Once again we found ourselves in the Great Bear Rainforest. What a treat! We never see the same things twice, no group ever sees everything, but everyone leaves happy and wanting to return for more. About 40% of our guests in the GBR in 2013 were repeat guests, so you can get the idea that they liked what they saw and came back for more. We certainly do! Every tour is different and all are exciting for us as crew . . . Here is a TOTALLY random sampler of shots . . . just remember the really good shots of wildlife are kept safe in the photo gallery on our site.
A really great “come-back” story is the humpback whales on the BC coast and especially in the GBR. We have many, many sightings this summer with some spectacular displays of bubble netting. Here one whale swims in circles under water whilst emitting a steady stream of bubbles. This “curtain” of air bubbles entraps a school of fish and the 3 remaining humpback whales surge up from below, mouths agape, to swallow the little fish. It is very dramatic and easy to predict where the action will be as the circle of bubbles on the surface marks the spot. Get your cameras ready!!!!
Just another group shot . . . well, we do get to meet some pretty interesting folks in the course of the summer. This group includes a fellow who’s hand-prints are painted on the lunar module still sitting on the moon (he is a rocket scientist, really!), and a paddler who was a Zen monk turned Jungian psychologist, and a guest who was a world expert surgeon specializing in re-attachment surgery for hands and who had made a wooden boat and sailed it around the world and won international rowing competitions even in his 70’s . . . .
Ace guide, Steve Schellenberg geared up for the GBR. Binoculars, camera, radio, pepper spray, sun glasses, life jacket and maucho stubble . . . Steve will be guiding polar bear tours in the fall this year as well.
This is our group from our 9 night tour into the GBR. One couple were there for their fourth tour (including a whole boat charter in 2009), one couple were there for there second tour with us, and Scott was there for his 5th tour with us! 6 weeks in the GBR! . . . It was like a home coming. The other guests were a little perplexed the first day but they understood by the time they left . . .
Now here is a real “sea story” for you . . . About 35 years ago, Fern found a heavy-duty coffee mug in the Sally-Anne. I think she paid 50 cents. But the mug had staying power. When I owned and operated an old wooden tugboat, it became my “tugmug”. Over the years, it just seemed to “be there”. Our kids were born, and grew. I flew helicopters for 17 years. I imagined my tugmug on the Columbia III and that came true. And I skippered the mothership for nine years. But on the last night of our 2013 season, the very last night, there was a slight “clunk” sound from the galley. A soapy, slippery plate fell. A direct hit on the mug. “Oops! I hope that cup wasn’t special to Ross” . . . . a deckhand claimed casually . . .
So I propped the two fractured halves on the Columbia III’s compass, took a quick photo and “over the side” it went. I shed a few tears. Why? I could never explain. It was just a 50 cent mug . . . with too much imbued into its porcelain. Bye, bye.