After a wonderful trip aboard Passing Cloud in the Great Bear Rainforest, I am having a tough time settling back into any kind of routine. Especially when any routine I have set up is disrupted when I move house, which as a full-time house sitter, is often!
I came back from the trip exhausted! Being at Betsy and Barry’s is good, though, as it is a full three weeks while they are gone to Europe. And Kobe the kitty is so easy to care for and such good company.
Now I need to knuckle down and write - for Cruising World, BoomerMag, Ecology and another still to be determined, as I think Erin, our young chef aboard the boat is an inspiration to other young people looking to make a career in food.
The crew was fantastic! We had skipper/owner Russ, Liam as first mate, Erin and Bryoni, an amazing naturalist who is an absolute fountain of knowledge about the area, the flora and fauna and the First Nation cultures. Combined, these guys created an unforgettable trip. The other guests onboard were a mixed bunch from Canada, South Africa and England with lots of stories to tell about their adventures.
The downside was the weather, but it’s to be expected in that area and the area really needed the rain that descended on us in force! We had a couple of days of brilliant weather before the rain and on the last day, a perfect breeze and sunshine! And by the end of the trip, the rivers were roaring and the salmon beginning to make their way up the raging waters. Without the salmon, there would be no circle of life!
Not for Sissies
The trip is definitely not for sissies! Climbing in and out of the Zodiac, wading ashore across rocky beaches, hiking bear trails into dense forest was a twice-a-day occurrence. First we’d layer up - long underwear (my new merino wool ones were wonderful), shirt and jeans, warm socks, fleece, warm jacket, rain jacket and pants, gloves and beanie. Then full, knee-high gum boots and PFD (life preserver). I felt - and looked like - a Michelin man!
Down the ladder into the pitching dinghy and then to shore - sometimes rocky, sometimes sort of sandy but almost always slippery! Liam or one of the crew would jump ashore first, pull the boat in and then give a hand as we swung our legs over into the knee-deep (cold) water and waded ashore.
But it was all well-worth it. Hiking invisible-to-me bear trails, clambering over downed trees, slipping down muddy banks, we would find ourselves in spectacular areas, sitting quietly (in the rain) waiting for bears and appreciating the silence and beauty enfolding us.
Other outings took us cruising the coastline dodging waterfalls that spewed from the rock faces, putting up rivers, completely surrounded by dense, overhanging forest or sitting quietly in a secluded backwater, watching the salmon jump and listening to the wolves howl.
What we Saw
We saw black bears, a grizzly bear mama and three cubs, lots of whales which at one time, surrounded the boat and rubbed against the hull! And bald eagles by the dozens, sea lions, sea otters and jumping salmon. We heard a pack of wolves but weren’t able to spot them as we cruised the coastline.
There were so many memorable moments but for me, I was absolutely thrilled by the hump back whales as they surrounded us. So gentle and so BIG! They hung around for half-an-hour or so before a final blow and dive to leave us completely in awe.
And the food…oh the food! Delicious and beautifully prepared meals that seemed to endlessly come out of the tiny galley. No Spam on this boat! Erin is a complete wizard and produced meals that any five-star restaurant would be happy to serve. So we were very spoiled.
Our last day on the water was spectacular, with bright sun and good breeze for sailing, which we did. Hopped in the dinghy and Liam zipped us around so I was able to get some great shots of Passing Cloud under sail.
Now it’s time to sort sort sort pictures and delete delete delete to bring the vast number down to something manageable.
The Campervan Saga
The hunt is seriously on for a campervan and hope to find one in the next couple of weeks. it’s not an easy task with the price restrictions I have but I will prevail!