Saturday, June 4, 2016

Knight Inlet - Day 1

(Just a disclaimer -- the cutest picture is also x - rated .... )

Al REALLY wanted to go up one of the big Canadian inlets this cruising season. On our Gulf Islands/Sunshine Coast trip in 2013, we went up Jervis Inlet to Princess Louisa Inlet, which is the reward for making it up the 35 or so miles on Jervis.

We researched a bit, and decided to forego Toba Inlet for Bute Inlet. They are both very wild areas with very steep walls that continue to be steep below the water, which means there are few anchorages. The mountains often make their own weather as well, and winds can funnel and whip it up.

But, when it was time to leave the Octopus Islands, the timing wasn't right to go through the rapids to the north to get to Bute Inlet. So we read up more, and decided Knight Inlet would be the one.

Memorial Day at Minstrel Island

We entered Knight Inlet north of Minstrel Island and head east for 25 miles. Our destination is Glendale Cove, sight of the Knight Inlet Lodge, and world-renowned grizzly bear watching!

It WAS cold, but I didn't think it was cold enough to be snow. Landslides! Yup, steep rock has a hard time hanging onto soil.
 The cove is larger than it looks on the chart, but we anchor along the west shore. I was scanning the shore as we came in, but no luck. After we waited long enough to be rather sure of the anchor staying put, we got in the dinghy and set out to explore.

First sighting!
 We also saw two more down the way, wandering and grazing ... and then they get closer and closer together....

 We leave as soon as we see them watching us, watching them. Seeing no other bears ashore, we head back to the boat. (We have NO intention of setting foot on land here.)

Al set a nice table for Tea Time!
 It begins to rain, so we move inside the cabin. And we notice the lodge's guide boats on a nearby point of land. And I begin to feel so very frustrated and limited by our camera. In the past, I have 'boosted' the zoom on our point-and-shoot with the binoculars. I give it a try again, and you can now make out what I can see with my eye...

A mama bear at the center, and the two darker spots are two of her three cubs!

'Objects are closer than they appear'! 

It's hard to tell, but the mama has settled down, pillowed her head on a rock, and is nursing her cubs.
 THEN, the eagles have a surprise for us! They put on a dinner show!


And a catch!

There were 5 eagles, calling and soaring, dipping and splashing, ALL AROUND THE BOAT! We felt like it was a show just for us. We didn't see any large fish captured, but many times saw the eagles reach down to their talons to immediately consume what they had caught. Al called it a Scooby Snack.

We are grateful to be able to bring our home with us, especially since we are warm and dry. But we are conscious of the fact that patrons of the lodge have paid a very pretty penny for this experience, and we stay out of their way. We listen to the lodge's working radios, and watch where the boats are aiming and then grabbing our binoculars for our own look. (Thank you, Santa, for my very own pair, so we don't have to squabble.) It doesn't take much deducing to learn their lingo -- 'blacktivity' means a black bear, Nursery Point is where the mama is nursing her cubs, etc.


  1. Wow you guys! I so love your pictures.. Go for the bigger camera Kristi! I want to see those bears up closer! I have a couple great lenes (what is the plual for lens??) for my Cannon Rebel.. probably outdated now but I love it. And I love my 2 lenes!

    1. Thanks Patti! I'm sure Santa will be good to me this year! In the meantime, check this out: