Seymour Narrows is BC’s marine equivalent of the Duffy.
This stretch of water 14km north of Campbell River, between the city and Quadra Island, is part of BC’s vital international maritime corridor known as the Inside Passage, which links the American states of Washington and Alaska. It is a treacherous area that has claimed more lives and ships than any other water corridor in British Columbia and was at one time decreed to be the most dangerous navigable waters in North America.
Ripple Rock was one of the main reasons Seymour Narrows was so dangerous. Two underwater peaks came close to the surface, the summit of one being only three metres from surface at low tide. These peaks caused eddies and whirlpools that swallowed ships whole. Ripple Rock was so dangerous to navigate that it seriously limited passage through the area and thus slowed BC’s growth.
In 1958, the under water peaks of Ripple Rock were blasted away, opening up the water to larger vessels. Seymour Narrows is still a dangerous stretch of water, but without the risk of grinding ashore onto one of the peaks, the risks are manageable. The blast opened up the Inside Passage and allowed BC to grow and prosper with trade. The Ripple Rock blast did not cause any of the expected damage to coastal areas and did not affect fish stocks. The event was one of the first live television broadcasts in Canadian history.
All I had planned for today was a quick jaunt up or down the highway to photograph the scenery. I picked north because I had run errands in the north part of town. The viewpoint for Seymour Narrows was the second out of Campbell River, about 25km north of town. The first viewpoint, is that of the Elk Falls mill which has shut down, taking hundreds of jobs with it.Share on Facebook