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|Home Page||An arbitrary collection of 10 photographs from this expedition|
We boarded the Island Roamer at Kittimat and were soon on our way down Douglas Channel. It was not long before we saw the fluke of a humpback whale and were soon able to observe them bubblenet feeding. We also glimpsed two orcas. We were also in awe of the forest landscape with a multitude of conifers appearing to grow out of solid rock. We anchored for the night at Bishop Bay.
The day started with a dip in the hot pools at Bishops Bay (for those who were so inclined!). Once under way we observed more humpbacks bubblenet feeding and also a haul out of Steller sealions on rocks off Ashdown Island.
We anchored in Cameron Cove.
The day started with an early ride in the RIBs to look for a wolf family that had been observed in the area. We were fortunate to find these. They were at some distance and the light was poor, so conditions for photography were far from ideal, but it was fascinating to observe them.
We encountered more humpbacks once we had got under way, who swam close to the Island Roamer, as if examining us. In the afternoon we launched some canoes in Curlew Bay, and landed on a beach to stretch our legs and observe the wildlife there (such as barnacles, small crabs and flora) at close quarters.
This was the day we landed in search of the spirit (or Kermode) bear. This is a black bear that happens to have white or creamy fur. It is thought that only about 100 of these exist. We landed on a beach and were led up a long path along the bank of a salmon stream by a First Nations guide. We glimpsed the occasional black bear in the stream hunting for fish. The weather was rainy and the light was very poor.
We remained at our alloted area on the bank of the stream, observing a number of black bears coming and going in the rain before a Kermode bear known as Warrior finally appeared at 16:45. She remained for a few minutes making a half-hearted attempt to fish before departing the way she had come. As we returned to the beach we observed her on several occasions watching us, and she eventually appeared on the beach itself, to graze on mussels. Once on board we motored to a deserted settlement on Princess Royal Island, known as Butedale, where we moored up for the night.
The morning started with a wander around Butedale. This was founded in 1918 as a fishing, mining and logging camp, and a salmon cannery was built there. It fell into disuse in the 1950s.
Once we were under way we travelled past Graham Reach (where we saw a solitary black bear as well as Canoona falls) before anchoring in Khutze Inlet and launching the RIBs. We encountered a mother grizzly bear and her two cubs fishing in the misty shallows. Later we travelled up a different part of Khutze Inlet, again in the RIBs, and came across further bears, both grizzly and black.
|Day 6 |
The day started with yet another trip up Khutze Inlet in the RIBs, where we once again encountered grizzly bears. We also found some bald eagles, high up in conifers. After hauling up the anchor the Island Roamer took us along Graham Reach then Hiekish Narrows, where we encountered some playful sealions, then on to our anchoring place at Mussel Inlet, where we encountered a further six grizzly bears.
|Days 7 and 8
Day 7 started with a paddle round Mussel Inlet in the canoes (by those so-inclined). I joined Andrew in the safety boat. Once we had hauled up the anchor we set out on the relatively long journey towards Bella Bella where we were to disembark the following morning. On the way we were able to enjoy spectacular landscapes, falls and some First Nations rock paintings.
In the morning we moored along the jetty at Bella Bella and were driven to the airport to take our plane to Vancouver, which had dropped off the next group to join the Island Roamer.
On arrival at Vancouver the group went their separate ways. I remained at the airport to take the evening flight back to the U.K. This gallery shows photos of Vancouver that I took over the two days between my arrival in Canada and joinging the Island Roamer.