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San Josef Bay

Zachary Moxley


Behind the Shot

San Josef Bay is located in Cape Scott Provincial Park on the far northwestern tip of Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Known for its old growth forest, jagged headlands and white-sand beaches, the area is often pelted by brutal rainstorms. In the late 1800s, Danish settlers attempted to establish a fishing community here, but the harsh environment and remote location caused the community to fail after a few years. Another attempt in 1917 failed as well. The last local resident left the area before 1960. Due to the conditions, the area remained largely unforested, the old growth left unspoiled.

Today the location is popular with tourists willing to brave the elements and the rustic accommodations. Zachary recalls his September trip there: “We were working on a large project all around British Columbia, traveling thousands of kilometers of trails, conducting interviews and visiting locations all around BC. We arrived at the trailhead late at night, and hiked two hours to the bay. We set up camp near the bay and the tide was low. We built a fire in the middle of the beach. This shot was taken about an hour after sunset—which was around 10 p.m. This far north, the days last much longer. Once the tide came back in, this area was underwater. The transformation was amazing.”