Teddy Bears picnic
Trip Start Mar 01, 2007
48Trip End Feb 29, 2008
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Because it was difficult to get on this tour as it only took 12 people, we had to get up at 5am and drive 200 klms across the island in the dark foggy morning, but arrived full of anticipation !
Now this cost us an arm & a leg but proved to be worth every cent...as it only runs for 8 weeks each year due to the salmon run.
We met the group, a mixture of Brits, Americans & an Aussie (born in London) on it for the second day...and climbed aboard the speed boat for the 2 hour rough crossing to the mainland, where it is only accessible by boat as no roads
En-route, we saw Porpoise, seals and a Black Bear scavaging on the beach of a small island we were passing....also passed Michelle Pfieffers home (not bad) can get there only by boat or sea plane.
We got to the in-let and before we landed, there was 3 Grizzlies right there on the beach catching salmon.....what a start we thought.
Got on the small bus to the viewing area, we expected it to be a platform (and there was a couple) but found ourselves on a small pebble beach area at the confluance of 2 streams.....AND....there they were !! a 4 year old female Grizzly bear catching and eating Salmon from the river....she was not even 20' from us.....we did have armed protection and we were given safety advice (don't run and play dead) they also told us how to read the body language/mood of the bear, he did say that they might fein a charge at you and not to panic !! No problem, no worries we thought...... She was unconcerned, and stayed for a while before wandering off down stream out of sight.....to our surprise a few minutes later, she appeared on OUR side of the stream, blocking the route back to the bus !! suddenly the guy with the gun was very popular...."good fanning action" he said as we all shuffled along the beach area trying to maintain some distance from the bear.....she was really just curious glancing our way and sniffing the air
We saw in total 5 Grizzlies on this small stream area, a couple of large males that didn't come too close.
Later, at one of the platforms we saw a female running along catching fish....then to our surprise, as she passed, she called out and 2 tiny 6 month old cubs came running out of the woods....we all went AAHHHH...they turned and looked at us before running after Mum.....made our day.
We saw a total of 11 Grizzly bears....there are people we met in BC who lived in the area for 25 years and have never seen any !! we then had to drive another 200 klms to a new hotel in Tofino.....happy, contented and tired......we arrived at 10pm.