Campbell River, BC, Canada September 2019

This year’s trip contained much anticipated excitement. One of our guests had never been on a plane, had never been to the ocean, had never seen a wild bear or orca or humpback whale….and the list goes on. We treated her to a satisfying adventure with our hosts, Adventure Quest Canada of Campbell River, BC.

Our first day involved trying to find some black bears. Our group just missed one….wildlife is much about timing. We did, however, experience Elk Falls in the Elk Falls Provincial Park. The falls and suspension bridge are something to experience. Slightly underwhelming for the Calgarians who live close to the Rocky Mountains and with their own spectacular falls, the beauty of Elk Falls cannot be denied.

Now for what we came for…..

Day 2 has us boarding the Adventure Quest boat with our guide, Leigh Nelson (owner & captain). First stop was to watch humpbacks bubble net feeding. What an experience! You could really see the circle of bubbles around the krill and we got some spectacular photos of the whales surfacing mouths wide open to take in the large amounts of krill they rounded up.

We made our way up to Toba Inlet to view some transient orcas catching seals and porpoising….where they launch out of the water playfully like dolphins are known to do frequently. The excitement on the boat watching these two great marine mammals is what makes my job as tour host so rewarding.

Spent our usual night on a floating lodge owned by Seawolf Ventures Ltd. Randy always makes us feel like family. He took each of my guests out for a boat ride around Frederick’s Arm. This is the group’s leisurely downtime to do what they want and just relax.

Day 3 takes us to Bute Inlet to join with Homalco Culture and Wildlife Tours to safely view grizzlies during the salmon run. Again, our guests were not disappointed. At one viewing stand, an older sow was directly below us. We couldn’t have been any closer unless we were on the ground. We watched one young male catch some salmon, a sow and her 2 cubs playfully run through the river. Young cubs are always a delight to everyone on the tour. We ended our day with a delicious meal at the Riptide Marine Pub.

Day 4 has us packing for home but since it was raining, we took a detour to Coombs for lunch and to see the goats on the roof of the Coombs Old Country Market. Excellent food in their cafeteria and watching the goats was quite the novelty. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to spend much time as we got message that our original flight was cancelled and, as I am somewhat calendar-challenged, thought the time was moved up by 2 hours, when in reality it was 2 hours earlier than original flight on the NEXT day! Unknowingly panicked, we raced to the airport only to realize we ended up with an extra day. We made the most of it and enjoyed Seal Bay Nature Park. My guests had a great time relaxing while I spent the time on the phone to Air Canada to find out what they are covering in the extra costs this flight cancellation has caused. Not much could be done now until we get home and submit claims for our expenses. Time for dinner at Fluid Bar & Grill. This was definitely a place to return to…delicious food, wonderful staff. We all thoroughly enjoyed our time spent relaxing and conversing over a sumptuous meal.

Day 5, an unexpected bonus to this trip, so we took advantage and spent most of our morning at the beach in Goose Spit Park. Most of us went our separate ways on the beach to just chill and take in the peacefulness of the beach. Few photos were taken…most were of the abstract artistic style and a few seascapes. That afternoon just before heading back to the airport we returned to Seal Bay Nature Park to check out the swamp area to hopefully get some great bird photos. Unfortunately, Comox had a very dry year and the swamp was almost completely dried up. We could even see the water lily rhizomes. Finally, next thing we knew…back on a plane headed home. Next Campbell River adventure….September 10 – 13, 2020….might have to add a day to make the most of Comox.

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