|Prince Rupert and Hartley Bay
Prince Rupert is a port city in the province of British Columbia, Canada. Located on Kaien Island, Prince Rupert is only a few miles
from the Alaska coast. The city is the land, air, and water transportation hub of British Columbia's North Coast, and has a population
of 12,508 people.
For such a small city, Prince Rupert is not an insignificant port. It recently installed a facility for container ships to load and unload. It
is connected by rail to Edmonton and is a major port for exports of Canadian grain. Because it is closer to Asia than all the other
North American ports, it has always aspired to be a major center of commerce. Map below is in nautical miles.
We flew from Vancouver to Prince Rupert on a regional airplane. With a full day in Prince Rupert, we walked a five kilometer trail
outside of town to the rapids.
From Prince Rupert, we took a small First Nations passenger ferry south to Hartley Bay, a four hour ride.
We passed lots of humpback whales. We were a little early to see bubble net feeding take place.
Hartley Bay is home to the Gitga'ata (sometimes Gitga'at or Gitk'a'ata), which means "People of the Cane." The Gitga'at are
members of the Tsimshian nation. About 200 band members live on the reserve and 500 members live off reserve in Prince Rupert,
Vancouver or other regions. The community is served by seaplane and passenger ferry from Prince Rupert. A distinctive feature of
the community is the wooden boardwalks which are used rather than gravel roads.
Our return trip to Prince Rupert was on this float plane. We had spectacular views.
And finally, we see Prince Rupert again. It has to be one of the most beautiful port cities in the world.
The rain forest was really dark. A point and shoot would not have worked in the Spirit Bear forest. We were very fortunate to have
only one truly rainy day.
At Daisy's suggestion, we wore waders and wading boots. Hence we stayed dry, even when going into the river to photograph the
Spirit Bears. It was another matter for the camera equipment. On the one rainy day, I lost use of a camera and lens due to moisture. I
dried them out that night, although the lens fogged up again the next day.
When we took this trip, I was prepared to not see any Spirit Bears. Indeed, it was Jackie who was motivated to make the trip. We were
exceedingly fortunate with both the weather and the bears. When we went to leave, Marven told us that we had been very fortunate
with the quality of our encounters.