July 24: Exploring northern Vancouver Island

On Tuesday morning we headed north to Comox.

Home in Comox Another nicely landscaped house

We drove around a bit in Comox. It was a nice, neat town but we were more interested in the area further north and so we set out for Campbell River.

Marine Heritage Centre in Campbell River Entrance to the Discovery Fishing Pier. Discovery Fishing Pier

Our first stop in Campbell River was at the Maritime Heritage Centre. Unfortunately it was only about 9:30 AM and the Centre didn’t open until the afternoon. Across the parking lot was the Discovery Fishing Pier. It is so named because the channel between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island is known as the Discovery Passage. Campbell River is at the southern end of the Discovery Passage where it empties into Georgian Strait. The Discovery Fishing Pier extends well out into the passage and runs parallel to the shore for at least 100 meters. When the tide changes, the current past the pier reaches a maximum of about 5 knots. However, through Seymour Narrows, the narrowest section of Discovery Passage, the current can reach speeds of up to 16 knots. The flowing current can be sufficiently turbulent to create a Reynolds number of about 109, i.e. one billion, which is possibly the largest Reynolds number regularly attained in natural water channels on Earth. Cruise ships usually wait for slack tide before sailing through the Narrows. The currents are phenomenally rich in nutrients and oxygen, and sustain an awesome array of marine life. The passage is famous for its salmon fishing. If the salmon were running, the pier would have been crowded with avid fishermen on both sides.

Looking back towards the Maritime Heritage Centre Marina near the pier. Getting oriented at the Info Centre

From the first photo you can see that the part of the pier that is parallel to the shore is well out into the passage. This allows fishermen to work both sides when the salmon are running. Just beside the pier is a public marina. We stopped by the Info centre to find out more about the area.

Small park near the Info centre Roy Ashdown played for 'Lunch in the Square'

It was lunch time and Roy Ashdown was playing music for “Lunch in the Square.” We sat down and enjoyed the music as we ate our lunch.

Chainsaw Carving Competition A totem pole sculpture faces the strait A strange creature

A bit south of the pier we came upon an exhibition of chainsaw carvings that were produced at a competition put on by the Campbell River Shoreline Arts Society. One of the sculptures resenbled a totem pole and faced the Strait. The one shown in the third photo was the least representative and was one of the few carvings that was painted.

Gabe by Cody LaFrance a professional carver. A carved wooden fish A detailed warrior

Some of the carvings were much more detailed. It was obvious that some were carved by amateurs while others were carved by skilled professional artists.

Oyster Bay Shoreline Park Oyster Bay Shoreline Park

As we drove south along the Strait of Georgia we came upon this small shoreline park. It is obvious that this channel is used for transporting logs because the shore was littered with lost logs.

Thai Village Restaurant in Courtenay Delicious Thai food.

By suppertime we were back down in the Comox Valley and we had supper at the Thai Village Restaurant, 2104 Cliffe Avenue, Courtenay. The food was excellent and the price was reasonable. Highly recommended. After supper we headed back to the Kingfisher Resort and tried their Pacific Mist Hydropath before turning in for the night.