We had planned to stay 2 days in Prince Rupert, and we’re glad we did. It was nice to see people and all the harbour action after so many days away from other people and boats. Bob rented a car from “Car Go”, an old Impala “beater.” We went to Cowpuccino’s for a great latte and homemade apple/carrot/raisin muffin before heading out to the North Pacific Cannery Museum in Port Edward. It was a short drive, maybe 15-20 minutes, but the Cannery Tour was superb. It was just Bob and I with a guide. This cannery is one of the only remaining North BC canneries that is not in total ruins (or still totally operational). It closed in the early 80’s, and the decision was made to turn it into a museum before too much was destroyed, burned or otherwise destroyed.
Karen gets some more detail from our guide
The net loft where the fishermen's nets were repaired
The tour gave us a lot of information about the canning process, before and after. They showed us the PC-incorrect “Iron Chink”, a machine so named because it replaced 30 Chinese fish “butchers” who had to cut the heads and tails off the fish and gut them before the fish moved on to the “slime tables”, where First Nations women washed them off. I can only imagine the smell of these canneries.
The cannery process is fully laid out in North Pacific Cannery Museum
You get to see the cannery and the different sections, as well as what remains of the housing. It’s clear that the housing was totally segregated – Chinese from First Nations from “Europeans” from the Japanese. Again, hard to fathom today.
The boardwalk in the “European” housing section of the cannery
The cannery is right on the train tracks, and three big CN trains came by while we were in Port Edward.
We're right on the tracks
We continued our sight-seeing on the way back to Rupert by detouring to Ridley Island, and driving all the way out to the Grainery and coal plant. You could get very close to the large ships and it was cool to see. We also stopped at Butze Rapids, which weren’t running all that hard at the time. We drove to Seal Cove to see the Seaplane Base and were rewarded with a seaplane that landed and taxied in. We drove to Rushbrooke Floats, which were dominated by commercial fishing vessels. The street was lined with big Ford 350 trucks and boat trailers, as Rushbrooke has the only boat launch in the area. We felt out of place in our Impala!
We leveraged our “city location” by getting a Starbucks Iced Tea for me and another Slurpee for Bob before heading back to the boat. More laundry, then off to dinner at the Crest Hotel. WE had forgotten that it was Father’s Day, and it was really busy. We had a nice meal though, I had Halibut Cheeks and Bob had an Alberta Sirloin.
We dropped off the car and walked back to the boat. There was a lot going on. We saw the Canadian Coast Guard boat The Arrow Post come by and fuel up, then spend the night at the fuel docks. Also a large cargo ship anchored just off the PRRYC docks in the main channel. Lots to see in this busy port!