Transforming a fishing lodge into a coastal science facility was no simple feat. To convert the defunct “Hakai Beach Resort” into what is now the Calvert Island Ecological Observatory required monumental changes to the site’s infrastructure. The sewage system needed a complete overhaul—it was originally installed backwards. And that wasn’t the only complication. Just getting up to the main site from the boat dock was often a vertical affair.
“At only 50 feet long [15 meters], the original ramp between the dock and the lodge was nightmare steep at low tide,” says Hakai Institute director Eric Peterson, who commissioned a safer 21-meter dock that was installed in April 2011.
Once the new dock was installed, the old one was barged off Calvert Island as scrap. Its ultimate fate was up in the air until Quadra Island resident Lee Roberts spotted it. The marina at the Heriot Bay Inn (HBI) on Quadra Island, where the Hakai Institute also has an ecological observatory, desperately needed an upgrade to their slippery dock ramp.
“Eric and Christina knew that we were looking at improvements to our docks. In their kind generosity they gave the Heriot Bay Inn the old ramp,” says Lois Taylor, the general manager at the Heriot Bay Inn. “It has taken a few years to create the capital to build our new walkway, but we are happy to announce the ramp is now installed.”
With a population of just under 2,500 people, Quadra Island has a small-town feel. Helping out a neighbor is the norm.
“There are still a few touch-ups needed, but we are happy to see [the dock] up and working in Heriot Bay,” says Peterson.