Carter Bay

Feature Type:Bay - Water area in an indentation of the shoreline of a sea, lake, or large river.
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Junction of Finlayson Channel and West end of Sheep Passage, Range 3 Coast Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 52°49'33''N, 128°23'46''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 103A/16

Origin Notes and History:

Adopted 7 April 1949 on C.3738, as labelled on British Admiralty Chart 1923B, 1867 et seq.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

Named 17 June 1793 by Captain George Vancouver, after John Carter, able seaman aboard the Discovery, who at the age of 24, died after eating poisonous mussels whilst on a boat expedition examining this part of the coast; he had been buried here the previous day, 16 June 1793.

Source: BC place name cards, or correspondence to/from BC's Chief Geographer or BC Geographical Names Office

"In the evening the Chatham's cutter, and the Discovery's small cutter returned, after having had a very disagreeable, fatiguing and laborious excursion; rendered very distressing by the melancholy loss of John Carter, one of our seamen, who had unfortunately been poisoned by eating muscles (sic). Two or three others of the party narrowly escaped the same fate....To this bay [where they buried the body], I gave the name of Carter's Bay, after this poor unfortunate fellow...and to distinguish the fatal spot where the muscles were eaten, I have called it Poison Cove, and the branch leading to it Mussel Channel." (17 June 1793, muster book, HMS Discovery; and Vancouver, 8°, IV, p.39 - 47)

Source: Provincial Archives of BC "Place Names File" compiled 1945-1950 by A.G. Harvey from various sources, with subsequent additions

"The mussels were gathered on the sands and not on the rocks....roasted for breakfast about 8 a.m, at 9 a.m. some of the men felt unwell, and Carter died at 1:30 p.m. after pulling his oar to the last....The other men recovered through drinking hot salt water as an emetic, but such was their foolish obstinacy that it was not until poor Carter resigned his fate they could be prevailed upon to drink the hot water. His fate, however, induced them to follow the advice of their officers, and the desired effect was produced."

Source: Walbran, John T; British Columbia Coast Names, 1592-1906: their origin and history; Ottawa, 1909 (republished for the Vancouver Public Library by J.J. Douglas Ltd, Vancouver, 1971)