Visiting Killer Whales

Killer Whales approaching

The resident salmon eating orca that we see on our whale watching / wildlife viewing trips are curious like all dolphins. If you are sitting quietly in your boat with the engine turned off they will approach and pass beneath the boat. The regulations or guidelines prohibit leap frogging, which is running ahead of the orca and moving to stop directly in front of a moving pod of killer whales. When your are whale watching form the lodge you are not limited to a 3.5 hour tour, rather a full day tour, the opportunity to be in a position to have the curious orca visit your boat increases dramatically.



Grizzly Bear Viewing Platform 2 of 2

Nursing grizzly bear

Yes this is the same grizzly from April 21st posting. This time we managed to get her without the triplets but it is still obvious that she is a nursing mother. Sitting where she is in the deeper water just in front of the viewing platform the cubs are on the bank about seven meters (yards) behind her back. At times it seems like she moves into the deeper water for a few minutes of quiet.



Grizzly Bear Viewing Platform 1 of 2

Grizzly bear viewing stands

The viewing platform used by Grizzly Bear Lodge after August 24th has ample room for guests with tripods. As the photo shows with four or fewer guests everyone has their own space and is able to walk around to view the bears which can appear on ALL sides of the platform. The All meaning they do at times walk directly below the railings and pass beneath the stands. Tomorrow’s posting shows what the guests are watching.



Curious Sea Lions – Close

Steller sea lion

The Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) are also known as the northern sea lion and Steller’s sea lion. Males are distinguished from females by broader, higher foreheads, flatter snouts, and darker, slightly tuftier hair around their large necks, giving them a maned appearance. Their Latin name translates roughly as “maned one with the broad forehead”. Steller sea lions are known for their curiosity and playfulness, they frequently visit our boats as we watch them on the rock out croppings along the shore.



Waiting for a Grizzly Bear

Trapper Rick's

A quiet time on a beautiful river waiting for a grizzly bear to come into view. If you choose the extra day and night at Grizzly Bear Lodge we travel by boat across Knight Inlet through Thompson Sound to the Kakweikan River. The time with Trapper Rick on this BC mainland river is a step into the past and a different lifestyle. Using a former logging roads were branches become the brushes in a car wash, a boat becomes a ferry to cross a river and after a short hike we arrive at Rick’s cabin. Below the cabin and the fish ladder there is a good chance to view grizzlies fishing, or further up the river you can try fishing yourself. Scrolling down to the April 15th you can read about Rick’s trapping demonstration.



“View point” on Grizzly Bears

Grizzlies fishing

Comparing yesterday’s post with today’s post one can see that the “view point” or location of the camera has changed. After august 24th Grizzly Bear Lodge tours use a viewing platform located on the Glendale River’s man-made spawning channel. Unlike yesterday, in the boat, today we are stationary and the bears come to our viewing area to feed on the many salmon. If you scroll through the many blog posting and look at the grizzly bear pictures if you appear to be on the same level as the bears they were taken before August 25th if you seem above they were taken after August 24th.



Grizzly Bear Alert

Grizzlies walking the river

Grizzly bear tours from the Lodge, prior to August 25th, are in Knight Inlet’s Glendale River estuary and the river as the tide rises. After an hour and fifteen-minute boat ride from the lodge to the river we transfer to a 5.5 meter (yard) skiff which is used for the day’s grizzly watching. At low tide we move along the shore and observe the bears turning over rocks looking for protein and grazing on sedge grass. As the tide rises we move up the river by “one man power” (your guide is in the water pulling the skiff) which is the quietest way to move. The bears along the river in the early season are also grazing on sedge grass or eating berries and later catching salmon. As we moved up river we first encounter these two sub-adult grizzly bears moving down river. They seemed very alert and wary of our presence, which is unusual, as they tend to accept us on the river. As they moved off it became obvious that we were not the concern rather it was the mother grizzly and cubs that were also coming down river. Most grizzlies do not want to encounter mothers with cubs even if there are two.



Humpback Whale Tail Fluke

Humpback Whale tail

Everything a humpback whale is about size. Length: up to 17 m (55 ft); Weight: up to 40,000 kg (88,000 lbs); A Large pectoral flipper, up to 1/3 length of body; and a tail fluke up to 5 m (15 ft) feet across.  It would be possible to lay two dolphins nose to nose across the tail fluke of an adult humpback whale. Over the past five years humpback whales sightings have increased from four or five a day to twelve to fifteen. Tail lobbing, lunge feeding and tail fluking are common. It does not matter how often you see that tail come out of the water it is amazing.



Dolphin Taking a Dive

whitside dolphin tail

Pacific white sided dolphins, as mentioned in the positing of April 17th, are frequently seen in our viewing area. They are observed as often on the grizzly bear tour and the day with Trapper Rick as they are while whale watching. This is an unusual photo as it is the after the leap and was kept to compare it to tomorrow’s post.



Grizzly Bears on a Log

triplets on log

This photo for some reason made me think of “Ants on a log” (a snack made by spreading peanut butter on celery and placing raisins on top). Must be thinking of my grandkids. This is the same bear from the April 19th but she has her cubs close. On this day we were on the river and moving up with the tide and mother and cubs were curious as we sat and watched. She eventually moved into the water and spent time fishing for salmon, which she shared with the cubs. This lasted for thirty plus minutes until the tide rose and the water became too deep for successful catching (fishing was ok just the catching deteriorated).      The bears moved off the river and we proceeded up river in search of more grizzlies.