Bears British Columbia

Prideaux Haven, Desolation Sound Marine Park

Friday, September 30, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

A black bear foraging along the shoreline.

Though my least favourite days, there's a special beauty to be appreciated when it rains in the Pacific Northwest.  There's a vividness that doesn't exist when the sun is shining: The trees are a deeper green. The moss appears more golden in colour. The granite glimmers from the moisture. And the sea reflects all of these images down to the low-hanging clouds in the trees.  If you take the time time to look around, it's all there waiting to be discovered.  Today was one of those days.

The rain stopped late in the morning giving us another opportunity to explore Prideaux Haven by kayak.  In hopes of seeing the bear again, we made our way to the lagoon on the southern side of the channel leading to Laura Cove, the same place I had seen him scrambling back up into the bush yesterday.  I could hear something moving in the brush so we lingered and eventually saw him higher up eating berries from the bushes.  He knew we were there.  Or at least he could smell us and, from time to time, would stop eating to sniff around trying to catch our scent. 

The current was pushing me towards land but I wasn't too concerned because he was about 20 or 30 feet above me in the hills.  And then suddenly he came sliding down through the brush to the shore and the adrenaline took over again.  My heart was racing through my chest but I managed to take a couple of good pictures before paddling back to a safer distance.  But before I did, David reckons I was within six to eight feet of him.  Whether foolish or not, I can't say.  I never do anything I don't feel comfortable with and, though I'm sure some would argue against it, I felt secure ... just in awe.

He stayed along the shoreline and we followed him as he grazed from the blueberries to shellfish.  Every now and again, he'd look in our general direction as if to tell us that he knew we were there and, for now, that was okay.  We eventually came to a section of the lagoon that was too shallow to continue, leaving only one way out.  Neither of us were comfortable with that, so we left him to finish feeding and went back to the boat to warm up.  For the second day in a row, we were both left speechless.  Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine an experience like the one we had today... and now we've had it twice.   

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