Bears British Columbia

Prideaux Haven, Desolation Sound Marine Park

Thursday, September 29, 2011S.V. CAMBRIA

With another beautiful day in store, I had BIG plans (none of which involved sitting around the boat) to enjoy the great outdoors before the next weather system moves into the area.  Our days are limited.  The barometer's dropped from a high of 1028 MB yesterday morning to 1013 MB today.  But, according to Environment Canada, it should continue to be descent through the weekend.  We'll keep our fingers crossed!

You know what they say about best laid plans?  Neither do I, but it has something to do with them turning out differently than designed.  Like today, for instance.  Yes.  I took Sally to Melanie Cove for a walk.  But no.  We didn't make it to Melanie Point -- the trail was too difficult.  And yes.  David and I ended up lazing around in the kayaks after lunch.  But not exactly how we had intended.

We were out on the deck around 1:30 pm and I kept hearing rustling in the trees.  I thought it might be another couple who went for a walk while I was shoring Sally, but nobody was talking.  And then the noises grew louder and more destructive -- branches were snapping and leaves were crackling. Suddenly I could see a black spot peaking out of the bushes.  I grabbed the binoculars and, sure enough, it was a bear so I handed them off to David and went down to get the camera.  We were too far away to get a good picture, so I got into my kayak as quietly as I could and paddled down for a closer look. 

The first several pictures didn't come out at all.  I was so nervous and full of adrenaline that I couldn't keep my hands from shaking.  I must have been within 20 or 30 feet of this beautiful, wild beast and neither one of us seemed to know what to make of the other.  David joined me a few minutes later and we watched this majestic creature forage along the shoreline for what seemed like hours but was merely minutes before he went back inside the bush.  We floated around a while in case he came out again and then, all of a sudden, a small animal came running out of the bush followed by the bear who easily captured his lunch.  It happened so quickly that we don't know what he caught, but he turned to look at us with this lifeless creature hanging from his jowls before bringing his his prize back into the bush.  Thinking that would be the last of him,  we paddled back to the boat, but it wasn't more than ten minutes later that he reappeared so we quickly returned watch him as he stood along the bushes, pulling down leaves to eat berries.  It was nothing short of amazing!

He tired of us following him around and disappeared back into the bush, so David went home to put on some long pants and I slipped around the corner into a lagoon because I could still hear him rustling about.  I saw him again, but he didn't want to be followed and started to snort as he quickly climbed the steep hill and vanished. 

The similarities between the bear and Sally were apparent to both David and me.  Many people believe chows (she's half husky and half chow) actually descend from bears and not dogs.  Whether they do or not, I can't say.  What I can tell you is that there were moments when the bear would look at us or move in such a way that we were taken aback by the resemblance. 

It was too nice out to go back to the boat, so I paddled over to Williams Islands where I floated around in the sun enjoying the view and the absolute silence feeling like I was the last person on earth -- and taking great pleasure in the thought -- even though I clearly wasn't.

When I got back to the boat, David was visiting with Rod and Sandra, the couple from Powell River we'd met yesterday.  They're a canny pair and it was fun chatting with them and recounting the story of our bear encounter -- making it somehow seem more real by sharing it with someone else.

You Might Also Like