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Discovery Bay

It served as a minor shipping point for lumber and logs and home port for a few small fishing craft. It was in this bay that Vancouver anchored his vessels in 1792, when he set out in his cutter, pinnace, and long boat, on the foggy morning of May 7, to explore the shoreline to the eastward. The area lying between the bay and Port Townsend Bay to the east was named Quimper Peninsula in honor of the Spanish seaman who explored these shores in 1790. Francisco de Eliza, another Spaniard, also used the bay as a temporary base of exploration in 1791, a year before Vancouver.

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Vancouver’s Landing

Captain George Vancouver was appointed commander of the British expedition which was sent to the Pacific Northwest to investigate claims of property damage against Spain and while there he was to chart the coast and to make a determined effort to find the elusive Northwest Passage. During this time he sailed up Juan de Fuca Strait, and entered a long secluded bay on May 2, 1792, which he distinguished by naming Discovery, after his ship. Sailing nearly five miles within the entrance, the sloop and tender anchored about one quarter mile from shore. Favored by glorious May weather, Vancouver set his crews to work, his log revealing “the sail makers were repairing and altering the sails; coopers inspecting the calks, gunners airing the powder, and parties cutting wood, brewing spruce beer and filling water.” Vancouver was one of the world’s great explorers, and his mapping of our coast and of Puqet Sound still remains an outstanding achievement. In fact over fifty of the place names of the Sound area in use today were chosen by Vancouver.