A Discovery Passage Passage

( A background to the annual crossing of Discovery Passage between Campbell River and Quadra Island and return. )

Thousands of years after early man crossed the Bering Sea Land Bridge the Pacific Coast was the route of the southward migration to inhabit North America. What we now call Discovery Passage was certainly part of that southward migration route.

First Nations traveled this route for thousands of years before Captains Cook and Vancouver sailed here. Long before the first settlement by Europeans on Vancouver Island people crossed from Quadra to the big island to fish the abundant waters of what we now call the Campbell River. The Discovery Passage is part of an ancient historical trade and exploration route . It wasn’t till 1960 that the vessel “ Quadra Queen” began ferry service.
Crossing these waters has always involved an element of danger. Yet without benefit of tide table or clock or today’s ferry thousands have made this crossing in small boats. The cold, swift tidal waters of Discovery Passage are as challenging today as they were a millennium ago, yet people continue to cross with safety by observing and respecting the nature of her tides and currents.

In the early days of European Settlement, there were more people living on Quadra Island than in Campbell River. Before there was a ferry, it was common practice for Campbell Riverites to row across to Quadra Island. They went to buy groceries and collect mail from the Post Office in Quathiaski Cove. Ever since there has been a ferry its very rare to see anyone to attempt the crossing in a human powered craft.

So, this event is partly a reenactment of those early days. It can be done but must be done respecting mother nature.

This is fundamentally a participants event, rather than a spectator’s event. This event is not a fund raiser, it’s a fun raiser. It’s a fine example of different communities pulling together to provide safe passage for each other. In previous years the event has been a GREAT SUCCESS.

This year's annual Discovery Passage Passage is scheduled for Saturday, August 22
nd 2015. JOIN US !