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.
Daytrip approx. 140 km