Paddlers of all stripes are invited to join the Discovery Passage Passage when it returns for the ninth year Aug. 22.
Conceived as a “hands across the water” event to link Campbell River with the historic village on Cape Mudge, the passage is open to all human-powered craft including kayaks, canoes, rowboats, paddle boards and even dragon boats.
“Pretty much no motors, is basically the only criteria,” said Ian Goodship, son of event founder Jeff Goodship. “We like to think of it as a fun, non-competitive family event, but anybody can come and join in.”
The 6.5-kilometre, round-trip passage has drawn between 100 and 150 paddlers across a wide range of ages and styles. Last year’s entries include 88-year-old Don McIvor in a clinker built rowboat and a handful of paddle boarders.
Ian Goodship noted the event’s first paddle board was entered one year earlier, by a woman seven months pregnant at the time.
There is no entry fee and no prizes. Participants paddle across to the Cape Mudge beach, where community members host a welcoming ceremony centred around the village’s cedar great canoe.
Afterward, paddlers make the return journey to Campbell River on the tide.
All participants must wear an approved personal floatation device and follow Coast Guard safety regulations. The Coast Guard and several boats from the Campbell River Yacht Club will travel along for safety and support.
There have been no deaths or injuries in the passage.
“Last year was the first time people went into the water,” said Goodship. “They were in for a few minutes before they were helped out. Then everybody went back to Campbell River and laughed about it.”
This year’s Passage Passage will start at approximately 11 a.m., depending on the tide. Boats gather and depart from the boatways next to the old Government Dock downtown.
Though there is no entry cost, paddlers are asked register in advance for security reasons. To sign up, visit www.incampbellriver.net or call 250-830-4056.