After our long walk yesterday we lazed about during the morning, but were in the mood for a short sightsee by early afternoon. The guidebooks had said the Maritime Museum would be interesting mostly for children, but they were wrong! The major exhibit is the R.C.M.P. vessel St. Roch, a 100-foot wooden motor sailer with steel bow plating used by the Mounties as a patrol boat in the far north, where they were the only government for the natives -- similar to the U.S. Coast Guard's role in Alaska before it became a state. The St. Roch is fully rigged on display, and the A-Frame museum was built around the ship.
The captain was Norwegian-born Henry Larsen, who grew up dreaming of the Bow of St. Roch with dogsled romance of arctic exploration, and the St. Roch became the first ship to sail through the Northwest Passage in both directions, and to circumnavigate North America. They took an eskimo family along with them, along with 17 dogs and a sled -- ensconced in a tent on the frigid deck. Once, lost in the snow, the aged grandmother was summoned to the deck house, where she squinted out the windows and pointed to their location on the chart. The arrow points to our apartment
The museum had a wonderful collection of ship models -- and an active model shop where visitors could watch numerous large models under construction. It showed the growth of the Port of Vancouver, and had a large and truly wonderful discovery area where children could learn all about tugboats, fireboats, and cargo ships. There was even a pirate display, and a traveling exhibit of maritime art from Croatia.
On the grass outside is a deep sea research vessel, now retired, and then, at the dock, a collection of a dozen wonderful and varied boats, including fishing vessels and yachts. We took a photo across English Bay showing our apartment in downtown Vancouver. In front of the museum is one of the nicest and largest totem poles we've seen. All in all, a fine visit.