Grizzly bears are the “stars” of the lodge but time is spent looking for marine “wildlife” in the water off the East Coast of Vancouver Island. We normally manage to find eagles, orca, sealions, seals, dolphins, and humpback whales. All this and still time for a stop in Telegraph Cove to use the facilities and maybe grab a cup of hot chocolate or coffee.
Bruce & Carole Cripps 11-11
These two Grizzlies are investigating the shallow waters of the lower river, near the estuary. Grizzly Bears have an exceptional sense of smell and when the first salmon begin to arrive they take notice. The exact timing of the arrival of the Pink Salmon varies a bit year to year, but by August there are generally some fish heading up the river to spawn.
One of the benefits of our location is that we are protected from the open ocean and the big swells. We do get afternoon winds in the summer, but more often than not the mornings are nice and calm. Thanks Tom for this great picture of a peaceful morning on the water at Sailcone
No matter where we are going at Sailcone’s Grizzly Bear Lodge, the guides are always keeping their eyes open for wildlife. This could be a Black Bear on the way to view Grizzlies, an eagle family or in this case a group of Pacific White Sided Dolphins. These dolphins are common in our area and it is not unusual to spot them in large groups. They are incredibly intelligent and often come to us for a closer look.
Ruffed Grouse are a fairly common bird throughout BC. They are an upland bird, resembling a chicken. Often their defense is too remain still. This technique probably works a lot of the time, because they blend in quite well. When they are standing in the middle of a field or a road, however you can see why they are often called “fool hen.”
These Orca are resting in the waters of Johnstone Strait. Whales are voluntary breathers, which means unlike us they have to think about every breathe that they take. When whales rest they shut down half of their brain and close the opposite eye. They reverse this process, so that both sides of their body is able to rest. This lets the animal rest, but also breathe and watch for danger.
Early June, so less than six months old and we find two black bear cubs while on the trip up Knight Inlet to view grizzly bears. Although we go on a specialized black bear trip on your first evening in the lodge we frequently see black bears while on the grizzly bear and whales watching tours as well as the trip to Trapper Rick’s.
Bald eagles are only achieve their white headed between three and five years and prior to that they are able to sit in trees unnoticed. When soaring high an immature eagle is a little more noticeable. Still majestic with their wing span but something is missing.
One of my best and again luck dominates skill. I knew the orca was going to pass beneath the boat but did not know that its calf would be traveling in mother’s slip stream. The baby swims close to its mother and can be carried in the a type of hydrodynamic wake, which develops as the mother swims. This helps the baby swim with less energy and enables the mother and calf to keep up with the pod.
Grizzly bears mate in the spring and their babies are born from January to March so it can live in its den for about four months during the coldest weather. The grizzly bear cubs of Knight Inlet first appear on the shore with their mothers in late May. This meas the cubs are three to four months old and will remain with their mothers or two or three years. Although still nursing this cub copies mother and will start on solid food.