Monthly Archives: February 2011

Great Bear Rainforest 2010

What a great start to our Great Bear Rainforest Season! There was a humpback whale feeding in harbour! and it spent the whole day lunging for food. Over and over and over. It was a wildlife photographers dream.
And the GBR just kept putting wildlife in our way for all our tours. As crew, we get just as excited as the guests! This stuff never gets “old”.

Tara’s family has joined us twice in the BC Great Bear Rainforest and once to the Broughton Archipelago.

Two sisters and a daughter. 3 times guests!

Scott from the USA has joined us in the Great Bear for four 9 night tours over 5 years!

Damien Gillis is carving himself quite a name as a political documentarian. We were honoured to have him aboard. And yes, he does have a golden voice. Below is a “still photo” from a great opportunity that arose for Damien. The group happened upon a grizzly feeding on crab apples and Damien set up his tripod to record the action. Well, great shots are not to be missed, even if the tide is coming in. And in, and in. Until Damien was waist deep! (no chest waders) but the camera kept rolling!

Lead Guide Luke Hyatt. here in his element. Luke is a walking encyclopedia for the natural world. He reads and reads and even remembers it all. He and Miray have also perfected the technique for taking great shots of the spectacular nudibrachs that they have keen eyes to find.

We don’t need much prompting to make a great day an extra celebration. Here is a wedding anniversary. Congratulations Rick and Carolyn!!

And a final whale’s tail good-bye to the GBR for another season. With out a jest, we now have reservations for 2011,2012, and a ‘HOLD” FOR 2013!! Some folks really plan ahead!

Broughton Archipelago 2010

The 2010 photo gallery is full of images from the summer, but here are a few more from the BC Broughton Archipelago / Johnston Strait area

Yes, there are still lots of Orca in the Broughton Archipelago in particular and we had sightings in all our areas this summer. Check out the photo gallery for 2010. I had to throw one shot in here for “the record”.

Besides acting imperially as the skipper I do lend the “occasional” hand to domestic tasks around the vessel. I am also known to polish, wipe, sweep, dry, clean and (fuss) over “stuff” sometimes . . .

Below is a great photo. As you might have picked up by now, the Columbia III is a very special boat on the BC coast and many people’s lives have been touch by her; and many of our guests claim it is still happening every tour each summer still! But I need to set the scene for this photo, so I will back up a bit here. Because of the historic nature of our mothership we have two different books aboard that trace the history of the Columbia III. We also have a few photos taken from the BC Archives with select scenes of the Columbia III. One I am very fond of is also in the history section of this website, and it shows the bow of the Columbia III crowded with people. It appears to be a christening ceremony and there must be 18 people on the front deck. I like the photo because it reminds me of how many souls have crossed these decks. This photo also hangs in a place of honour in the main salon of the boat. . . . So, one tour this summer a silver haired woman strides aboard at the start of the tour and declares that her father use to be the skipper on the Columbia and she was the deckhand for one summer when she was 18! 50 years or so before! She even opened one of our reference books and pointed to a wonderful picture of her working at “my” chart table!. And then she exclaimed, “Why there is a picture of me!” and she pointed to the picture on the wall and to her in particular. I had to record this moment!

Thank goodness for the modern GPS. Here a guest caught me trying to figure out where I am. (Not!)

Our youngest daughter drew us some great maps of the areas we paddle. Here a group is updating their travels . . . “dots for travel by kayak, dashes for travel by mothership . . . now where did we see the dolphins? . . . ah, by that little group for islands . . . “

Fern and I have been together forever, but I still like good photos of her and she still vetoes most of them. I’m slipping this one in here because she might not notice.

On the mothership, all kinds of things can happen . . . good things! Like spontaneous singing, charades games, puppeteering, dancing, music concerts, all manner of games, nice practical jokes (only to the deserving!) celebration cakes and then there is always something new . . well it seems to always be new in the best way, but this summer one group brought their own scavenger hunt that included many zany items. Here is one item . . . an obligatory photo of your team with the skipper!

Desolation Sound Kayaking Skills Workshop

This year we expanded out repertoire and joined Ocean River Sports of Victoria BC for a skills workshop for kayakers that wanted to go beyond the basic skill set. Gary Doran of ORS and Luke Hyatt (our son-in-law and Lead Guide for Mothership Adventures) joined forces for a great tour. There were lots of lessons and practice, and with the Columbia III we moved to new areas each day so there were great touring opportunities too.

There are areas in the BC Desolation Sound / Discovery Islands that have dramatic tidal rapids and learning more about these challenging waters was a big part of this course.

Orca whales do live in the Desolation Sound area but they are not a common sight so this lively fellow was a great addition to the tour. And what a great shot!

Gary demonstrates a “no paddle roll” as Luke looks on.

Pam has come on several of our tours, Broughton Archipelago, Great Bear Rainforest and Desolation Sound . . . here she has a quiet moment.

Mmm! Learning is hard work and the mind needs sustenance for the soul (stomach). . . a Deep Baked French Toast starts the day just right.

Ok, ok, I am the skipper on a swanky 68′ luxury yacht . . . I like my nice warm, soft, bed . . . but no,no,no! Here Gary is teaching our lead guide how to SLEEP in his kayak . . . You do get a bit wet, but hey, it looks cool from the vantage of my polished teak hand rail with my coffee mug in hand!!!