Dramatic scenery and fascinating marine life are memorable features of this part of the coast, but it’s also a place rich in history.
There are stories attached to every inlet, island and bay. Tales of endurance and humour, battles won and lost, by a cast of remarkable characters.
The Museum at Campbell River offers an annual five-day tour for ten people aboard the historic Columbia III to see the Broughton Island archipelago and Kingcome Inlet. The trip, from May 30 to June 4, offers a rare glimpse into life on the coast.
Historian/writer Jeanette Taylor serves as the guide, drawing upon her current book in progress, a historical biography partially set in this region. Taylor, a former museum staff member, has four books in print about the history of north Vancouver Island. “River City, A History of Campbell River & the Discovery Islands” has been in print for over fifteen years. A more recent book, “Tidal Passages, A History of the Discovery Islands,” was on the BC Bestseller’s List for nearly a year.
“This is an active trip,” says Taylor. “We take the zodiac out several times a day to explore places like Maud Island in Seymour Narrows, an intact 1890s homestead at Port Neville, an untouched watershed, and aboriginal village sites.”
The Columbia III winds through the tightly packed Broughton Islands and then heads up to Kingcome Inlet, with its mountains and waterfalls.
There are old Kwakwaka’wakw village sites scattered throughout the islands, says Taylor. Most have been abandoned for generations, and their glistening, white clam shell beaches attest to thousands of years of occupation. Some have remains of traditional big houses and totems and there are many pictographs (paintings on rock).
“We’ll get a taste of present day life too,” says Taylor. “Billy Proctor of Echo Bay has become a legend in his own time and we’ll stop at a reoccupied Kwakwaka’wakw village too, to see their traditional big house.”
The crew of the 70-foot Columbia III, a family-run business based on Sonora Island, is famous for their gourmet fare. They also love to share their passion for birds, plants and sea life.
On board for this trip will be Luke Hyatt, who is particularly knowledgeable about birds and marine mammals.
Museum staff recommend you book soon as there are only two spots remaining.
For more information check the Mothership Adventures website at www.mothershipadventures.com or the Museum at Campbell River site at www.crmuseum.ca.
Bookings and enquiries can be made at 1-888-833-8887.