Blog 3

22nd – Khutze Bay to Khynoch bay

Quote of the day: “Look bear! Over there! Another bear! AAH so many bears!” – Alessandra

Today was like being on the set of Jurassic park. We cruised through the deep fiord lands passing soaring snow-topped mountains, rushing streams and waterfalls and many a bald eagle.
Kynoch inlets walls are sheer to say the least. It is clear how this once used to be home to a glacier. The waters, home to a large variety of rockfish, including the red snapper. The salmon, large and heavy, jump and slap their bellies off the water. 

Another tricky anchorage, with strong winds funneling through the steep valley, the contour lines dropped off considerably close to shore. After a couple of attempts, the anchor was firmly set and the crew decided to turn the deck into a launderette. 

I had read that a native elder’s forefathers once lived in a village at Kynoch. He spoke about the British Columbia government’s practice of relocating troublesome grizzly bears here from populated areas. Knowing this fact, we made sure to be on the lookout for some furry friends.
Sure enough, after dinner on deck, Ale spotted a mumma grizzly bear and her three cubs bounding around the shallows and marshland. The cubs, playfully rolling around was rather adorable. Later on, a single male was running around chasing seagulls and ravens from one side of the bay to the other. The intelligence of these animals never fails to amaze me. The mother bear, affectionate, protective, devoted, strict, sensitive and attentive with her young. The cub engaging in social play , sentient beings who are extremely large in personality.

We discussed how these bears must view us humans, how many they’ve seen, how they’ve been affected by our presence both involuntary and voluntary. I’ll share this short snippet from Paul Shepard an American Environmentalist – “Message from a Bear”: “We nurtured the humans from a time before they were in the present form. When we first drew around them they were, like all animals, secure in a modest niche. Their evident peculiarities were clearly higher primate in their obsession, social status and personal identity. In that respect they had grown smart, subtle and devious committed to a syndrome of tumultous, aseasonal, erotic, hierarchic power…they still do not realize that they need us, thinking that we are simply one more comfort or curiosity…Their own numbers leave little room for us, and in this is their great understanding. They are wrong about our departure, thinking it to be a part of their progress instead of their emptying. When we have gone they will not know who they are.” – go check out the rest!!

23rd – Kynoch Inlet

Quote of the day: “Look, eagle! On that branch in that tree.” (pointing at a forest) “Which one?” “The green one!” – Jake 

A slow morning onboard, cups of tea and coffee in hand on deck, watching families of bald eagles, seals and bear cubs potter around. A misty blanket lay over the water. 

We jumped in the dinghies, and scouted out the nearby inlets. Masses of fish filled the streams, making the sea bed appear dark and mysterious. As we neared the marshland, we spotted a mumma grizzly bear and her two cubs plodding along the shoreline. Mumma bear was very aware of our presence, not bothered, but aware. We respectively kept our distance and watched in awe from afar. 

Further upstream, we delved into thicker embankments and warmer waters. Identifying trees, berries and other local flora, the scenery here we all agreed was simply spectacular.

Back to the boat for a quick hot dog party!

As the sun tucked herself in behind the ridgelines, the water darkened appearing like a giant bowl of treacle. All was still. SPLASH! Mike and I braced the plunge, imitating Mike’s infamous “Fuller Flop”. The water was much cooler than our previous dunks, a lap of the boat joined by some curious seals and flying salmon. Invigorating. 

Bananagrams and cookies to finish off the night – there was a much heated debate over certain words. Mr Google will be consulted once we’re back with signal.

24th – kynoch inlet to salmon bay

Quote of the day: “Quick Pete, we have flying Whales off our bow!” – Holly 

An epic departure this morning, with three breaching humpbacks putting on a show, slapping their fins and bellies off of the water. The sky was bright, the sea was calm and the crew were as happy as the humpbacks. 

Proceeding back through the steep valley, the sun was smiling on us.

Salmon Bay, a simple U-shaped bay with a deep embankment, full of small rocks, grassland and trees to explore. The crew headed ashore, we found a fauna trodden trail, and with Mike leading the way we ventured into the forest. Many a tree had fallen, decomposed and been engulfed into the undergrowth. The forest was flourishing with lichen and moss, making the trees appear as if they had fur coats on. Bear scat was kicking around and not long after crossing a small stream, we couldn’t go any further. A U-turn back to the beach, we split up and explored the shoreline. Some found an old wreck where the remnants of an old engine caked in barnacles, and crockery lay. Some found quirky, stripy, sparkly rocks and tried cracking them to find more funky layers. Some rocks are just too big to take in hand luggage. Some found shells of which would make beautiful pendents. And some sat, enjoying the present.
Back onboard, Ale and Jake took us through the plan for the overnight passage to Alert Bay, Cormorant Island commencing tomorrow.