Of beasts and boats
FOLLOW THE READER
PLYMPTON, SA SOME years ago, in search of the ultimate wildlife experience, I took a trip to Alert Bay on the northern tip of Canada’s Vancouver Island. I headed across the Straits of Georgia from Vancouver, British Columbia, on a comfortable ferry and then boarded a bus for a five-hour journey north to Port McNeill.
Then another ferry to Alert Bay, where my accommodation was a log cabin overlooking the fabled Inside Passage. That night I was woken by a very loud noise that turned out to be the foghorn of a huge cruise liner slipping past on its way up to Alaska. It was an eerie sight as all I could see were the lights of the ship through the fog.
The next few mornings I waited on the pier for various small boats that promised to show me species of whales, including orcas, and bears.
The first voyage was on an old-fashioned sailing ship that slipped along the coast but unfortunately was a bit slow and before we could get close enough to get a good look most of the wildlife had disappeared.
My next experience was on a speedboat that whisked off passengers in search of bears. We eventually arrived at our destination of Knights Inlet, noted for its population of grizzlies. We got quite close to a huge male fishing for salmon. The fish were plentiful and our bobbing pontoon was a constant disturbance, forcing them to jump out of the way.
My next adventure was on a much larger and faster boat in search of orcas and I got spectacular shots of these killer whales surfing on the wash of our boat. This was the wildlife experience I had hoped for and it was just wonderful. Send your 400-word contribution to our Follow the Reader column: email@example.com. Published columnists will receive a three-piece set for clothes, shoes and toiletries by F1 Spacepak, a compression packing system that maximises suitcase space. $98. More: flight001.com.au.