It is hard not to love the Great Bear Rainforest. It is a true wilderness nestled between the Pacific coast and the Coast mountain Range, stretching from British Columbia to Alaska. There are not any roads, the only access is by water or flying which adds to the feeling that of isolation in a wilderness.
It is such a stunning landscape I’ve just had to cut two paragraphs of me waxing lyrically about its outstanding beauty. This is not the purpose of this post however, it will be covered another time when discussing the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project. Having visited I fully support the efforts of the ForestEthics and the First Nation People in fighting the project and protecting this pristine forest.
Visiting a temperate rainforest offers an opportunity to fish for salmon, see eagles, otters, various species of whales and even the possibility of a wolverine, wolves and bears even the rare Spirit Bear after which the forest is named. The wildlife is spectacular, though witnessing sealions fighting over prime sunbathing space on a small island came as a bit of a surprise.
The island is off the shore of one of the larger islands of the area and is home to a colony of Steller’s Sea Lions. It is not a very large rock and space is at a premium, finding a suitable spot ro relax in peace seems tobe no easy task. It is a noisy place with plenty of barking and bad-tempered sealions jostling for the best spots to catch a few rays.
No sensible pinniped argues with any of the large males however, they bully their way into choice locations and have the pick of the rock and the females.
Steller’s Sea Lions are endangered, and are on the protected list. The are the largest species of eared seals in the world, only the elephant seals and walrus are larger. It is hard to appreciate how large they are until they are up close and personal, but the males are especially impressive and not so cute and cuddly as we imagine.
It is always a privilege to witness animals in their environment, interacting with each other and if we’re really looking with us too. Spending just a little time with these beautiful creatures in a stunning wilderness was an unforgettable experience.
Moments like these remind me why I travel and why sharing them is so important. It is a destination I found a great affinity for and could happily write dozens of posts about it.