Wednesday, October 19th. Last Grizzly Expedition of 2016!

Today was a typical West Coast autumn day Рslightly blustery and intermittent drizzling, yet topped with a tangible enthusiasm for what the day held in store. We were not disappointed! On our way to the Orford Bay 5 Humpback Whales were spotted Рa mother and calf travelling south near the shore, one surfacing off in the distance, and two more being quite surface active in the distance as well. We were lucky enough to witness quite a few large splashes! Steller Sea Lions were occasionally popping up in the strong currents that helped speed up our trip. Once in the Orford, we were treated to multiple views of Bald Eagles and bears feasting; Tower #2 boasted multiple juvenile Eagles and two Grizzly Bears right right away. A mature Bald Eagle would occasionally swoop down at some of the juveniles, forcing them away from their salmon! As we left the tower, two more Grizzlies could be seen upstream, one of whom swam across the river. Continuing on, more bears were seen near the Grizzly sign fishing, napping on a gravel bar, and clambering over logs. At Tower #4, a pleasant surprise was had when a female bear charged a male bear, right to our bus! Needless to say, we enjoyed that spectacle from a safe distance before returning to board the bus and make our way home. The return ride was slightly lumpy, providing a marine roller coaster-like ride for our last trip of the season. To all those who came out on a trip with us this summer, thank you! We look forward to seeing you in the future.

Photo credit: Johanna Ferrie. Images taken with a telephoto lens.

Wednesday,October 12.

It was a cool, crisp, clear day today, making it a beautiful ride up to the Orford River Valley. On the way up to the stands one bear was napping near the Grizzly sign, and another near the bear sign. A third bear was scratching on a stump near the Algard River. At the Eagle tower two bears were wandering around the river, one walked out onto a log and caught a big fish! One bear was walking along the shoreline of the Orford, then walked up the bank and across the road. 2 bears were on the gravel bar napping and digging for eggs. At Tower #2 there were bears galore! A sow (mother) and triplets, one bear fishing upstream, one bear on the lower log jam, 2 bears across the Orford, 2 more farther downstream on a log jam! Wow! All in all 18 Grizzly Bears were spotted today! On the way home a Humpback Whale was spotted by Brown’s Bay, what an ending to another AMAZING, Outstanding October day!

Tuesday, October 11th.

It was another Outstanding October day today, sunny skies and frosty! In Calm Channel the TOO2Cs, 4 Biggs Transient mammal-eating Killer Whales were slowly heading north. Fresh snow dotted the mountains in Bute Inlet today! Off at Tower #2 today a single bear was upstream darting in and out of the log jam. A sow (mother) and 3 cubs were slowly working their way up from Downstream, lots of fishing and some playing fighting between the cubs. A few more bears were upstream fishing in the icy river. Another sow and her skittish yearling were fishing across the river. Another sow with triplets, different triplets than before, were fishing upstream. A lone Grizzly showed up after a while and fished upstream in a calm pool. On the way home, just off Henrietta Pt. were 2 Humpback Whales! Heading home through Hole in the Wall the Tenacious III came across the TOO2C’s again, they were swimming along in the ebb tide.

Saturday, October 8

What a West Coast wonderful day! The drizzle in Campbell River gave way to a brisk but dry day on the water and in the Orford Bay, leaving behind mist that cloaked each mountain. Dall’s Porpoise raced along the channels as we journeyed north to the Orford, only allowing us a brief glimpse of their dorsal fins. Once in the Bute Inlet we were graced by Surf Scoters, Cormorants, and some Auklets. Upon our arrival to Orford Bay, the “patience game” was unnecessary today, as we saw a Grizzly Bear right as we drove to the Grizzly sign (old Tower #3)! How fitting. We saw another bear at Tower #5 and on our return drive got to witness one bear floating down the Orford River. At Tower #2, a mother bear and 3 cubs were immediately visible, fishing and scrambling over logs. Momma caught a very large salmon and allowed the cubs to feast. Two more bears were present nearer the tower, and right as we turned to leave a 7th bear walked out of the trees! Bald Eagles and Ravens were also flocking to get some scraps from the hungry bears, with 2 juvenile Bald Eagles locking talons and posturing at one another. We continued on to the Estuary Tower and were fortunate enough to see 4 more bears, potentially another sow (mother) with triplets! Stunning scenery of the Bute made the perfect backdrop for our last look at Grizzlies. The return journey passed quickly on calm waters, with the sun even making a slight guest appearance through layers of mist.

Wednesday, October 5

So far so dry! It was a west coast misty day. Just off April Point 2 Humpback Whales were slowly swimming along. A female and calf to be exact! Up at the Orford it was right off to Tower #2 today, where a single Grizzly Bear was spotted snorkeling in the river, then it wandered up and across the road! 2 more Grizzly Bears were further upstream, 1 wandered down offering the guests a fabulous view. At Tower #5 there were 2 or 3 bears in the distance at the log jam. Back to Tower #2 2 more bears, possibly a sow (mother) kicking out a 3 yr old cub were bickering across the river. The 3 year old wandered away and began fishing. A little ways downstream another sow with 2 young cubs were fishing. Lovely evening, glass like waters and even some sunny skies!


Tuesday, September 4th

It was another Outstanding October day today, if a bit wet. Just past Browns Bay Nick and Stripe the Humpback Whales were slowing heading north. Up at the Orford River today, at Tower #2 a single bear was eating salmon downstream while 2 more bears were upstream walking on logs and fishing. At one point, one of the Grizzly Bears floated downstream, and it appeared as though it was snorkeling! 2 more Grizzlies were further upstream. Along the road a single Grizzly ran out of the Orford River, onto the road, and back down the other side, another Grizzly was on the other side of the river! What a fabulous day!

Monday, October 4

Outstanding October continues!! As the Tenacious III passed Browns Bay on the way to the Orford River Valley this morning, they came across 3 different Humpback Whales! What an amazing sight! Through Okisollo Channel a group of 35 Pacific White Sided Dolphins were spotted resting. Up at the Orford today it was all about the bears, on the way to Tower #1 a lone Grizzly was walking along the road. At the window 2 bears were spotted fishing in the river. Over at Tower #4, 2 sows (mother Grizzly Bears) were spotted fishing with a cub each. Over at Tower #5 a female was feeding in front of the tower. 2 more Grizzly Bears were further up the river. On the way back, 2 more Grizzly Bears were fishing at the window. At Tower #2, last stop of the day, 7 different Grizzly Bears were all spread out fishing, including a sow (mother) with 3 cubs on the log jam! On the way home from the Orford, the Tenacious III came across another Humpback Whale, making it a total of 4 Humpback Whales and 19 Grizzly Bears, what an outstanding October day!!