Official Blog of the Great Bear II
First class wilderness adventures and holiday cruises on the coast of British Columbia.
NEW Artist's Workshop in June 2011 amidst the powerful landscapes of the Great Bear Rainforest.
Join Ocean Adventures and artist/instructor Irene Khurana for a 5 day / 4 night Artist's Workshop. Visit the Artist's Workshop page for photos of these landscapes of immeasurable beauty and our visit our Schedule page for dates, prices, and departure points.
Contact us when you have any questions... we would be happy to answer them.
Government trophy hunt puts iconic spirit bear and Olympic Games symbol at risk
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - VANCOUVER, BC, February 23, 2010 -- In a few weeks, the B.C. government plans on reopening the trophy hunt of bears in the internationally celebrated Great Bear Rainforest. And the spirit bear, which was featured in the Olympic Games' opening ceremonies, could be one of its targets.
The future of the white Kermode or spirit bear is being put at risk because black bears that carry the spirit bear's white fur gene are fair game for trophy hunters.
The genetically distinct Haida black bear and the grizzly bear, which is listed as a Species of Special Concern by the Canadian Federal government, can also be killed senselessly for sport.
Coinciding with the release of a Vancouver Sun full page ad, supported by over 20 million people from 40 countries, conservationists have released a map showing that less than two percent of the white Kermode or spirit bear range actually protects the bears from trophy hunting in B.C.
"How can British Columbia be celebrating the spirit bear in the opening Olympic ceremony and as an official mascot to the Olympics when trophy hunting is allowed in over 98 percent of the animal's genetic range?" asks Ian McAllister of B.C.-based Pacific Wild.
"It just doesn't make sense to protect only the white coloured bears when the black bear also carries the gene that produces white cubs." said Kitasoo/Xai'xais bear viewing guide Doug Neasloss.
"The spirit bear is a beautiful representative of evolution and we should not be tinkering with nature by allowing black Kermodes to be shot only to be hung on people's walls. This is an archaic and shallow blood sport," said Wayne McCrory, a Valhalla Wilderness Society biologist who has studied Kermode bears for 20 years.
Liz Barratt-Brown, an attorney with the U.S.-based Natural Resources Defense Council, is urging the B.C. government to end the trophy hunt. "The spirit bear is important enough to us that it is represented in our logo and our 1.2 million members and activists want to know that bears are protected in the Great Bear Rainforest."
"The eyes of the world are on B.C. and the global campaign to end the trophy hunting of bears in Canada's Great Bear Rainforest will continue to escalate until they are protected," said Rebecca Aldworth of Humane Society International/Canada.
*Doug Neasloss is in Vancouver at the Pan Pacific Aboriginal Pavilion during the Olympics and is available for television interviews. B-roll footage available.
To download recent ads and map of the current black Kermode hunting area visit Pacific Wild's website.
List of organizations supporting an end to the trophy hunt:
Sign the petition to STOP TROPHY HUNTING BEARS IN B.C.
Imagine making a difference. The "Faltering Light" visual petition is a high quality book containing: an open letter to the BC government requesting that trophy hunting of bears is stopped, essays from leading environmentalists, sepia toned bear photographs and YOUR SIGNATURES supporting the termination of the trophy hunt. The book will be delivered to Premier Gordon Campbell & Environment Minister Barry Penner before the trophy hunt resumes in April. The book will also be given to the Vancouver city archive as a record of every individual's historic contribution. So let's make history, record your name and join conservation photographer Andy Wright with founding supporters Simon Jackson (website) and Ian McAllister (website) to make this visual petition a significant creation that changes history and saves the magnificent bears of British Columbia.
Go to Stop Trophy Hunting Bears in B.C., to sign the petition personally or anonymously, and help us make a difference today.
A Message from our Owner and Captain, Eric Boyum... January 5th, 2010
The sense of satisfaction that Trish and I share at the end of a safe and successful season is always something that we both cherish. This emotion starts to build as the final trip of the season ends in Bella Bella and the Great Bear II begins the homeward journey back to Vancouver. At this point however, the challenges are not yet over. We must still travel over 300 miles before the ship is safely secured at her berth. The weather was fair for the homeward journey and on the final 2 days, it was outstanding! One very special moment for crewmember Dave and myself was after navigating the infamous Seymour Narrows and entering Georgia Straits. As we were enjoying the beauty of the setting sun against the jagged backdrop of the Vancouver Island Mountains, a full moon rose up out of the east and began to turn the waters into a sea of shining diamonds. A few hours later we dropped anchor in a secure bay on Texada Island under the full moonlight and that is how another incredible day on our beautiful coast came to an end!
The 2009 season was a great one and it enriched our lives with great experiences and new friendships. Old friendships were also renewed as we had many guests return to the Great Bear II for yet another adventure! The wildlife was magnificent and our guests from all over the world were able to experience nature at its finest!
I would like to share one bear-viewing highlight that touched all who were on board deeply as we witnessed the bond between a mother bear and her cubs.
We had raised anchor mid morning and were heading out of an inlet that we had spent the last two days exploring. The walls of the inlet were steep but we were coming up to a cut through the mountains where a creek tumbled its way towards the sea. It was the middle of June and the grasses on either side of the creek were a vibrant green and they grew well on the small meadow. I slowed the Great Bear II down in anticipation of seeing a bear as we had seen black bears feed here before in the late spring. I saw a bit of dark movement beside the foaming waters of the creek, made high by the runoff from the melting snows above. It was a black bear at the creeks edge. The creek was in a dip so we lost sight of the bear as we drifted ahead. I made a loop with the Great Bear II and came back to the spot where we had a vantage point looking up the creek. This time we were stationary in the perfect spot. Our hearts raced as someone whispered, "It's a mom and cubs- two of them". Sure enough there were two spring cubs, each no bigger than a soccer ball, standing beside their mom, beside the fast flowing creek. It looked like the mom wanted to cross. We all hoped she would not try it as it looked like the cubs were two small to make it safely. What we saw next touched us all deeply. The mom put her head down and one cub climbed up onto her neck and shoulders. The cub must have dug her claws in to hang on. Then the mom picked up the other cub by the scruff of the neck and while holding it in her jaws she crossed the foaming waters of the creek! Once she was safely up the bank she lowered her cubs back into the grass and they tagged along as she slowly headed out of view. We chattered back and forth with great smiles on our faces. She was a good mom we thought and we had been fortunate indeed to witness this very special moment!
We are very excited about the upcoming season. For 2010 we are offering eleven trips, two more than in our previous two seasons! Nine of these trips have guests booked already, so we are anticipating a great year! I would recommend people to book early this year for the best choice of trips. Availability on some departures is already limited. For those of you that have not travelled with us we would like to invite you to join us for one of our outstanding adventures on the beautiful coast of British Columbia!
Trish and I would like to thank all of the guests who travelled with us this season and supported us in so many ways. We would like to thank our friends and our families for the times we spent together. We also give special thanks to our crewmembers that worked so hard for us throughout the season and contributed so much to our guests experience on board the Great Bear II!
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.
· Haida Gwaii · Queen Charlotte Islands · Great Bear Rainforest · Gulf Islands · Princess Louisa Inlet ·
· Desolation Sound · Howe Sound · Indian Arm · Whale Watching · Bear Viewing · Wilderness Adventures ·
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