This update covers our visit to see the Seymour Narrows and Ripple Rock. I also have a cool wildlife report: We have spotted 2 humpback whale tails plus one spout, not sure what he was. One of the tails was huge and way out of the water, the other was just the tip. All sightings were right in front of our RV, they were so fast I didn’t have time to get the camera. We also had a cougar walking around in the campground. The park called wildlife control, he was picked up before we could see him. We were told to stay inside our RV’s until they took him. Bummer for sure, I would have loved to see him first. He was drugged and moved to a safer area. We also saw two harbor seals and lots of bald eagles. We have seen dozens of cruise ships going by as well as tons of tug boats pulling cargo and more. This is a high-traffic area for ships. It is fun to watch and see what the day brings.
We also visited a rare area where hundreds of ships and vessels have sunk because of two huge rocks. Ripple Rock is an underwater mountain that had two peaks (9 feet and 21 feet below the surface) in the Seymour Narrows of the Discovery Passage. This is a busy part of the marine trade route from Vancouver and coastal points north. The nearest town is Campbell River. Only (9 feet) underwater at low tide, it was a marine hazard in what the explorer George Vancouver described as "one of the vilest stretches of water in the world." The hazard was not only hitting the rock but also big, dangerous eddies caused by tidal currents around the rock. Ships using the strait preferred to wait until slack tide.
Its top was removed by a planned explosion on 5 April 1958. This is a National Historic Event in Canada. The Ripple Rock explosion was seen throughout Canada, live on CBC Television. It was one of the first live coast-to-coast television broadcasts of an event in Canada. The blast turned out to be the largest peacetime non-nuclear explosion in the world. The first known large ship to fall prey to Ripple Rock was the side-wheel steamer Saranac in 1875, as it was heading north to Alaska. At least 20 large and 100 smaller vessels were badly damaged or sunk between then and 1958. At least 110 people drowned in these accidents. It is so hard to believe all those ships were sunk in this beautiful part of Discovery Passage. We drove around the area where homes are now built all around the waterfront. We are hoping to take a boat tour and see it on the water later too. Check back later for more from Vancouver Island.
NOTE: A whole pod of orcas came in right after I finished this update. It must have been a dozen of them, I got one "okay" picture of a tail. I will try to get better pictures of them. It is amazing having whales right in front of our RV. Incredible!!