HMS Discovery was the lead ship used in Captain George Vancouver’s explorations of the West Coast of the U.S. in the late 1700s. There is a recreation of the Discovery’s captain’s cabin in the Royal B.C. Museum. While the office, shown here, looks somewhat spacious, the living quarters are tiny, with very spare looking bunks. This diorama has features that bring it to life. In addition to the sounds of seagulls there’s a strong scent of pine tar – used in waterproofing vessels. And the deck literally rocks beneath your feet.
A recreated cannery speaks to British Columbia’s fisheries, though visitor noses are spared a sensory tour here. Butchered fish lie at one end of an open room while a “running” faucet nearby pours into a sink.
At the other end of the room a cannery operation waits the arrival of workers to finish processing the day’s catch.
In addition to displays of artifacts other dioramas at the Royal B.C. Museum give a glimpse of farm life, mining, and logging. But there is more than simply the history of European settlers. The museum has a First Peoples gallery which explores the past of B.C.’s native peoples, including an impressive display of totem poles and a current exhibit exploring the native living languages.