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Old 19 May 20, 07:48 PM  
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Scruffette
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O Can-aska - Day 14 - Telegraph Cove & Grizzly Bear Expedition

O Can-aska - Day 14

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Thursday 12th September 2019 - Telegraph Cove, Grizzly bear expedition, travel to Campbell River

It was an early start this morning – we were going on a bear hunt! Ok, maybe not a hunt exactly. It’s official name was Tide Rip Grizzly Bear Expedition.

We both had woken a few times in the night – the stairs to the accommodation above us went directly over our sleeping area and people must have been going up and downstairs a few times. This gave me some weird and vivid dreams about people breaking into our room.

We got ready quickly, following instructions not to wear deodorant today. Strong smells can scare off bears, although no deodorant probably scares off people!

Fortunately, our room was really close to the tour office. The accommodation office was closed, so we left our key for them outside. It was all very trusting in Telegraph Cove.

We arrived a little ahead of our meet time of 6.45am to find most people there already. We both had waterproof coats, but no waterproof trousers. The tour company had some that you could borrow – as it was pouring with rain today, everyone had the same idea and the room with all the waterproofs was rammed. The smallest pair left was still pretty big on me – I had to hold them up whenever I was walking! Worth it to keep dry though.

Back in the tour meet location we helped ourselves to some yoghurts provided and awaited our boat – we were on Silver Bear. There were 3 boats out today from this company. Our boat consisted of 10 guests and 2 staff – our driver and a naturalist.



The seas were very rough today. Combine rough seas with the pouring rain, and it makes for very limited visibility.



About an hour into the journey they stopped the boat so they could give out part 2 of breakfast – muffins and hot drinks. They did have hot chocolate sachets (I don’t drink tea or coffee) which we made up. I was glad to have something warm.



Our guides gave us lots of information on the way and explained what we’d be seeing today on our way out to Glendale Cove. They gave examples of the large quantities of bears they had seen recently, which gave us high expectations!

Despite the rain, we tried to brave the outside as much as possible. The waterfalls were really fierce today!



Around 10am there was notice of a possible bear sighting - the advantage of having 3 boats is that they were keeping in contact with each other. The disadvantage was then 3 boats were jostling for position





There were boats form other tour companies as well trying to have a look. There weren’t as many bears out and about as usual, meaning all tours seemed to be trying to get a look at the one visible bear. I was worried that the amount of activity might have frightened our bear.





We stayed in this area for around 30-40 minutes, watching our grizzly. This bear was on the shoreline foraging for food. The salmon hadn't come in yet this year, which was unusual, so this bear had adapted and was looking for food in other places.





The tour did lend out binoculars – ours were very basic, so we were pleased to use theirs. We were quite happy watching our new bear friend





It was then time to head off to our lunch spot and the place where we would transfer boats. They were hopeful that we would see more bears en route, and we did stop a few times, but with no luck.

For lunch, they put out a picnic spread and we filled our own wraps, along with crisps and soft drinks. I was quite surprised that there was smoked salmon, given the talk we had from our naturalist earlier about not eating salmon!



It was pouring through lunch, and to be honest it was a bit miserable eating in the rain (the coverings didn’t do a lot)

Closer view of the boat –



After the tour, we boarded our floating pontoon skiffs. There was a raised level and Ollie and I opted to go up there – not everyone was keen as it was quite wobbly! We hoped this would give us the best view.





Three pontoon boats sailed into the estuary at Knight Inlet, where we would be allowed to stay for about an hour. Again, three boats trying to view the same thing was a bit frustrating. We did spot a bald eagle in the distance.





After some waiting patiently, we did spot a bear, and then noticed her two cubs. The binoculars provided came in useful here. I didn’t really attempt to photograph this (they were too far away for my phone) but instead just watched and enjoyed the moment.



Soon, it was time to venture out of the estuary and pick up our boat to make the journey back to Telegraph Cove, stopping briefly at Lagoon Cove for fuel.





The journey back was quite eventful – we saw a humpback in the distance, a porpoise and a sea otter wrestling with some fish. Some of our fellow passengers mentioned they had been on a whale watching tour form Telegraph Cove yesterday and had multiple sighting of orcas and humpbacks, so just goes to show how variable these things are.







It was then back to the dock at Telegraph Cove for just after 3pm (slightly earlier than the advertised time).

There’s no getting way from the fact that the rain put a real dampener on the day (no pun intended). By the end we were soaked and tired.

It’s another one of these experiences where it can vary from day to day – lots of reviews talk about seeing double digits numbers of bears and even our guides seemed to think this wasn’t one of the strongest tours.

Seeing the bears in their natural environment was amazing – you can tell how incredible it is when a boat full of people goes silent.

Once back at Telegraph Cove, we had a look round the tiny area, as we hadn’t seen it in daylight yet. Each of the accommodations is unique and there is signage around with history from the area. Just don’t bring your dog – dogs being eaten by cougars seemed to be a recurring theme in the area!







A bit of Disney gets in everywhere -







The entrance to our ‘bunk house’ from last night –







We had been told about some nice hikes, including one where whales were often spotted in the morning – if we had been here a second day (and it wasn’t pouring!) we would have followed some of these routes.

We popped to the office to check they received the key we returned, which they had.

It was then time to get into some dry clothes and start our journey to Campbell River, where we would be staying this evening.



The drive took place in horrendous rain. This is where we learnt that cruise control + puddles = aquaplaning.

Our amazing snack of choice for this part of the road trip –



This sign showing the different between deer and elk. Elk have big horns, where as deer are more balletic!



Not being ones to resist a good viewpoint, we stopped at Ripple Rock. Although the visibility wasn’t great, we enjoyed reading the history of the controlled explosion of this rock (as it was hazardous to boats).







We did take a wrong turn on our way into Campbell River, but repeating ourselves meant I got a change to see these deer twice, near the entrance to our accommodation.



We arrived at our air bnb around 6.45pm. Our lovely host came over to meet us and show us around. She was very sweet and asked us questions about our trip so far. This air bnb was a bit like a stand alone granny annex in the grounds of their house. It was beautifully furnished with everything you could want, including microwave popcorn, a cupboard with 8 different blankets and access to their Netflix. This was definitely the nicest air bnb we’ve ever stayed in (although we have stayed in some odd ones in the past).






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After a long day we fancied something easy for dinner, and chose takeaway pizza. We put in the order online to the nearest Freshslice and then went to collect. We chose two pizzas to share (and to have for breakfast the next morning) – a meat lover’s feast and a butter chicken pizza.

The meat lover’s pizza was nice, but the butter chicken pizza was really something special. I know it sounds a little odd, but I think it was the best takeaway pizza I’ve had (ignoring anything in Italy, obviously). I just wish I’d remembered to take a photo! (Why would I photograph the box and not the actual pizza?)



Our evening was spent on the sofa under a blanket, eating pizza and watching tv. A perfect evening after a busy day!

Day 15 - Elk Falls & Whistler

Edited at 08:01 PM.
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Old 21 May 20, 11:27 PM  
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walt4it
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What an early start ! Although after a night in the room under the stairs, I guess it was made a little easier to get up early.
Can feel your frustrations with the weather and the lack of bears and Orcas on the tour - to see them in their natural habitat is amazing and the feeling you get about the sheer awe of that stays with you.
Loved your choice of snack for the road journey, would love to try them, just sound delicious!
Quality Airbnb and with a pizza under a blanket watching TV - it sounds a perfect way to end such a busy day.

Have thoroughly enjoyed reading
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Old 25 May 20, 08:47 AM  
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Just discovered your trip report and really enjoying it. Delicious food and lovely scenery/sights. The perfect combo! Thanks for taking the time to do it. Looking forward to more.

M x
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Old 26 May 20, 07:53 PM  
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Scruffette
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Originally Posted by walt4it View Post
What an early start ! Although after a night in the room under the stairs, I guess it was made a little easier to get up early.
Can feel your frustrations with the weather and the lack of bears and Orcas on the tour - to see them in their natural habitat is amazing and the feeling you get about the sheer awe of that stays with you.
Loved your choice of snack for the road journey, would love to try them, just sound delicious!
Quality Airbnb and with a pizza under a blanket watching TV - it sounds a perfect way to end such a busy day.

Have thoroughly enjoyed reading
I always think it's amazing when a boat full of people goes silent and everyone is fixated on the wildlife around them. Thanks for reading


Thanks for reading

Originally Posted by Pumba75 View Post
Just discovered your trip report and really enjoying it. Delicious food and lovely scenery/sights. The perfect combo! Thanks for taking the time to do it. Looking forward to more.

M x
Welcome We really fell in love with the scenery in Canada and Alaska. Any trip of ours always includes lots of food!
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