Padinago's trip to Canada in 2009

Day 13 - A trip to Telegraph Cove and Knight Inlet, Vancouver Island, British Columbia

Today we wake up at 4.30am and leave at 5.10am as we need to drive about on hour (62km) to Telegraph Cove, where we have an appointment. We booked four places for a boat trip with Tide Rip Tours to see the grizzly bears. If you want to do this tour you need to book it in advance, as it is fully booked! We arrive around 6am in a tiny fishing village that is completely abandoned! Very nice and cozy with a bold eagle standing on the pier waiting for the fishing men to return with their catch… we take this opportunity to see this beautiful bird very closely and take pictures. On the boardwalk we see the Tide Rip Tours’ office and enter in order to pay the balance of 150 CAD per person (we got 10% deduction as we are 4 persons). In April this year we already paid the advance of 100 CAD per person. Luckily the CAD is quite low compared with the Euro… Around 7am we get on the boat and together with the captain and about 6 other passengers we sail towards Knight Inlet. Around 9am, in the Queen Charlotte Strait, our captain sees a couple of Pacific white-sided dolphins, so he turns the boat so the dolphins can follow the wake of the boat. Nathalie is better placed at the back to take nice pictures. Patrick is placed on a wrong spot so he can only shoot some tails… The nature is beautiful around the islands… Around 9.40am we arrive near Glendale Cove and there we see a mother grizzly with a cub at the banks looking for food. What a beautiful view from the boat and to be so close (just about 30 meters)! About 20 minutes later we continue towards Knight Inlet where we tie up at a pier for a picnic. In the meantime we see grizzlies walking around in the estuary. During the picnic Patrick talks with our captain and asks him if he knew Timothy Treadwell (the grizzly man), who, on 6 October 2003, was killed together with his girlfriend by a grizzly in Katmai Park, Alaska. Indeed, he knew Timothy, as he also was all over the country for studying bears. His closest encounter with a bear was when he was in his canoe and he was taking pictures of a bear. During the shoot his canoe hit a rock at the riverbank. He puts down his camera and sees that the canoe was stopped by the bear who held it between his feet. His father, sitting in another canoe could not stop laughing! You do not want this to happen to you…
After the picnic we get on an even smaller boat, a flatboat in order to get closer to the bears. The water is so shallow that you can only get there with this kind of boats. The captain puts on a special suit in case the boat gets stuck so he can jump into the water and push it. Before leaving the man asks again that we did not take any food with us, even not an apple as grizzlies have a great sense of smell. The boat is made of aluminum and we need to keep our feet quiet in order not to scare the animals.

The water is quite low so we do not get very close (maybe this is for the best). What a view to see the deer walking on the beach and only a few meters further some grizzlies. After about an hour we get back on the larger boat and go back to Telegraph Cove. At the Knight Inlet we see the Knight Inlet Lodge where you pay about 1000 euro’s for one night! We stop again about half an hour at the bank where mother grizzly was walking with her cub and they are still there so we have an extra photo shoot… The way back to Telegraph Cove is difficult as the water is wild, we are not sick but each time the boat hits a wave we feel it in our backs. In the morning we were outside the whole trip but now we sit inside. Once we arrive at Telegraph Cove we walk along the boardwalk and see our bald eagle very close on the roof of a house. A perfect place to take some extra shots of this beautiful bird. A bit further there is a little bar where we can sit outside, drink something refreshing and enjoy the hot son and the view before heading back to the hotel. We make a quick stop at the logging station at Beaver Lake. An hour later we are back in our hotel, enjoying a nice shower and we walk to the Quarterdeck Pub style Restaurant, just next to our hotel, to enjoy our dinner. We have a nice view on the harbor with eagles flying around. The food is great but unfortunately we have some annoying Dutch people next to us. Even the waitress has some problems with them, as they are drunk and are causing some problems… respect for the waitress, she keeps very calm! After our dinner we go for a short walk around the harbor and go to bed.

Daytrip approx. 140 km

Telegraph Cove boardwalk Bald eagle and Lucien Bald Eagle @ Telegraph Cove On the boat to Knight Inlet Pacific white-sided dolphins are following our boat Grizzly with cub eating shellfish Grizzlies at the estuary Grizzlies and deer at the estuary Having fun Bald Eagle @ Telegraph Cove