this place but when close to it a new eddy carried her off and into the Carbajal which we were due to follow. Immediately the Mexicana weighed and followed her through the canal where the currents were violent and the whirlpools frequent, and so strong that one, which the Sutil could not avoid, turned her around completely three times, at such a lively pace as to be surprising. The Mexicana was close to her but was more fortunate on this occasion. In spite of the danger in which the Sutil so unexpectedly found herself, a scene never before witnessed by any of those present, it unavoidably caused great laughter, not only among those who were in danger, but among those who were momentarily expecting to be.” – Captain George Vancouver, “A Voyage of Discovery of the North Pacific Ocean and Round the World in the Years 1790-95”
Orca Point Heritage
People have fished in the Stuart Island area from prehistory. Throughout the nineteenth century, travelers and fishermen rowing open boats would put in at a small cove at the south end of the island. Here, at “The Waiting Place,” they would rest and wait for the tide to slack before continuing through the rapids. It was the late 1800s before Europeans began living on Stuart Island. Drawn by abundant fishing and an independent life, they built cabins and float houses and settled along the waterfront. The “Waiting Place” eventually became the site of a store known as Bruces’ Landing. Eventually, a weekly steamboat brought supplies and mail to The Landing continuing into the 1940s. Later it was operated as a popular marine and fishing resort. The Washington Companies acquired the site in 1998, improving and renaming it Orca Point. The fishing happily continues.