Between May 15th – May 25th I again had the honor of exploring Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest and sharing some pretty incredible moments with Grizzly Bears. I continue to be amazed by these majestic animals and their graceful sense of power. It’s reassuring to know that these animals can no longer be hunted for trophy’s in the province of British Columbia.

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Exciting news! I will be working with Republic of Vancouver Island as their feature photographer for all things Vancouver Island. This is such an awesome brand – shirts, hoodies, stickers, etc! Check out their website here: https://www.republicofvancouverisland.ca/

Republic of Vancouver Island Apparel donates a portion of profits to wildlife and environmental preservation groups around the island.
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Over the years, I have been very fortunate and privileged to work with some really great organizations. Here is but a few:

As many of you know, I work with BC Marine Trails as a Director and Co-chair of our Communications Committee. Stewardship is one of our core activities. If you could contribute a few dollars to ocean plastics cleanup it will help us out. It’s quite costly to remove from the west coast of Vancouver Island (Ex. Helicopter lifts, etc.) The accumulation of plastics is concerning, not just here but also elsewhere and getting into our food chain, killing seabirds, etc. I’m sure you have been informed. So if you live on the ocean or nearby please help out: https://www.canadahelps.org/…/restless-bight-clean-up-plas…/

You can receive a charitable receipt upon giving which works out to about 45% return on taxes.
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Very sad news – Alberta naturalist, Charlie Russell passed away on the 7th. Just 4 days earlier, as I sailed through “The Great Bear Rainforest” I spent some time looking through one of Charlie’s books which was on board: cbc.ca/…/charlie-russell-alberta-bear-expert-dies-1.4653404

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This is Calvert Island in the background – May 4th, 2018. Scientists have found 13,000-year-old human footprints on this island, making them the oldest found thus far in North America. Read more here: thewire.in/…/north-americas-first-immigrants-may-have-walked-along-the-beach-to-go-south

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On the morning of May 5th in “Shearwater” which is actually a “corporation” directly across from Bella Bella, this Eagle was perched on a tree alongside the main dock.

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Between May 1st and May 5th I had the distinct pleasure to sail with friends between Comox and Bella Bella. I was also honored to help steer our vessel across Queen Charlotte Strait – one of the most notorious crossings in the Pacific Northwest.

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I will start with a bit of a preemptive spiel. Normally I am very excited to share the specific locations that I paddle to, visit and explore in hopes that others can do the same or may be inspired to do so. I will neglect to do so this time. To some, it may be obvious as to where I was and it may not be difficult for others to ascertain, I’m sure. However, there’s some that mean to bring harm to wildlife and in particular British Columbia’s Wolves and I will not be a proponent in any shape or form as to these sickened objectives.

The “Wolf kill program” or better put, “inhumane slaughter of Wolves” has raised a lot of controversy in our province. To become truly informed, I invite you to visit wolfawarenessinc.org, an organization which I have long supported. Here, you will find fact based science as opposed to conjecture shared by other less informed bodies and organizations.

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My paddle started out on the morning of April 24th, a successful launch into a fairly active harbor. After I cleared all of the activity and as I crossed into the channel I realized that conditions on the water would prevent me from reaching my originally intended camping location. Luckily, there was a suitable alternative not far away to the northeast. As I paddled along, three Sea Otters greeted me along the way. Sea Otters are wonderful and I can’t forget them even if they may be overshadowed a bit by what I was about to soon see.

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Even though conditions in the harbor were placid, there was some respectable swell in the channel and breakers to my west as I already eluded to. The aridity subsided as I approached my alternative camping location. A magical moment was about to occur, one that will be forever cemented in my mind. I completely forgot that it was going to be a surf landing. I had to take a second look and in a sense of disbelief I realized that not one but two Wolves were on the beach to greet me.

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What a welcoming and a huge thrill! For obvious reasons I tend not to carry my expensive SLR’s and telephoto lenses “on the water” though maybe I just should. Recent speculation was that Wolves were no longer residing at this location so it was reassuring to know that in fact they still were. Both animals were curious as to my entrance but quickly vanished into the rain forest. I would not see them again or any sign of them over the course of the next three days but all that mattered is that I knew they were there. Of all the places that they could of been, they were right there as I was approaching. Had conditions to the west been better, likely I would have never saw them. It was meant to be!

I set up camp and explored my surroundings and basically just settled in on day one. My senses were heightened in hopes that I would spot these magical creatures maybe just once more, but to no avail.

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My friend, Sam “popped in” on his way home in the late afternoon. It was great to see Sam. Sam has helped me explore “this area” and has taken me to places that are also “permanently etched” in my mind forever. Sam is a rock climber and can anchor a boat anywhere I think! You’re a good man Sam!

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A note on conservation, stewardship and “leave no trace principles” to paddlers and campers. We can do better than this:

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Find out about BC Marine Trails stewardship initiatives here: bcmarinetrails.org/…/site-steward-program

My intention was relaxed paddling and camping, to and from without any real challenges. I got everything I asked for. I spent much of the next couple of days lounging at my campsite, reading and being lost in my thoughts as I watched the waves roll onto the beach. I did hike out on a rough trail on day three and immersed myself in some photography.

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Last but not least, the next time you have to go for a “#1” or “#2”, appreciate what you’re aiming into or sitting down on…

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The rain and clouds broke at 2:40 pm – April 3rd, 2018

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