British Columbia Fiordland

Sum It Up Sunday: Waterfalls, Whales and Bears! Oh, My!

Sunday, September 28, 2014S.V. CAMBRIA

Cambria passing Mathieson Narrows as the fog rolls out.
We started the first full week of August off right by making a trip to Mussel Inlet, the northern arm of Fiordland Recreational Area.  It was another brilliant day and we made the most of it before returning to Windy Bay for the night.

Buddy-boating has its advantages: It's not often we get a picture of Cambria on the move . . . or ourselves.

Cambria and Salubrious anchored at the head of Mussel Inlet.

We were off again on Monday afternoon, but this time we moved over to James Bay on the opposite side of Pooley Island to set ourselves up to visit the northern arm of Fiordland – Kynoch Inlet.  But there’s no point in going anywhere if you can’t see the mountains, so Tuesday was cancelled due to rain:  Kynoch would have to wait until Wednesday. 

It was worth the wait. 

Cambria approaching Kynoch Falls in Fiordland.

Cambria is dwarfed by a granite done in Kynoch Inlet.

Salubrious anchored at the head of Kynoch Inlet.

The head of Culpepper Lagoon in Kynoch Inlet.

See what I mean?

Back in James Bay the next day, I decided to go kayaking while everyone was still asleep and ended up with more of an adventure than I’d bargained for.  It’s a long story and I plan to write a separate blog about it (and all the things I did wrong) but, basically, I disturbed a bear that was in the bushes and he seemed a little irritated when he came out.  I was up a creek (literally) but had a paddle, so I got out of there as quickly as I could.  The truth is, the bear could’ve made breakfast out of me if he’d wanted to:  They’re good swimmers and can run fast.  So, he wasn’t out to harm me but he did follow me for about 30 minutes.  I’m just really glad nothing changed his mind – like hunger pains, or I’d be toast (yeah, I meant to do that – uggh!).

The creek.

And the bear.

After recounting my adventure to everyone back at the anchorage and pointing out the bear (you could still see him through binoculars), we had a cup of tea and made plans for the day:  It was time to leave James Bay and move down to a more secure anchorage. The morning’s weather forecast called for deteriorating conditions and included a dissipating trough to the north of us.

It wasn't bad after all, so Sylvia and I went kayaking Friday and were watching some gulls nearby when I noticed a spray off in the distance.  I kept looking and, sure enough, it was the blow from a humpback whale making its way down channel and our plan for the day quickly changed from bird-watching to whale-watching. 

Whale watching with Sylvia along Mathieson Channel.

After the whale moved out of sight, we paddle over to Jackson Narrows Provincial Park, a really nice spot for kayaking, and back into Rescue Bay.  The sun was out and the warmth felt nice, so we lingered and were chatting when we heard another whale approaching, possibly two.  There was a large splash near one of the islands at the entrance to the bay.  The photos were complete rubbish because we were too far away, but it was another really cool wildlife experience from the kayak!  Although, I have to admit, nothing gets my adrenaline pumping like a bear.

Jackson Narrows Marine Park.

The park is littered with kelp.

A purple ochre sea star in a tide pool.

We left Rescue Bay Saturday morning and made our way down Mathieson Channel and through Perceval Narrows at slack tide and anchored in Oliver Cove Marine Park, just off Reid Passage.  We’d never been there before, so I launched a kayak for a look around; and I have to say, it’s a pretty uninspiring spot. 

But the week itself – from Fiordland, to bear encounters, to humpback whales – was good, especially in the company of friends. 

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  1. Gorgeous photos! What an experience with the bear! Glad you are ok.