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onboard the Great Bear II 4 June 2023

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We drove to the Port Hardy airport, parked, met our co-travelers Trina and Sandra, checked in, and then vanned back to the seaplane dock in the harbor, where Haydon, our pilot, packed our luggage into the little plane, then we boarded. I got to sit in the right-hand front seat, and had a great view of the flight. As we were taxiing – does one taxi in a seaplane? – we saw several eagles, a mature and some teenagers.

mouseover to see where the eagles are

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from the seaplane

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After the usual excitement of a water take-off we flew north over islands, salmon pens, beaches, and a lot of forest. Finally, settlements in sight (Bella Bella and Shearwater Resort) we banked sharply over Gunboat Passage and Haydon made a smooth landing on a bit of chop in the bay in front of Shearwater Resort on Denny Island. Captain Eric, Marjan, and Jen the cook met us and led us through a very light shower to the Great Bear II. After Captain Eric’s thorough safety briefing, he showed us to our comfortable cabin, explained the toilet, and, with the crew, made us feel at home.

Soon after, the Great Bear II was underway around the top of Campbell Island and on through the Seaforth Channel, then north into Mathieson Channel between the Don Peninsula and Dowager Island. Jen served us a delicious lunch: salmon and cream cheese with pickled onions over pumpernickel bread and a lovely salad with strawberries and candied walnuts.

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Let the wildlife begin!

Well along in Mathieson Channel, some Dall’s Porpoises accompanied us for a short while, riding the bow wave and avoiding having their pictures taken. Immediately thereafter we sited a small group of Orca, at a guess, a mother and three young.









Traveling along, we were usually surrounded by a panorama of islands.

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All along the way, the surroundings are thickly forested, apparently virgin forest with occasional clearcut scars. Big swatches of sun and cloud shadow and dramatic clouds.

As I write, we are passing beside Oscar Passage, bound for Jackson Narrows between Susan Island and south of Roderick Island.









And here (below) we have anchored in a side bay of Jackson Narrows for our first night onboard.

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Every evening of the voyage (except the last one when we appetizered on the foredeck) we sat in the aft saloon and devoured a spectacular spread plus BC wines and ciders while watching Chef Jen prepare and plate our wonderful dinners.  



You may wonder about bears. None yet, but when they appear, they will do so on a separate set of pages to protect their locations from discovery by poachers.

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