Official Blog of the Great Bear II
First class wilderness adventures and holiday cruises on the coast of British Columbia.
Friday, May 28, 2021
Friday, May 14, 2021
THRIVING TOGETHER: SALMON, BERRIES, AND PEOPLE
An enlightening and soul-touching piece from our Heiltsuk mentor and friend, ‘Cúagilákv (Jess Housty):
"The salmonberry plant has nourished and healed Indigenous communities of the Pacific Northwest coast for countless generations, but its significance goes far beyond its value as food."
‘Cúagilákv (Jess Housty) says in part:
"The stewardship pathways they" (Jess's children) "are building with salmon, salmonberries, and our other nonhuman kin open them to lessons about reciprocity and interdependence that I know will inspire patience and careful observation. From that quiet place, respect and wisdom will grow. And if there is one lesson I have carried forward, one lesson I hope to instill in my children, it's the importance of thriving together."
I promise you will see Salmonberries for much more than food and photos when you read Jess's story in full:
Sunday, January 16, 2021
"I believe the best way to begin reconnecting humanity's heart, mind and soul to nature is for us to share our individual stories."
~J. Drew Lanham
Sitting quietly in our zodiac against the bank of a river in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest, breathing in the earthy, early morning air, we wait in quiet anticipation of what this morning will reveal.
As the sun begins to peek over the polished granite walls that rise thousands of feet out of this river estuary, golden grasses and gulls, are softly lit by the advancing light. The gulls warm in the sun and awaken, their cacophony breaking the quiet as they make their way to the river for breakfast.
Already at the river, the Eagles warn the approaching clouds of gulls, not to get too close to the salmon carcasses they have already claimed, undoubtedly left there by the masters of this domain. The dance begins with Gulls challenging each other and even a stoic Bald eagle, while keeping eyes on an encroaching Raven. As if to demonstrate his absolute claim, the eagle sinks his talons further into the head of a Chum salmon carcass and stands resolutely.
As the rituals continue to pervade this soul stirring river estuary, we hear the tell tale sound of large, soft paws walking on gravel and river rock. Around the corner in the river above us shuffles a very well fed, male Grizzly Bear with sleepy eyes.
Our thumping hearts are not thumping in fear, but in the excitement of what we have been gifted. With complete trust in our intentions, this big guy walks from salmon to salmon, sniffing them, gently pawing them, and then finally settling on one that is just right.
Delicacies of fatty salmon underbellies and skin are prized finds along this river. Taking a piece of skin near the salmon's head, in his teeth, and with one behemoth paw on the head of the salmon, this obviously experienced bear strips the skin of the salmon, in one piece, from head to tail. With each mouthful that he eats, the bear lifts his head and slowly savours every morsel.
After some time passes and this gentle giant has had his fill of salmon, he shakes himself, licks his lips and continues slowly down the river and out of sight, leaving us listening to the music of his large, soft paws on the gravel and river rock.
A hush remains over the zodiac as we all process what we have just witnessed, including the true nature of this huge male Grizzly Bear.
Every move this beauty made was made knowing we were there, and trusting that we would just sit peacefully, and quietly while he ate. Like his ancestors before him, this bear's intuition is finely tuned.
On this day, this bear taught 4 people, new to Grizzly Bears, and reminded two of us, that these bears are not the man-eating monsters that their killers want us to believe, but intelligent, intuitive, trusting, trustworthy bears, just being bears.
Join us... and discover how "you're connected with everything."
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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