Ocean Falls

The plan had been to drop in on Ocean Falls briefly to see the ruins, but it turned into a nifty “base camp” for us.  The approach from Cousins Inlet is pretty, and as you turn the corner heading east the falls come into sight.  From the books we expected neglected ruins but that’s not at all what we got.  Three dozen resourceful people call this home year around, which swells to about 100 in the summer.  Last Next
Falls, town and pulp mill siteThe residents have made good use of some of the buildings abandoned by workers who supported the pulp mill from 1912 to 1980.  The large building to the left of the falls is an abandoned hotel, once the largest on the west coast.  The pulp mill was to the right of the outflow; it’s since been removed. 
The marina is a welcoming spot that generally has room for all comers; last year rafting was only required during their salmon derby.  We had moorage, power, water, free wi-fi, nice folks, laundry and showers — and on the right days a couple small stores — all for a modest fee.  The list of services varies from year-to-year and over the season so be sure to check ahead if you need something specific. 
Neil and Norm keep it runningNeil and Norm take care of the marina.  Neil (left) is the warfinger a couple of hours a day, plus wearing a number of other hats around town.  Norm maintains docks and a recycling area among other things.  The shack provides off-boat cover, computers, games – but no otters please.
An economical strategy for summer visitors is to buy a month or so of moorage and take advantage of in-and-out privileges to explore for a while and then return, only paying for the days you use at the monthly rate.  Ferry and floatplane service lets you return to civilization to take care of business.
Deriva Vida, a sturdy practical aluminum sailboat. was built over 5 years of nights and weekends by the skipper.  The owners were on the way to Alaska for the summer, returning in a couple months for bottom paint before heading to Baja for the winter. 
The dam and powerhouse built nearly 100 years ago, was capable of 15 megawatts.  The carefully maintained original machinery is still providing a couple mw of power to Shearwater and Bella Bella.  It is an easy walk up to the overlook alongside the dam for a great view of the countryside and the large lake behind the dam. 
Everywhere you walk in town there are flowers of varieties that looks like the English gardens of the early residences have escaped, growing wild into this compatible climate.  Numerous songbirds added to the ambiance.
The small gift shop looked interesting but was only open a few hours a week, just not today.  There is a small general store a short walk west that we did not visit this trip and a restaurant that was not expected to open this summer though it had last year. Last Next