British Columbia The Central Coast

Bay of Plenty, Princess Royal Island

Friday, August 10, 2012S.V. CAMBRIA

Cambria anchored in Bay of Plenty.

After a day of rain on Wednesday, we left Bottleneck Inlet yesterday morning and moved 13 nautical miles to Jorgensen Harbour where we spent the night to wait for slack tide at Meyers Passage. 

The word “narrow” doesn’t begin to describe Meyers.  For one nautical mile, you have to work your way through a shallow fairway that constricts down to less than 50 feet wide and is lined with bull kelp.  On the bright side, it’s pretty straight forward and well charted, but nerve racking nonetheless.  And we had no choice other than to slowly motor through the kelp, picking up a hitchhiker along the way, in order to reach our final destination for the season, Laredo Inlet, where we hope to see spirit bears. 

The “spirit bear”, or Kermode, is a subspecies of the black bear that lives along the central and north coast of British Columbia and has a recessive gene which causes their coat to be white or cream-coloured.  The population is estimated to be 400 to 1,000, with the majority inhabiting Princess Royal Island and Laredo Inlet in particular.  Looking for bear can be a lot like searching for a needing in a haystack.  You have to be in the right place at precisely the right time and, considering how vast the area they roam is, that’s not an easy task.  But we decided to give it a shot anyway and dropped our anchor in Bay of Plenty. 

We took the dinghy up Pine Creek, which is more similar to a wide and shallow lagoon than a creek as it turns out, and floated around for a while but didn’t notice any signs of wildlife before finally giving up and going back to the boat.  I did, however, see a genuine First Nations’ totem pole transitioning back to nature when I took Sally to shore.  It’s difficult to describe the emotion such a thing evokes; again, it’s something you have to see to understand.  We’ve seen hundreds of signs of man’s earlier existence in our travels – from petroglyphs to middens – but this was quite special … and eerie.  I couldn’t help but feel that I was being watched. 

Nature taking back a totem in Laredo Inlet.

You Might Also Like