A federal agency, "The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council, (NSERC), has withdrawn its funding for the proposed 'Batholiths Project"'s controversial seismic testing! For more details, visit www.raincoast.org. Thank you to everyone who wrote letters and sent emails in protest of the Batholiths Project! Those letters and emails really can make a difference!"
NEW TRIPS FOR 2007
Experience all the comforts of our new ship, Great Bear II, while whale watching on B.C.’s north coast. During this 5 day trip on B.C.’s north coast, guests will have the opportunity to take part in Humpback Whale research, meeting the two biologists from Cetacealab who live and work here. See “Whale Watching” and our “Schedule” or contact us for more details.
We are offering an exciting new itinerary for wildlife viewing on B.C.’s north coast. This 8 day trip, called “Magnificent Inlets of the Grizzly—North”, will begin and end in Prince Rupert. Dates for this voyage of discovery are May 26 to June 2, 2007. Call or email us for details!
With our new 54 foot ship, Great Bear II, we will now be offering cruises in the Vancouver area and south coast when the ship is in her home port of North Vancouver. Early spring, late summer and late fall, these trips will afford guests unending possibilities—cruise with us for a few hours or a full day or a weekend, even up to a week. Cruise Indian Arm, the bustling Port of Vancouver or see West Vancouver’s prestigious waterfront. Enjoy a weekend away to Bowen Island or Howe Sound. With a few more days you can explore Princess Louisa Inlet, Desolation Sound or the Gulf Islands.;
The ultimate Romantic Getaway awaits you on board Great Bear II. Surprise your partner with a romantic cruise. Propose, plan your wedding and/or honeymoon, or celebrate your anniversary! See “Custom Trips” for more details for your Romantic Getaway! Whether you want to fill your time with us with adventure and activity or simply sit back and relax, it’s all up to you! See “Vancouver Area” and “Custom Trips” for all the new possibilities for cruises.
GREAT BEAR II –THE SHIP
2006, promised to be consumed by all that needed to be done to have our new ship, Great Bear II, Transport Canada certified! After a blissful 4 days away at the Wickanninish, getting married, it was back to reality—every available day taken in preparation of the Great Bear II’s maiden voyage on B.C.’s coast. To say this process was epic, is an understatement. However, as Eric took the wheel and finally left Vancouver Harbour heading north, a sense of relief poured over him—heading out to the wilderness of our coastline will do that to him. When Trish stepped onto the Great Bear II in Bella Bella and into her large and well- appointed galley, she felt like she had come home.
ROMANCE AT SEA—Captain (Eric) and Chef (Trish) are Married!
On March 31st, 2006, Eric and Trish were married on Chesterman Beach near Tofino, with friends (and sometimes crew mates), Darren and Diana as witnesses. Getting married in one of nature’s wonderlands, four days at the Wickanninish Inn, walks on the beach, and fabulous meals prepared and served to us, was pure magic. Thank you to Darren and Diana for sharing this special time with us, for keeping the secret, and to our families and friends for understanding.
OREO and CALI
All of our guests that have travelled with us over the past years, would have been familiar with Trish and Eric’s stories of their sweet old cat, Oreo. Sad to say, Oreo passed away peacefully in July 2006 and we still miss her terribly. Our niece Nikola, an animal lover as well, thought we should have a new kitten and of course had one in mind. Cali is very social—she loves people, (including children), loves dogs and loves playing fetch—but she doesn’t love being out on the ship—not yet anyway.
ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES TO WORK ON:
The “Batholiths Project” is a U.S. led seismic survey, set to begin on B.C.’s north coast in 2007. This seismic testing will take place in marine and terrestrial environments and poses a great threat to marine life and in particular, to marine mammals such as whales. Some of this testing will take place in areas where we have consistently witnessed humpbacks feeding in preparation for their migration to Hawaii. For more information and how you can help stop this project, visit www.raincoast.org or www.cetacealab.org/blog/awareness
This past season on British Columbia’s coast, there was a noticeable absence of wild salmon returning to the creeks and rivers in many areas. When biologists are asked the “why” question, they are quick to say that there could be many possible explanations—let’s face it, “it doesn’t take a scientist to tell us” that we haven’t been taking very good care of the planet! We all have to pick our issues to deal with but one we will be following closely this year will be the issue of sea lice infestations of juvenile wild salmon in areas where there are fish farms. Of course, the aquaculture community denies that fish farming is having any serious environmental impacts on marine life or on our own personal health. Just published, “Research Summary—Epizootics of Wild Fish Induced by Farm Fish”, finds that sea lice from fish farms cause up to a 95% mortality in young salmon! To read this summary, (and it is an easy read despite the name of it), go to www.raincoast.org.
If this paper doesn’t put you off farmed salmon forever, or compel you to act, think of the facts concerning the consumption of farmed salmon—besides the awful taste: The fish have naturally pale flesh—not the colour that you see in the supermarkets where they are sold—the supermarkets get a “colour wheel” from which to choose the colour they want the salmon they buy, to be! Aquaculture companies are not about to lose a whole pen of farmed salmon to disease when the fish are about to be sent to market—so they include high doses of antibiotic (and lord knows what else) in their feed! The list goes on……..
Besides how all this affects us in our food chain, there are the rest of the ecosystems that depend on the wild salmon to survive. Without the salmon the coastal ecosystems would collapse completely—no more bears, no more rain coast wolves, no more eagles or ravens, no more birds, small animals and insects that fish or depend on scavenging leftover salmon, and no more giant rainforest trees that depend on the salmon for essential nutrients! It’s time for our government to wake up—let’s let them know how we feel about farming salmon in “supernatural” British Columbia!
The “Enbridge Gateway Project” is perhaps one of the most frightening, potential threats to our coast! This project wasn’t just dreamed up recently—so why don’t most British Columbians even know about it?? That might well be a question for Premier Campbell or Prime Minister Harper! Apparently, for a number of years, there has been a plan, (which is already partly implemented), to build an oil pipeline from the oil sands in Alberta to the port of Kitamaat on B.C.’s north coast. A pipeline all on its own might not ruffle too many feathers, but when more people found out that crude oil super tankers would be transporting the crude oil from Kitimat, down Douglas Channel, right past where the highest concentration of Spirit Bears live, past Hartley Bay, (and no one asked them what they thought!), and right by where the B.C. Ferry Queen of the North went down, a few more people started to ask questions!
If a B.C. Ferry can’t manage to keep afloat in this area, how, we ask, will the oil super tankers make out?? Does the name “Exxon Valdeez” ring any bells?? B.C. Ferries and the government of British Columbia are still allowing diesel to leak from the sunken Queen of the North—diesel that has spoiled a lot of the traditional food sources of the people of Hartley Bay—the very people that went to save the passengers that were on the sinking Queen of the North! Hmmm—I wonder what they’d do if an oil tanker broke apart and spilled crude oil—that would eventually decimate the north coast!? More questions for Premier Campbell and Prime Minister Harper! To learn more about this project and how you can have your voice heard on this very important issue, visit www.raincoast.org
LONG AWAITED SPIRIT BEAR CONSERVANCY ANNOUNCED!
In a Feb. 7, 2006 announcement, the Province and First Nations agreed to significantly increase protection on the B.C. north and central coast. This is very good news. This includes tripling the size of the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary and creating a new Spirit Bear Conservancy Complex. These are two of the protection initiatives that the Valhalla Wilderness Society (VWS) has spearheaded for nearly 20 years.
Visit www.vws.org for more details. Here at Ocean Adventures we are very happy about this recent development but we also know that more must be done to ensure the survival of the Spirit Bear!
WHAT DOES “CONSERVATION” AND “PROTECTION” MEAN?
As Raincoast’s Chris Genovali says, “less than 20% of salmon watersheds are to receive full protection on the central and north coast under the Great Bear Rainforest deal.” The B.C. government calls this deal “world class conservation”. The government of B.C. talks a lot about “protecting the Spirit Bear”! What the B.C. government neglected to do was to explain to us their definitions of “conservation” and “protection”. If the Spirit Bear is “protected”, shouldn’t the black bears that produce the white phase be protected from Trophy and Sport Hunting?! In most of the proposed new B.C. Parks, the Black Bears that may produce the white phase, (known as Spirit Bears), will still be hunted for trophies or sport!! If the Spirit Bear is “protected”, shouldn’t their habitat also be protected?! Logging will still be allowed in many Spirit Bears’ habitats and the diesel still leaking from the sunken B.C. Ferry Queen of the North, continues to infect the shores of an island that scientists say has the highest concentration of these special bears.
How can Spirit Bears be truly “protected” with trophy/sport hunting still allowed and the continued destruction of their habitat, still allowed?!
Guests that have travelled with us, and those that will travel with us in the future, discover how the wild places and wild animals afford us sanctuary, healing and replenishment. This why, more than ever, we must all do our part to ensure our global treasures live on.
Reflections Newsletter Archive
First class BC wilderness cruises, coastal tours and charters on the West Coast of British Columbia aboard the 54 ft. Great Bear II, out of Vancouver, BC.
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