By our standards, a VERY early start. Down to a very rushed breakfast in the hotel – a large coach party had also between staying overnight and it was chaos, with insufficient seating and people milling about – then the short drive to the seaplane terminal. A few minutes’ panic when we couldn’t find it – it wasn’t that obvious – but finally made it.
Checked in, got our luggage safely stowed and paperwork (sort of) checked. We needn’t have worried about the 14 kg weight limit – our bags were simply put on a trolley and wheeled away. We then just settled down to wait.
Here is our trusty steed for the next half hour:
Some snow-capped mountains in the distance:
A thoroughly enjoyable and scenic flight ensued.
And this is our destination for the next couple of days:
We were shown round the place by Jessica and Tobin, checked in by Brandon, got our bear watching licences and shown where our PFDs (personal flotation devices), rain jackets and gumboots were. So, before we had even seen our room, we were off on our first excursion on a short trip around the estuarine end of the inlet on a small craft, skippered by Bryn, just to orientate us. We were joined by two ladies from Victoria, Jennifer and Nancy.
Knight Inlet is the longest fjord in British Columbia – it’s over 120 km long and 500 metres deep in places. The tide in Glendale Cove, where the lodge is situated, rises over 5 metres from low to high, so it’s as well this whole shebang floats!
We saw bears! Mother and 4-year old cub, apparently. They were about a kilometre away, so the pictures are at the limit of the amazing zoom on this smartphone camera.
Back for a buffet lunch and a chance to look round our room. A queen bed each! Luxury!
No peace for the wicked. Back out on another trip, this time on a much bigger and faster boat, skippered by Shaun, with twin Yamaha outboards – 600 horsepower in all. Proper excitement and very bumpy at times in glorious weather. No wildlife this time, apart from the odd bald eagle, but some wonderful scenery. Once again, we were with Jennifer and Nancy, but we also had Iain, his wife Ingrid and their son, Cormac, Brits from Chalfont St. Peter, Buckinghamshire.
I’m having to be very selective with my pictures here……
Back to the lodge for tea and a snack, then off yet again on another estuarine tour with Jessica leading, Jennifer and Nancy accompanying us once again.
Wow! Bear alert!
This time, we got within 50 metres of a male (Toffee) and a female (Bella), who appear to be an item.
You could actually hear them tearing the sedge grass as they ate.
After about 45 minutes of watching them, something disturbed the male bear and he made towards us. We had been instructed to keep quiet if this happened, and I managed to get some video:
Back to the lodge after a full day, but pre-prandial drinks were to be had, and tomorrow’s schedule sorted out.
After that, dinner. Buffet style, and remarkably good quality, accompanied by some remarkably good wine, enjoyed in glorious weather with our new Canadian friends. Conversation was, erm, wide-ranging, US politics being front and centre.
We then attended a presentation from Effie, originally from the Netherlands, but has dedicated her life to whale research in this area. Very interesting – do whales have culture? No time to go into the niceties of this, but some great clips and some thought provoking environmental issues.
Then another silly game of table tennis before bed. Early start tomorrow (6.30 a.m. for breakfast 😱)!