Grizzly and cub 2 of 2

grizzly bear discipline

A little discipline became necessary, as this cub was too persistent and demanding. Although we had watched the cubs eating the mother was not ready to spend time playing and quickly put this one in it’s place so she could get back to the important task of fattening up for hibernation.



Grizzly and cub 1of 2

Grizzly Bear and cub

This grizzly bear mother had her paws full this summer as she had three cubs under her care. It was necessary to obtain enough food for herself and to be able to nurse the cubs. As the season progressed and the salmon came into the river in late August it became a little easier as the cubs were able to eat the salmon she provided and even to scavenge a few of the dead salmon along the shore. However as all “youngsters” with to much free time they want to play and this may not sit well with the parents as tomorrow’s post will show.



Sometimes lucky!

Pacific whiteside dolphins

It is not uncommon to encounter a pod of Pacific Whitesided Dolphins while on a tour from Grizzly Bear Lodge. These dolphins travel and feed in Knight Inlet as well as along the shores of Vancouver Island. This means that the encounter is as likely to happen while on a grizzly bear tour or a visit to trapper Rick’s as it is while whale watching. Less common is to get a photo of a dolphin completely out of the water this is where luck comes in to play. The best approach to getting a good photo of a dolphin is to take as many as possible in the hopes that one will contain a dolphin and not just water or sky. Luck often is better than skill.



“A family that stay together” Grizzly Bears?

Grizzly Bear Siblings

These two sub-adult bears are likely in their fourth year and it is common to see grizzlies of this age together. Depending whether their mother became pregnant they may have stayed a second (even a third) year, denning together and breaking up in the third (or fourth) year. Alone and vulnerable, siblings will often stay together for some time after their mother abandons them, eating and sleeping side-by-side, and even denning together. The average breeding age for female grizzlies is 4.5 years. Males reach sexual maturity at roughly the same age as their female counterparts. Even though males are capable of breeding at three or four years of age, they rarely have the opportunity to do so because of intense competition from older, bigger males.


Wildlife Watching?


Not all watching is wildlife watching.  This summer we were taken by surprise when this vessel showed up in our viewing area.  The guest I had on board became quite interested and took many photos.

“PORT ANGELES — Galeocerdo — which is the genus name of the tiger shark — came into the Port Angeles Boat Haven for a load of fuel on Friday afternoon.

The unique-looking vessel conjures images of the Batmobile or something out of “Star Wars.”

The 118-foot vessel was built of composite materials by Wally Yachts in Italy in 2003.

She is powered by three gas turbine Detroit Diesel engines that generate 16,800 horsepower, which will push the boat up to 60 knots (70 mph).

She also has two auxiliary Cummins diesel engines, each of which delivers 370 horsepower and are used for close-quarter maneuvering and cruising at the more comfortable speed of 9 knots.

I understand that Galeocerdo was most recently in Mexico’s Baja California state cruising in the Sea of Cortez and is on her way north to spend the balance of the summer season cruising in British Columbia. But you can read more about this unusual vessel — with photos of its layout inside — at” Taken from the Peninsula Daily News



Guide’s Sunrise at the Lodge

Sunrise at Grizzly Bear Lodge

Depending on the time of year the camp guides are up at either 6:00 or 6:30 to make the morning coffee and complete the setting of the breakfast table by putting out the “perishables”. The guests are called an hour later, which gives them an hour for breakfast as we like to be away from the dock by 8:30 in the spring and by 8:00 when we are going up river to the viewing platforms in the fall. A beautiful sunrise is not that common in camp, as we are located in a mini-climate created by Knight Inlet. This climate means that it is normally overcast by late evening and does not clear until about noon. The overcast and late clearing means that there are few sunrises and those that do happen require guests to be up with the guides. Depending on the time within your vacation this is not normally a problem because of the “jet lag”.


Humpback Whale Breaching

Humpback Whale Breaching

This was an interesting morning off the end of Craycroft Point that juts out into Johnstone Strait. We were watching some orca feeding in the ripe tide as well as a humpback whale. These were resident or salmon eating orca so no threat to the humpback but it was repeatedly breach as if to scare the orca from the area but it was not working. The highest count I got was nine breaches in a row. This breach was mid-way in a sequence were the whale was coming out of the water and down with a loud slap.  The guest got many excellent photos, which put mine to shame, but then I always use the excuse “I was running the boat.”


Advantage – the grizzly bear mother

Grizzly Bear fish fight

Some first year grizzly bear cubs are able to catch salmon in shallow water. This summer (2014) due to the lack of rain and low water levels several thousand pink salmon suffocated in the warm water and this made it easy for the cubs to pick up dead salmon along the shore. Unfortunately for the cubs not all the salmon were in shallow water and this is where the advantage was for their mother. In this photo the mother is sitting on the bottom and the cubs are swimming. The mother is not prepared to share her catch and there is not much the cubs can do about that decision. The overhead photo is because we were in the raised viewing platform that is about eight feet (less than three meters) above the ground and the grizzly bears were close to the bank below.



Grizzly Bear and a Rising Tide

Grizzly Bear Waiting

Spring (late May through to August 24th) grizzly bear tours are in Glendale Cove and the Glendale River, which flows into Knight Inlet. After August 24th our lodge is permitted to use the viewing platform further up the Glendale River. In the spring we use a sixteen foot (3.5 meter) flat bottom skiff that needs less than one foot (30 cm.) of water to float and thus allowing grizzly bear viewing well within a “basic” camera range. Meaning a long-range telephoto lens may be nice but is not mandatory as many guests use ipads for photos. On this day we moved up river viewing bears as we progressed as fast as the tide would allow. Normally the bears are also staying in the shallower water but there is always an exception and this bear was that exception. It moved down into the deeper water and eventually swam to the far shore.



Killer whales passing

Orca and Guests

A day whale watching from Grizzly Bear Lodge does not mean that you will be in “close” proximity to orca or humpback whales all the time.  There is, however an excellent chance that sometime during the trip you will be close enough to get those “bucket list” pictures. A good photo is the result of patience and position. My job as a guide is to get you into the best position and as a guest you just need the patience.