Hecate Strait
Feature Type:Strait - Passage, usually navigable, connecting two larger bodies of water.
Status: Official
Name Authority: BC Geographical Names Office
Relative Location: Between Haida Gwaii and the mainland, Queen Charlotte Land District
Latitude-Longitude: 52°58'33"N, 130°38'38"W at the approximate centre of this feature.
Datum: WGS84
NTS Map: 103G/6
Related Maps:
Origin Notes and History:

Adopted in the 15th Report of the Geographic Board of Canada, 31 March 1917, as labelled on British Admiralty Chart 1923B, 1867 et seq. Confirmed 6 February 1948 on C.3714 and 3 April 1952 on 103J.

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

Southern limit of Hecate Strait coincides with the northern limit of Queen Charlotte Sound: a line drawn between Cape St. James at the extreme south end of Kunghit Island, and Day Point at the south end of Price Island. The northern limit is a line drawn between Rose Point on Graham Island, and Hooper Point at the north end of Stephens Island (January 1971 advice from Hydrographic Service, and as described in Sailing Directions: British Columbia Coast (North Portion), vol 2, ed. 12, 1991, published by Fisheries and Oceans Canada.) At it south entrance, Hecate Strait is about 87 miles wide. The strait gradually narrows to a width of about 30 miles at its north end.

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

"After HM surveying vessel "Hecate", Captain George Henry Richards, RN, who had previously carried on the survey of this coast in the surveying vessel "Plumper". The "Hecate", a paddle-wheel sloop, 860 tons, 5 guns, brigantine rigged, arrived at Esquimalt from England, 23 December 1860.... The "Hecate" sailed for England 22 December 1862, via San Fransisco, Australia and the Cape of Good Hope, where she arrived 4 January 1864, and the surveying duties were continued by Mr. Daniel Pender, who was placed in command of the steamer "Beaver", whired by the British Government from the Hudson's Bay Company for that duty.Named by Captain Richards, 1861-62...." [see Walbran for anecdotes, names of officers, key dates, etc].

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)