WHO WAS HE, this prince for whom a remote British Columbian city was named? Prince Rupert of the Rhine was a German-English army officer, admiral, scientist and colonial governor who first came to prominence as a cavalry commander during the English Civil War of 1642–1651.
I’m sure you were on the edge of your seat, wondering.
One thing Rupert’s eponymous city has no shortage of is bald eagles. They’re like Seattle’s crows: everywhere you look. During our brief stay here, the beautiful big raptors have been our constant companions in Cow Bay Marina, especially this sun-drenched evening when the sport fishermen returned from a day of angling and cut up their catches on the sterns of their boats. Eagles swooped over Osprey’s roof again and again in hope of harvesting a fish head or two that might get tossed their way.
And they’re constantly hanging out nearby. Elsewhere in the world, we’re accustomed to eagles roosting in the tippy top of old gray snag firs, but this town’s urban birds prefer to while away the hours atop a stubby communications tower on the roof of the port building. They are the pigeons of Prince Rupert.
Tuesday, June 14
Three good things from this day, before we set out tomorrow for our next perilous ocean crossing, at Dixon Entrance:
(1) Enjoying a strong WiFi signal so I can catch up with my blogging!
(2) Visiting the nearby Museum of Northern British Columbia, with its excellent collection of First Nations artifacts, crafts and regalia, including a pair of 19th-century painted-bark leggings trimmed with a generous fringe of puffin beaks, of all things — dozens of them, enough to rattle and shake as the wearer walked.
Just down the street from the museum, behind the Prince Rupert courthouse, we also enjoyed the colorful sunken garden, a public treasure created in days past by a venerated groundskeeper.
(3) Getting my laundry done at a downtown laundromat, and buying another week’s worth of underpants at Walmart. Cruising life will now be easier.