Our trip to see the Spirit Bears began each morning on the dock at 7:00 am. where we boarded a small boat for a twenty minute ride
to a nearby island. There we crept down on to the rocks at the mouth of the river and up a trail along the river. The "trail" was
challenging as fallen logs were not removed and brush was not trimmed. When the tide was low, we could expect to see a young
male Spirit Bear who hung out at the mouth of the river catching fish and eating shellfish.
This bear was quite shy. As soon as we began the walk to the primitive path along the river, he would disappear until we were gone.
There was another Spirit Bear that I encountered along the river bank. I was sitting along the river bank when I realized that a black
bear was passing me multiple times just a few feet behind me. Then I saw a Spirit Bear come back and forth on that same path.
Then the Spirit Bear walked up between the bushes right towards me. Sadly, I had a long lens and he was too close to photograph.
We stared at each other briefly while Jackie took this picture of me and the bear.
After a few moments, the bear turned around and walked 30 feet to the river when Mama Spirit Bear came charging at her and the
two of them ran up the hill.
It was my custom to sit on the river bank. If a bear came by, I would drop in the water with my tripod set up up low so as to be on eye
level with the bears. This particular day, there was a film photographer in the river next to me when the twins ran up right between the
two of us brushing against the legs of the film photographer. You can see my green hat on the other side of the tree.
We did see black bears that were black. They were much more challenging to photograph. The camera wanted to over expose them,
so when a black bear came up, we needed to set the camera to underexpose the picture.
The River was filled with Chum and Pink Salmon splashing their way up the river.
There were also fish carcasses everywhere. When the bigger rains come, these carcasses will wash down to the mouth of the river
where the halibut will gather for a feast.
There were lots of blue jays feeding on the salmon eggs. They would lift rocks to find the eggs under the rocks.
The jays were greedy characters. They would stuff themselves with so many eggs that the eggs would come popping out. Then they
would swallow the eggs again.
This is the boat that Marvin used to bring us across each day.