Ballenas Islands

Feature Type:Islands - Land area surrounded by water or marsh. Plural of Island.
Status:
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: W side Strait of Georgia, just E of Parksville, Nanaimo Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 49°20'47''N, 124°09'30''W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: NAD83
NTS Map: 92F/8

Origin Notes and History:

Ballenas Islands adopted 11 May 1905 (Ottawa file OBF 0046), not Ballinac Islands as mislabelled on British Admiralty Chart 585, published in 1864 from surveys of 1860; on Admiralty Chart 1977, published in 1888, and on BC map 16, Vancouver Island West Coast Portion, 1908.

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

Adaption of the Spanish name Islas de las Ballenas, "Islands of the Whales", given in 1791 by Narvaez.

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

Discovered and named in 1791, Islas de las Ballenas (a name appropriate to this day, as whales are often seen in the neighbourhood), by the expedition under Lieutenant Eliza when exploring in these waters with the Spanish armed vessels San Carlos and Santa Saturnina, the latter commanded by José Maria Narvaez. The expedition proceeded to the westward of cape Lazo, discovering and naming many places, shown on Eliza's chart of 1791, and then returned to Nootka. There islands were for years erroneously shown on the Admiralty charts as "Ballinac Islands". Corrected by the Geographic Board of Canada, 1905. A lighthouse was erected on the easternmost island in 1900.

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)