A day trip from the lodge means we travel up Knight Inlet to the Glendale River. In the fall the viewing time in the stands for Grizzly Bear Lodge is from 10:00 am to 12:00 am. The stands being a 20-minute van ride up a logging road, which parallels the river. The grizzly bears have accepted our presence and tend to ignore the stands and will pass close and even under the stands. The key is no flashes on cameras, no perfumes or other scents on the watchers, definitely no food, talking in quite voices and no sudden moves. Although the bears ignore if we overstep the guidelines they will turn in our direction and stare to let us know “they know”.
Guiding on a whale watching tour is often more about watching for seagulls than for the blows of humpback whales. Once whales have been sighted the key is to find the gulls and move toward their feeding area. The gulls are attracted to herring balls. A bait ball, or herring ball, occurs when the herring swarm in a tightly packed formation rotating about a common centre. It is a last-ditch defensive measure adopted when predators such as diving ducks threaten them. The revolving ball moves to the surface and brings the gulls, the guides and in time the humpback whales which lunge from beneath for a mouthful of herring. The second photo showing the herring in the water is only obtained with great caution. It is necessary to make sure no whales are in the area before coming close enough for a view of the herring on the surface. It is not good to be this close if whales have been seen anywhere in the preceding half-hour.
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