Bears Jervis Inlet

Ballet Bay

Monday, September 13, 2010S.V. CAMBRIA

An adult black bear swimming near the entrance to Ballet Bay.

Today was one of those magical days where everything went our way: an incredible gift that we won't soon forget.

With our chores done, we left Westview in the early afternoon and made our way south to Ballet Bay for the night. It was an exceptional passage – warm and sunny with blue skies all around and not a breath of wind on the water causing it to reflect like a mirror – a last, lovely taste of summer that we savoured every minute of and never wanted to end.

As we approached the entrance to Ballet Bay, we saw something in the water. From a distance, it looked like kelp but it was making a wake, so we passed it off as just another seal. But a small fishing boat became interested, so I took out the binoculars and discovered it was actually a black bear swimming between islands – the icing on our “cruising-season-cake”.

We'd been watching for bears for months but never thought we'd see one in the water, a rare occasion beyond any hope or expectation we could have possibly had – perhaps not a once in a lifetime event, but close. So we put the boat into idle and followed along. He didn't seem to mind our presence and kept swimming undisturbed coming within feet of the bow while we cheered him on as he struggled against the current for more than a mile then climbed on to shore looking back at us briefly before disappearing into the bush.

Altogether, it was an amazing experience and, once again, we find ourselves without the words to describe how remarkable the sight was which turned an already perfect day into something so, so much more where small, insignificant decisions melded to create one of the more special moments we've had on the water in the eleven years we've been living aboard – impossible to describe, yet part of our memories forever.

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