Official Blog of the Great Bear II
First class wilderness adventures and holiday cruises on the coast of British Columbia.
A NEW TRIP: Sea Otters and Wolves
Along an archipelago and the kelp forests at the edge of the Great Bear Rainforest, we will travel waters that are home to the only population of sea otters that managed to survive extirpation in B.C. during the fur-trading era.
These waters where the kelp forests reach up to the surface, are incredibly rich and diverse with marine life, providing food and shelter to the sea otters. Here we hope to witness the daily rituals of the sea otters as they forage, raise their young, and rest in rafts, twiddled into the kelp at the surface.
The islands here will provide our ship, the Great Bear II with great anchorages that we will use as a base for our expeditions to see the Sea Otters, islands that will also provide us with endless landscape and macro photo opportunities.
Further north along these windswept islands, lives one of the most unique, yet least studied populations of wolves in the world.
These are wolves that swim between islands, fish for salmon, and often live on the carcasses of marine life such as giant squid, sea lions, whales and seals that have washed up on the beach. Although these wolves still have a taste for the local deer, almost 75% of their diet comes from their marine environment.
We will explore islands where white sandy beaches give way to the rainforest, where rocks appear out of the sand like they were just dropped there, and the only tracks we may see besides our own may be those of wolves, deer, or perhaps a crab. Islands and inlets here will once again provide us with sheltered anchorages and some of the West Coast's most spectacular sunsets.
These are much less protected waters than those of the Inside Passage so each day's plans will definitely be made considering weather, tides, and previous wildlife sightings... just like the wolves do.
While sea otters and wolves will be the prime focus of this trip, there are plenty of other things to see and photograph. Humpback whales are feeding in these nutrient rich waters to fatten for their annual migration back to Hawaii. It is not uncommon to witness the power of these mighty cetaceans as they fly out of the sea in a full breach or rush to the surface with mouths wide open, bubble net or lunge feeding. Orca may be seen as they follow the migration of our wild pacific salmon or transient Orca in search of sea lions, dolphins or porpoises. These outer waters may even provide us with sightings of the largest whale found in B.C. waters and the second largest whale in the world, the fin whale.
These outer islands and the surrounding waters are also home to seabirds such as Rhinoceros Auklets, Ancient Murrelets, Murres, and Petrels.
We will undoubtedly enjoy several species of raptors including Osprey, Falcons and Eagles.
Several of our anchorages will even provide us with good sightings of Red Throated Loons.
Toward the end of the trip as we head east again and into the more protected waters off B.C.'s Inside Passage, we will be along islands that are home to bears, including the Spirit Bear.
Join us for this awe- inspiring 10 day journey through some of the world's richest and most diverse marine and terrestrial environments, where white sandy beaches are edged in ethereal rainforest, sunsets turn seascapes into ancient masterpieces, and the mesmerizing sounds of the surf remain with you like a well-loved song.
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ISLANDS of the SPIRIT BEAR, WATERS of the HUMPBACKS
JOIN US for ISLANDS of the SPIRIT BEAR, WATERS of the HUMPBACKS, during the best time of year to see these unique bears and to enjoy some of the best whale watching on earth.
Click here to learn more about this 7 day / 6 night trip: September 12 - 18, 2013.
When you have any questions about these trips or any others, please contact us:
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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