It was a puzzling morning for Sooke resident Shahn Torontow on Thursday, when he realized a local landmark had disappeared.
“I came out on my deck and looked into my scope, and I couldn’t focus on it,” Torontow told CHEK News.
The”it” he’s referring to is HMCS Cowichan, a minesweeper that had been moored 300 feet behind Torontow’s home in Cooper’s Cove.
HMCS Cowichan was commissioned in 1957 and was a member of Training Group Pacific until 1997. Torontow enjoyed its unique presence in the bay, but his concern was with an Osprey nest in the ship’s tower.
“Taking away their nest with babies in it? That’s messed up,” says Torontow, who says the osprey eggs hatched about three weeks ago.
The ship wasn’t far. He received a phone call saying HMCS had been taken by tug boat to nearby Sunny Shores Resort and Marina. The osprey nest was in place on the ship, but the future of the vessel is unclear.
It’s owned by Sooke’s Wenstob Timber Resources, made famous by the Netflix series “Big Timber”, filmed partially on location in Sooke.
Owner Kevin Wenstob offered few details as to what’s in store for the 180-foot former navy ship.
“It’s on a top-secret mission to an undisclosed location,” he said.