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Of Whales and bears: Nancy and Sandra wanted to see a spirit bear and this is what they got

To travellers, Sandra and Nancy, contacted me this year independently of one another with a wish of seeing a spirit bear in BC. Also known as the Kermode bear, spirit bears are a subspecies of the American black bear, some of which are completely white. It is estimated that between 100 and 500 individuals live in the Central and North Coast regions of British Columbia.

As you can imagine, finding a white spirit bear is like searching for a needle in a haystack.

Enter our "Realm of the Spirit Bear - Expedition Cruise into the Great Bear Rain Forest". Nancy booked on one the departures in early September 2021. It had her sail into the world’s largest intact temperate rainforest, a world of steep-sided fjords, tranquil coves and inlets, islands and great river estuaries and above all: wildlife. As she cruised this beautiful coastline, she got to explore by zodiac and walk in rainforest and wildflower meadows with her on-board naturalist.

Nancy writes: "The Spirit Bear [pictured at left] came about 50 feet from us at the riverside shelter we'd hiked to. We saw one first full day out."

Grizzly bears, Spirit bears, Black bears and wolf packs have thrived here for millennia. Whales, sea lions, bald eagles, and other marine mammals and birds abound as well.

"The afternoon/evening before the last day we ended up in an area that had about 3-4 pods of whales, probably 8 or more in each pod and they kept on surfacing, diving, spouting. We stayed over an hour, maybe closer to 2 watching them."