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getting ready 9 May 2023

2514 :

This is going to be an adventure to remember. We read (in The Golden Spruce, a book by John Vaillant about the part of the world we're traveling to) that the Great Bear Wilderness  is “among the rainiest places in North America . . . a region known to ecologists as the Very Wet Hypermarine Subzone where the total hours of cloud cover amount to more than 250 days per year.” From one of the sunniest here in Caspar, to one of the rainiest. Is it cheeky to hope for good weather during our week on the Great Bear II? Raincoats ordered, we're getting ready. 

“By any measure, an absolutely enormous place; it occupies two time zones and is bigger than 164 of the world's countries,” writes Vaillant. “All of California, Oregon, and Washington could fit inside it with room left over for most of New England. . . Like Alaska, this landscape exudes an overwhelming power to diminish all who move across it.” He goes on about mosquitoes, but I'm desperately hoping they won't be much of a factor on our trip. 


Why the question mark? Because we have signed a non-disclosure agreement not to reveal in any way “any of the places on our tours, and/or places that you have heard that we have been and/or that we may visit in the future” because “Sharing of this information could first and foremost, endanger the lives of the wildlife by making their location known to hunters . . . [or] certain members of the public that are not educated about proper wildlife viewing protocol.” Our hosts, Ocean Adventures, has made this agreement and requires us to sign on, because it is “closely guarded by some conservation groups and local First Nations.” I think we can live with that.

I'm only guessing where we're going to be, and don't think I reveal too much by placing the ? but that's the closest I'm going to come to telling you where, along B.C.'s 17,000 mile coastline, we're going to be cruising. 

In the rain. (Maybe: Klemtu weather )

2515 :

Armchair view of a section of the Great Bear Wilderness
mouseover for names

2516 :
<p>a photo from one of Trish’s emails</p>

a photo from one of Trish’s emails

Why are we going?

My abiding interest in unspoiled forest, and a sense that, for several reasons, we better get there soon, certainly makes the best argument. Coasts have always fascinated me, and this one, remote, protected, deeply indented – a sunken mountain range? – and fraught with history and wildlife calls to me particularly. 

Rochelle's not as enthusiastic, but she's game. It's far to go, and isolated. 

2517 :

After several years looking for the right boat – NOT one of the enormous cruise ships that infest the outer waters here, but something with as few passengers as possible – I found, and for months have been making arrangements to join Captain Eric on his 54 foot boat, Great Bear II, with (it appears) only two (or three?) other passengers and a crew of three.

After months of friendly correspondence with Trish, I almost feel like family. 


But before the boat, there's getting ready, and then there's getting there.

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