Premier Listings for Discovery Passage

The Discovery Passage is a body of sea located between Vancouver Island and Quadra Island in the Discovery Islands of British Columbia. The channel links Johnstone Strait to the north with the Strait of Georgia to the south.

Discovery Passage meets Johnstone Strait near Rock Bay Marine Park on Vancouver Island and the west coast of Sonora Island. The eastern shore of Discovery Passage is formed by Quadra Island all the way down to the southern end of the passage at Campbell River, where it connects with Georgia Strait.

Discovery Passage was named in 1847 by Captain Henry Kellett of the British Royal Navy after Captain George Vancouver’s ship, the HMS Discovery, which sailed through this passage during Capt Vancouver’s circumnavigation of Vancouver Island in 1792. HMS Discovery was also the consort ship of James Cook’s third expedition to the Pacific Ocean (1776 to 1780).

The passage, which is 14 miles (25 km) long and approximately 1.2 miles (2 km) wide on average, is an important shipping route that forms part of the Inside Passage between Alaska in the north and Washington state and British Columbia in the south.

Mariners should be cognisant and cautious of the strong currents in the passage, and kayaking and scuba diving in Discovery Passage can only be attempted during slack tide. The current flows at speeds of up to 16 knots through the Seymour Narrows, the narrowest section of Discovery Passage. The currents are phenomenally rich in nutrients and oxygen, and sustain an awesome array of marine life. Many different species of fish, colourful invertebrates, and the elusive giant pacific octopus reside in these nutrient-rich waters.

Ripple Rock rest area just north of Campbell River on Highway 19 offers a fine view of Seymour Narrows. An interpretive marker here describes the maritime history of the region since it was first charted by Captain George Vancouver in 1792. Despite the blasting away in 1958 of the twin peaks of Ripple Rock, which lies underwater directly east of the viewpoint, large boats are still harassed by the rip tides, swirling currents, and whirlpools that constantly agitate the surface of the Seymour Narrows. The tidal rip offshore is so vicious that when viewed through binoculars it has the appearance of a writhing mass of snakes.

The wealth of the salmon fishery in Discovery Passage between Campbell River and Quadra Island is so legendary that a special ritual has grown up around it over the past century. Called tyee fishing, this method has stringent requirements, but success buys instant membership in the exclusive Tyee Club of BC. Tyee is the appellation given a chinook (king) salmon when its weight exceeds 30 pounds (13.5 kg). Anglers must abide by regulations that stipulate a minimum catch weight of 30 pounds, hooked with an artificial single-hook lure fastened to a maximum 20-pound (9-kg) test line. Oh, and you have to be in a rowboat. (Considering the size of an average tyee, make sure it’s a big rowboat.) The official weigh-in station is at the Tyee Club House beside the boat launch on Tyee Spit, east of Highway 19 on Spit Road in Campbell River.

Cape Mudge Lighthouse on Quadra Island guards the southern end of Discovery Passage and celebrated its 100th birthday in 1998. It is the only one in BC that is accessible by road and is still staffed and fully operational. Linked by a trail to Cape Mudge Village, the lighthouse is located below the bluffs visited by Captain Vancouver in 1792. First Nations petroglyphs from centuries ago can be found at extremely low tide just south of the lighthouse.

Location: The Discovery Passage is located between Vancouver Island and Sonora and Quadra Islands in the Discovery Islands of British Columbia. Access to Discovery Passage is easiest from Campbell River and Quathiaski Cove on Quadra Island in the south of the channel. North of Campbell River, boat launches are located at Rock Bay, Elk Bay and Brown Bay on Vancouver island, and at Granite Bay in Kanish Bay on Quadra Island.

Campbell River
Campbell River is big as Vancouver Island cities go, located in a region rich in natural resources, with towering West Coast forests that have fostered a growing forestry industry and provide great scope for outdoor adventure. Campbell River is the port of departure for the scenic 10-minute ferry ride to Quadra Island, with a connecting ferry to Cortes Island.

Quadra Island
Quadra Island is the largest and most populated of the Discovery Islands. Quadra is a popular destination for visitors from around the world, and is best known for its natural and beautiful wilderness scenery, mild temperate climate, rural lifestyle, and friendly people. A ten-minute ferry ride from Campbell River takes you to charming Quadra Island.

Discovery Islands
The Discovery Islands are part of the chain of 6,000 islands that shelter the British Columbia coastline between Washington and Alaska. Located between Campbell River and the mainland of British Columbia, the Discovery Islands dot the intricate waterways in some of the most spectacular scenery in the world.

Johnstone Strait
Johnstone Strait is a deep and narrow glacier-carved passage extending roughly from Telegraph Cove to Rock Bay, connecting Queen Charlotte Strait in the north to Discovery Passage in the south. Johnstone Strait serves as an important thoroughfare for marine vessels that include cargo freighters and cruise ships bound for Alaska in the summer months.

Small Inlet Marine Provincial Park is located in Discovery Passage at the northern tip of Quadra Island, accessed by boat from Granite Bay. The remote park protects second-growth forest and two small lakes, with Small Inlet providing a protected anchorage in all weather conditions. Boaters also utilize the anchorage to wait for slack tide, allowing safe passage through the tidal rapids of Discovery Passage, Okisollo Channel and the Hole in the Wall.

Rock Bay Marine Provincial Park is a marine park incorporating a rocky headland and two adjacent bays on either side of Chatham Point. Consisting of foreshore only, Rock Bay juts out into the ocean at the junction of Discovery Passage and Johnstone Strait. Otter Cove on the southeastern end of the park provides a sheltered anchorage for small vessels waiting to navigate the nearby tidal passes in Discovery Passage.

Premier Listings

Photo of Misty Isles Adventures
Misty Isles Adventures
P O Box 137 Manson’s Landing Cortes Island BC V0P 1K0 Home Phone: 250-935-6756Visit Website

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Misty Isles Adventures is Cortes Island’s only sea kayaking outfitter and sailing charter vessel offering guided day paddles, kayak mothership trips, kayak instruction and sea kayak rentals. The 43-foot schooner Misty Isles departs Cortes Island for day sailing and sightseeing explorations of Desolation Sound, the Discovery Islands and mainland inlets. Longer multi-day trips are also available.

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Photo of BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation & Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation
BC Oceanfront: Ed Handja Personal Real Estate Corporation & Shelley McKay Personal Real Estate Corporation
ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River 972 Shoppers Row Campbell River BC V9W 2C5 Work Phone: 250-286-3293Work Fax: 250-286-1932Work Phone: 1-888-286-1932Cell Phone: 1-250-287-0011 Ed CellCell Phone: 1-250-830-4435 Shelley CellVisit Website

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Live, Work & Play Coastal Style
“BC Oceanfront” – ROYAL LEPAGE Advance Realty Campbell River’s Residential and Coastal Experts specializing in marketing and selling local residential, recreational, unique oceanfront and commercial real estate throughout Vancouver Island, Discovery Islands, the Outer Islands and the BC Mainland Coast. Our real estate listings include homes to small oceanfront and lakefront recreational lots, private islands, remote island acreages, fishing lodges, wilderness / adventure resorts and vacation homes, oceanfront / lakefront cabins, marinas, remote & timbered acreages, and development investment properties on the west coast of BC and Vancouver Island – BCO has the Coast covered!

As an experienced BC realtor, Ed Handja successfully markets and locates real estate on the British Columbia coast for his clients. He’s lived and worked on the coast all his life, traveling from Indian Arm and the Gulf Islands on the southern BC coast, to the Khutzeymateen Valley in the northern most part of British Columbia. Ed is familiar with the west coast of Canada and understands the logistics and considerations required when dealing with the remote and unconventional real estate on the islands and west coast of BC.

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Photo of Bluewater Adventures
Bluewater Adventures
# 3 – 252 East First Street Vancouver BC V7L 1B3 Home Phone: 604-980-3800Work Fax: 604-980-1800Work Phone: 1-888-877-1770Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

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Explore BC and Southeast Alaska with Bluewater Adventures aboard our 70′ yachts sailing the BC Inside Passage, the Queen Charlotte Islands, Gwaii Haanas National Park, the Great Bear Rainforest, and Vancouver Island. You’ll see whales, Grizzly, Black and Kermode bears, and experience ancient native villages and Haida culture, primeval forests, wilderness, and amazing coastal wildlife.

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Photo of Discovery Marine Safaris
Discovery Marine Safaris
Booking Office – June to October Coast Marina, Next to the BC Ferries Terminal 760 Island Highway Campbell River BC V9W 2C3 Home Phone: 250-287-7008Home Fax: 250-287-7005Work Phone: 1-866-501-6722 (ORCA)Visit Website

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Travel along stunning shorelines and inlets in search of killer whales, black bears, pacific white-sided dolphins, Dall’s porpoises, seals, and magnificent bald eagles. Our tour boats feature an enclosed and heated cabin, two outdoor viewing decks, and an onboard washroom. Enjoy a Romantic Sun Set Cruise, or embark on our Grizzly Bear Viewing Excursion and observe these incredible creatures in their natural habitat far away from human civilization.

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Coast Mountain Expeditions
Kayaking Base: Quadra Island BC Mailing Address: Box 25 Read Island Surge Narrows BC V0P 1W0 Home Phone: 250-285-2823Work Fax: 250-285-2823Visit Website

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Lodge based multi-day sea kayaking tours in the Discovery Islands, off Central Vancouver Island. We operate in and around the Discovery Islands, Desolation Sound, and mainland inlets. View marine parks, wildlife, BC’s highest mountains, glaciers and waterfalls. Watch grizzly bears from your kayak, paddle with seals, dolphin, and porpoise. Incredible marine inter-tidal life. No experience necessary. We are Canada’s longest operating sea kayak company, now entering our 28th year. Recommended by National Geographic as one of Canada’s top places to visit. Join us for an adventure of a lifetime!

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Photo of Spirit of the West Kayaking
Spirit of the West Kayaking
P.O. Box 569 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 Home Phone: 250-285-2121Home Fax: 1-888-389-5736Work Phone: 1-800-307-3982Visit Website

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Kayaking British Columbia is the ultimate way to view BC’s abundant wildlife.

We want you to fall in love with kayaking and our unique coast, and our passion shows in everything we do. Choose among several professionally-guided 4-8 day trips for all experience levels around Vancouver Island. ‘Glamping’ basecamp-style with wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean, or expedition-style paddling from camp to camp and paddling between 100s of islands through the Broughton Archipelago, famous Desolation Sound and the wild Great Bear Rainforest on the Central Coast. Savouring a fresh salmon BBQ in the open air, explore and view fascinating wildlife and wilderness and wake up on remote islands with the sound of the whales. Unique and breathtaking.

Our adventures are for everyone and are designed to cater to all levels of experience and abilities. We take care to introduce you to the sport in a fun and safe manner. All that we ask is that you welcome adventure with an open mind and are able to laugh and have fun when encountering the unexpected. Our groups are small, ranging from 8 to 13 people, depending on the trip, in order to provide you with the best experience possible. We provide everything you need for a once in a lifetime kayaking adventure. We provide high-quality fiberglass kayaks, paddling equipment, camp cookware, eating utensils, and camping gear.

Our guides take care of you for the entire duration of your tour, prepare delicious, organic and local meals, and have extensive training and experience in sea kayaking and in sharing the natural and cultural history of the area.

During the Northern Hemisphere winter, we also offer kayaking trips to the glacier-fed South American wildlife paradise, the Chilean Patagonia Archipelago, and multi-day escapes to sun, sand, remote beaches and the warm crystal clear waters of the Bahamas. Please contact us for all details of these amazing winter getaways!

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Mothership Adventures
P.O. Box 30 Heriot Bay Quadra Island BC V0P 1H0 Home Phone: 250-202-3229Home Phone: 604-677-5692Work Phone: 1-888-833-8887Visit Website

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Explore our remote coastal wilderness aboard the heritage vessel Columbia III! Join us for exhilarating and unforgettable BC adventure tours that include sea kayaking, eco adventure, natural history, First Nations culture, extraordinary wildlife viewing, photography and painting. Experience sand beaches, stunning fjords, lush estuaries, and exceptional wildlife viewing of whales and bears. Travel in luxury with a certified hospitable crew, qualified guides, gourmet food and comfortable accommodation aboard the luxury Mothership.

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Classic Yacht Charters
1-5765 Turner Road Nanaimo V9T 6M4 Home Phone: 250-668-2220Work Fax: 1-888-284-7735Visit Website

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Craving a change from the ‘everyday’? Dreaming of running away to sea? Welcome aboard our historical ‘Mission Ship’. Design your private voyage into BC’s coastal playground. Indulge your interests: fishing, clamming, rowing, kayaking, whale watching… Cruise in comfort and safety with our Coast Guard licensed Captain and crew. Discover how your chef turns meal times into taste extravaganzas.

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Campbell River Whale Watching
Moorage & Office: Discovery Harbour Marina #1 – Dock E Campbell River BC Home Phone: 250-287-2667Work Phone: 1-877-909-2667Visit WebsiteVisit Blog

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Mailing address:
558 Thulin Street
Campbell River, BC V9W 2L1

Campbell River Whale Watching invites you to experience some of the most spectacular Orca Killer whale watching and wildlife viewing in the world. You can take a Grizzly Tour, go Orca Whale Watching, see Bald Eagles, and experience the life of seals and sea lions on an adventure tour of a lifetime.

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