Courtenay Museum and Trent River Fossil Hunt
by Nancy Pezel, 9 June 2018.
After enjoying coffees and conversations on the ferry trip to Comox, our group of 12 members met Pat Trask at the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontological Centre for a tour and up-close look at some of the fossils and dinosaur reproductions Pat showcased during his presentation.
Many of these prehistoric marine reptiles were first discovered in the Comox Valley! Although many of the bones and fossils found on Vancouver Island are stored in the basement of the museum, the skeletal reproductions are based on those finds as well as comparisons made of dinosaurs found elsewhere in Canada and around the world. These were some very dangerous looking creatures!
After getting inspired by what we could find, we met at the Trent River and walked down to the banks of the river with safety glasses, chisels and hammers. After getting some instructions from Pat and his student, we picked away at the loose sedimentary deposits for an hour before a torrential rain descended upon us.
A few members of our group were lucky enough to find some small fossilized shells embedded in the shale. After a stop across the street from the museum for coffee and treats, we returned to watch an interesting video about the life of a plesiosaur, before heading back to the ferry.
It was a good day and we were not discouraged by the weather or lack of making the next big dinosaur discovery. We now know where to look next time we are on the island!!