British Columbia Magazine is a one of a kind publication, showcasing all the great things and places about British Columbia: bcmag.ca

I’m very proud to have one of my images featured on the bottom of page 13 of the Summer, 2017 edition.

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I’m a very proud supporter of Friends of Clayoquot Sound and their conservation work in the local area. Two of my images were recently featured on page 5 of the summer 2017 newsletter. Please consider making a donation: http://focs.ca

I’m very proud to be a Volunteer, Member and now a Director with the BC Marine Trails – The World’s Largest Marine Trail Network: bcmarinetrails.org FullSizeRender.jpg

After a relaxed 13 km paddle, the last thing a person wants to find on their camping beach is a group of teenagers with shabby power boats that cost much less than your first car, loud music and chainsaws! Needless to say I didn’t stay on the Stud Islets and for good reason. I found a much more “friendly” alternative which is all I can say so as not to disclose the location. The Whale told me to stay right where I was too!

Day 1 – May 25th, 2017

I departed Courtenay at 1:05 pm, over packed as usual and arrived at Poett Nook Marina and Kayak Launch just Northeast of Bamfield at about 4:00 pm. The road to Bamfield is never in the best of condition but there were sections this time that were a little more rough than usual. Poett Nook offers several amenities and easy access to the Deer Group Islands with limited exposure to the open water crossing.  poettnook.com/welcome The only downside is that there’s only one fire pit that you have to share with others, if you’re so inclined to do so. I got lucky and met a couple folks from Germany that were on vacation and exploring the area, Sebastian and Markus. Great guys! I was smart to decline their offer of some sort of very potent German alcohol. I wanted to be on the water early the next morning otherwise it may have been worth a sip or two.

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Day 2 – May 26th, 2017

I launched from Poett Nook at 6:20 am, the open water crossing through Trevor Channel was calm with only some gentle swell when I neared the Deer Group.

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After passing through Robber’s Passage I took an on water break near the Sea Arch just North of the passage. The tide was too low to paddle through the arch but nonetheless it was inspiring to see a geological formation that has taken millennia to form.

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I carried on, but not too far and took another break to actually get out and stretch some, at this point I was about 11 km in.

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From here, my next destination was the Stud Islets which is where I intended to camp. I rounded the corner of the last islet and much to my disappointment I hear music, see shabby power boats, see the beach filled with “teenage children” and I hear a chainsaw. I beached my kayak and got out to see if there was any feasible way I could stay there knowing full well that there was no way. I barely exchanged words with the individuals that were there and quickly got back into my kayak and left. I circled Holford Bay for about 45 minutes contemplating a suitable alternative at which point I found a beach.

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The BCMTN (British Columbia Marine Trail Network) alternative sites within Holford Bay North and South didn’t seem very appealing, at least to me. Nonetheless I did complete site condition reports on day 3 so that perhaps these locations can be contemplated some more. If you’re out there paddling, please take the time to complete a site condition report, it’s really easy and a fun way to contribute: bcmarinetrails.org/…w-to-help/stewardship

So, after eating I sat on this beach that I found for a little bit trying to decide if I really should stay or not or move not too far away to Holford Bay North. I sat there lost in my thoughts when out of nowhere a giant Humpback Whale breached not 100 m from where I was sitting, directly in my intended path to Holford Bay North! This has a way of convincing you to stay put. So, the Whale told me to stay right where I was and so I did for two nights. It ended up being fantastic. Thank you to this Whale for telling me what to do. It came back a few times afterwards too, maybe just to remind me. The picture below shows the whale, just to the left is Holford Beach North.

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All in all I was very happy with my camping beach, it offered protection from the wind and sunlight until mid afternoon, an established fire ring and a great view.

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Day 3 – May 27th, 2017

I slept in and didn’t wake up until 9:30 am, relaxed and spent most of the day reading a book that I have been meaning to read that was given to me as a gift at Christmas. If you don’t already know who Alex Honnold is, you need to catch up on him. He is to free solo rock climbing as to what three Mozart’s are to music. What this guy has achieved is incredible to say the least. alexhonnold.com

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I did have some visitors. Lisa, her five year old son Anthony and their dog Marlee spent an hour or so foraging for shells on the beach. A very friendly trio. Lisa informed me that there’s Wolves on Tzartus Island and to listen for them at night. I informed her that a contributor to the BCMTN Facebook page shared a picture of a Cougar on the Stud Islets in May of 2016.

 

Day 4 – May 28th, 2017

I was asleep early the night before and up at 4:15 am, broke camp and on the water for 5:25 am for the paddle back to Poett Nook. (I did wake at around 2:00 am to check on my kayak during the high tide and was surprised to see the Northern Borealis. A first for me on the coast, even thought it was faint on the horizon.)  As soon as I turned west of the island I was on, the wind picked up and the fog was pretty thick. It was an uncertain paddle all the way back to Robber’s Passage and I was concerned about the open water crossing through Trevor Channel. I took a break in the passage.

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Much to my relief, Trevor Channel was dead calm, the 2 km crossing was easy and I made it safely back to Poett Nook at 9:30 am.

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The Deer Group Islands are undervalued in my opinion as a kayaking destination, secluded yet accessible and definitely worth checking out. Later, I intend to check out the outer islands west of Robber’s Passage.

A must watch documentary showcasing the work done by Ancient Forest Alliance and Photographer TJ Watt. Help suppert the Ancient Forest Alliance by donating here: ancientforestalliance.org/donations.php and see more of TJ’s work here: tjwatt.com

This is a beautiful location on the South end of Buttle Lake in Strathcona Provincial Park. One could spend all day composing the setting. I’ll definitely be going back.

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I continue to be honored to have my images serve as a source of inspiration to others far and wide. (Painters, North of Dauphin, Manitoba wonderfully depicting one of my fence line images this evening.)

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As mentioned in an earlier post, one of my Grizzly Bear images will be featured in Norm’s ongoing presentations to help raise awareness for the Great Bear Rainforest. I’m very proud of this affiliation and I applaud Norm’s efforts.

In 2010 standup paddle boarder Norm Hann, along with sea kayaker Brian Huntington of the Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition, paddled the proposed oil tanker route 400km from Kitimat to Bella Bella. The goal of the Standup4Greatbear Expedition was to bring awareness to the threat of these oil tankers in the Great Bear Rainforest and to highlight the traditional food harvesting areas of the First Nation’s people along the route. Since then Norm created the Standup4Greatbear Society. Check out the documentary below and visit Norm’s website here:  normhann.com

 

Wendy Crocker, an extremely talented Artist and Painter residing in Atlantc Canada depicted a beautiful rendition of an image of a purple starfish I photographed in 2009. I am honoured that this image served as a source of inspiration to Wendy. She has portrayed it magnificently! 

Recently I traveled through Jasper National Park en route to Northern Alberta. Jasper is one of my favourite National Parks in Canada. As many of you know I love to photograph Elk. I was appalled to see “tourists” just outside of the townsite approaching these beautiful animals, sometimes within ten feet or less. I tried to intervene but without any luck. I then contacted Parks Canada. Perhaps surprisingly to some, Elk are the most dangerous animals in Canada’s National Parks. Unfortunately in this case the Elk are being harmed more than those in the images and others that choose to behave like this. Please respect the wildlife.