Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Queen Charlotte Islands Renamed Haida Gwaii in Historic Deal

Photo: Bluewater Adventures, Leanne Carey

B.C.'s Queen Charlotte Islands have officially been renamed Haida Gwaii as part of a historic reconciliation agreement between the province and the Haida Nation, Premier Gordon Campbell announced Friday in Vancouver. The modern native name for the group of more than 150 rugged islands off the province's north coast will will appear on revised provincial maps and all other official provincial documents and presentations, the premier said. The archipelago was first named after one of the ships of British Captain George Dixon in 1778, who called his vessel Queen Charlotte after the wife of King George III.

Haida Gwaii was created as an alternative name for the islands to acknowledge the history of the Haida Nation as part of its land claim efforts in the 1980s. According to the Haida Gwaii Tourism Association, the name translates as "islands of the people" in the Haida language.

The B.C. government later adopted the confusing name Queen Charlotte Islands/Haida Gwaii. For the full CBC report click here © CBC News

Bluewater Adventures is offering many tours of Haida Gwaii in 2010. From May until August each year, the Island Roamer calls Haida Gwaii home. Join us July 4-11, 2010 for an Ancient Insights Adventure.... exploring the history of the islands, plant usage, culture and much more. Check out our special trips page!

Monday, December 14, 2009

This Season Help BC's Wildlife

Give Sustainability This Season!
By Ryan Stuart

"It's two weeks until Christmas, which means it's almost time to start panicking about what to get people. Instead of hunting for a bunch of gifts that my relatives might not even use I've decided to give gifts that give back this year." Check out the BC Wild in BC Blog here, for some great Christmas Gift Ideas!

Source: Be Wild in BC Blog

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Fashion in a Zodiac

And you ask are the Rubber Boots really THAT important? Yes! These guests on a July Southeast Alaska trip are showcasing their personal styles.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Last Chance for 2010 Early Booking Discounts!

Thinking about joining us in 2010? On most Bluewater departures we are offering Early Booking incentives. This offer ends December 31, 2009 so don't miss out! Contact our office 1.888.877.1770 or email for more information. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

See Nancy Turner & Barb Wilson Dec 7th at the Vancouver Aquarium

Session 4: Healthy Oceans, Healthy People!
Monday December 7th, 2009 - 7:00pm-9:00pm Don't miss Nancy Turner and Barb Wilson speaking at this session. To confirm your seat, email: or call 604-659-3432. Please identify which session you would like to attend. Seating is limited.

Join both Nancy and Barb in 2010 on a Bluewater Adventure July 4-11 in the Queen Charlotte Islands. This exclusive 'Ancient Insights' Expedition will be a journey to remember. Call our office for details. Trip selling out fast! 1.888.877.1770 or visit us online@

Friday, November 27, 2009

Humboldt Squid Photo

A guest sent in this great photo from this season. This is Bluewater Captain, Tom McPherson holding up a squid that was found on one of our Great Bear Rainforest Trips.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Join Danny Catt Tonight - Bears, Bears, Bears

Thursday, November 26, 2009, at 7:00pm Council Chambers North Vancouver District Hall, 355 West Queens Road, North Vancouver

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Legacy Lecture 90% Sold

Once-in-a-lifetime lecture 90% sold out!

You still have time to buy tickets to a very special evening with David Suzuki.

A limited number of new seats to David Suzuki: The Legacy Lecture has been made available due to popular demand. All proceeds will support the work of the David Suzuki Foundation.
David Suzuki: The Legacy Lecture December 10, 2009, 7:00 PM Chan Centre for the Performing Arts University of British Columbia 6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver

Click here to buy tickets or call the Chan Centre box office at 604.822.9197.
Travel with Bluewater Adventures and the David Suzuki Foundation June 1-10, 2010. Contact our office for details on this exclusive sailing 1.888.877.1770

Travel with the Sierra Club of BC in 2010

Join Biologist Caitlyn Vernon from the Sierra Club of BC - and Kitasoo Bear Guide Doug Neasloss June 1-8, 2010 in the Great Bear Rainforest. This trip will be starting and ending in Bella Bella, BC and will showcase local wildlife and culture of the area. With Doug onboard, you will see the area through the eyes of a local and gain valuable insight about various topics. For full bios on Caitlyn and Doug - check out our Special Trips Page.

Photo Credit: Kitasoo First Nation; Patrick McCloskey

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Story with Two Ends...Tar Sands meet British Columbia

Award-winning Canadian authors Andrew Nikiforic and Ian McAllister embark on speaking tour highlighting how Alberta Tar Sands developments are set to collide with BC's remarkable coastline.
  • Join Ian McAllister, Conservation Director of Pacific Wild, and journalist Andrew Nikiforuk as they describe the beauty and complexity of British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest and look at how Canada's dirty oil industry threatens BC and our nation. Ian and Andrew are outlining the stories surrounding both ends of the proposed Enbridge pipeline, from the Alberta Tar Sands to Kitimat’s pristine waters. This compelling muti-media presentation will provide an in-depth and intimate view along the pipeline and tanker route.
  • Victoria - Nov. 22nd Alix Goolden Theatre, 907 Pandora 7-9:30pm
  • Sidney - Nov. 23rd Bodine Family Hall, Mary Winspear Centre 7-9:30pm
  • UVic - Nov. 24th Room A110 SS&M Building, UVic 2:30pm
  • Vancouver- Nov. 25th Heritage Hall, 3102 Main Street 7:30-9:30pm
  • UBC- Nov. 26th Norm Theatre, UBC Student Union Building 12:30-2pm
  • Burnaby- Nov. 26th Shadbolt Centre for the Arts 6450 Deer Lake Ave. 7:00 pm
$5 suggested donation for attending.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Did you know? White Bears are more Successful...

The white coat of the Kermode bear should stand out like a sore thumb in the forests, shadows and rivers of coastal B.C.

Instead, new research by University of Victoria biology professor Tom Reimchen and graduate student Dan Klinka shows that the Kermode, also known as spirit bears, are about 30-per-cent more efficient at catching salmon than their conventional black-bear cousins.

However, the advantage applies only in daylight, when salmon apparently have more difficulty spotting a white bear standing in the water. When bears go fishing at night, black bears have a slight advantage.

For the full article - click here

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Annual Fall Newsletter is Here!

Download our Fall 2009 Newsletter - 35th Anniversary Edition!
Available on our homepage!

For more on our special 2010 trips, and some trip 'experts' that will be leading these great adventures click here

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Public Lecture by Jeremy Goldbogen - Oct 27, 2009

2009 Michael A. Bigg Award Lecture
The Ultimate Mouthful: Lunge-feeding by Baleen Whales

Presented at the Vancouver Aquarium Goldcorp Theatre (Aquaquest entrance)
Join Jeremy Tuesday October 27, 2009 at 7pm

Jeremy Goldbogen, UBC graduate student and winner of the 2009 Michael A. Bigg Graduate Student Award, has recently completed his PhD dissertation on the mechanics and energetics of lunge feeding by blue, fin and humpback whales. Using specially-designed digital recording tags, Jeremy discovered that the whales glide to depth, make several lunges—each of which slows them to a near standstill—and then swim actively back to the surface. The volume of water engulfed and filtered during each lunge is larger than the whale’s entire body. Jeremy will discuss and illustrate these and other findings with photographs and video clips from his field work.

Instituted in 2007 and funded by the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre’s Wild Killer Whale Adoption Program, the Michael A. Bigg award celebrates the life and scientific achievements of pioneering killer whale researcher Dr. Michael Bigg (1939-1990).

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Dan Culver Summits Everest in 1990...Dedicates his Climb to the Khutzeymateen Valley

I was recently going through some old files in the Bluewater office, when I came across this incredible photo of Dan Culver, the founder of Bluewater Adventures. In 1990 Dan became the 5th Canadian, and first British Columbian, to summit Mt. Everest, dedicating that ascent to the Khutzeymateen and Tsitika valleys, then in danger of being logged. Dan knew he was not going to be on this planet forever, but hoped that such places as the Khutzeymateen would be.

On June 23-29 2010, come with Bluewater Adventures on its First Annual trip into the Khutzeymateen Valley and see first had why Dan and so many others see this as a very special place in British Columbia.

For more on Dan Culver, and the history of Bluewater Adventures check this out!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Join Danny Catt this Sunday!

Stanley Park Ecology Society - Annual General Meeting

When: Sunday October 18th 2pm-4pm
Where: Coal Harbour Community Centre (480 Broughton st. Vancouver)
Admission: Free to SPES Members, New Membership is by donation, this day only!

Featuring sensational stories and stunning scenes of connecting people with nature across hemispheres.

In traveling through 50 countries, award-winning naturalist-lecturer Danny Catt has captured insights and images that have been showcased as widely as Canadian Geographic and Time Magazines. Join him for an inspiring afternoon journey from the exotic Antarctic through the Equator to the mysterious Arctic.

Bluewater Adventures was lucky enough to have Danny lead a trip with us again this past summer in Southeast Alaska aboard the Island Odyssey.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

BC by Water - Tourism BC Feature

Check out the latest campaign from Tourism BC - Randy Burke, Director of Bluewater Adventures was recently interviewed for this segment.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bluewater Celebrates its 35th Birthday!

Celebrating 35 Years!

Bluewater is proud to have provided guests with 35 years of coastal you have a story to share. Email your past Bluewater story to

We look forward to seeing you onboard in 2010!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Humboldt Squid in BC?

Bluewater Naturalists including Lindsay Janes, Krista Bogen and Tim Irvin have been surprised to see Giant Flying Squid or Humboldt Squid in the waters of the Great Bear Rainforest this summer. They can weigh up to 20 kilograms and reach 1.5 meters in length. Scientists think they may have made their way north in the warmer waters, or they are just moving north comfortably now.

With another sighting in Alaska this month, scientists are not sure whether the presence is short term, or long term and what the effects on eco-systems might be.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bubble-Net Feeding in the Great Bear Rainforest!

A few guests onboard the Island Odyssey this week were lucky enough to see a group of Humpback Whales bubble-net feeding! This is very rare to see in the area, as we usually talk about this in Alaskan waters. Captain Randy Burke called into the office to chat about the experience.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

BC is Stained by the Blood of the Great Bear - The Trophy Hunt Begins Today...

September 10th (today) marks the beginning of the fall bear hunt trophy season. To everyone at Bluewater Adventures, and many other BC organizations, tour operators, environmental groups...this marks a very disturbing time. Surveys in the area are already showing an extreme lack of bears in the area because of the reduced number of salmon. For more on the bear hunt and other conservation efforts in the Great Bear Rainforest, please visit

Bluewater Captain Neil Shearar is also launching a new Campaign this week to urge the provincial government to take action on this issue. Join his Facebook group today "BC is Stained by the Blood of the Great Bear" and talk about your experiences in the area, your thoughts on the hunt, and make your own t-shirt to support the cause. Bluewater staff are taking action against the hunt...will you? Purchase your stop the hunt bracelets onboard our vessels in support of the movement.
Check out an article printed yesterday in the Globe and Mail about the lack of bears in the Rainforest. Click Here

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Favourite Places on the Coast

Everyone has their favourite place on the coast, or in my case a few places. Recently I was onboard the Island Odyssey traveling in Southeast Alaska when I discovered another place to add to my list. We stopped at the Baranof Island Hot about unreal. Walking up the wooden boardwalk into the forest and then coming across these amazing hot springs, overlooking the rushing waterfall was incredible. There were 2 large hot pools and 3 smaller cold ones - which you needed to go in after awhile! There was also a free bath house with 3 private rooms overlooking the bay. A great way to spend the evening. A very surreal place...

Photo: Leanne Carey

Monday, August 31, 2009

Spirit Bear sightings this morning from the Island Roamer!

Captain Ian Giles phoned in this morning with news of Spirit Bear sightings from the Great Bear Rainforest. Just north of Princess Royal Island the bears have been wandering the shores already this season. We hope all of our September Bluewater trips have the same luck!
Photo: Patrick McCloskey

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Khutzeymateen Valley June 23-29, 2010

ROLL OUT THE GREEN CARPET...these bears are coming to the KHUTZE!
Photo: Leanne Carey

Join our first ever expedition into the Khutzeymateen...Valley of the Bears. Aboard the Island Odyssey we will start and finish in Prince Rupert, BC. $ 3675 CDN + taxes

Click here to see our full 2010 schedule and download the itinerary for this trip

Monday, August 24, 2009

TD Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Did you know more than 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals and sea turtles die each year as a result of marine debris? - international coastal cleanup report, 2006

Be a Part of the Solution! - Register by Sept 4th!
Join a clean up crew, or become a crew leader
September 19-27, 2009

Approximately 80% of the litter found along shorelines and in waterways originates from land and land-based activities.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gwaii Haanas Speaker Series - Vancouver Aquarium

Parks Canada has partnered with The Vancouver Aquarium to offer a unique speaker series to present the stories of Gwaii Haanas. Each engaging event allows audience members to explore a different aspect of the region and understand the need for its protection. Come and learn about some of the issues that affect the areas that Bluewater operates in - and you can be sure to spot some of our staff in the audience!

Session 1: Exploring the islands
Monday September 14
A virtual tour of Gwaii Haanas with stunning visual footage and presentations by the people who live, breathe and respect this extraordinary B.C. region.

Session 2: Icons of the Pacific
Monday October 26
It's no fluke that whales are here. Join us in exploring the marine life within Gwaii Haanas and why protecting this area benefits us all.

Session 3: Changing Seascapes
Monday November 16
Learn about ancient Haida villages, changing sea levels and how historical trade practices have all played a role in shaping today's Gwaii Haanas.

Session 4: Healthy oceans, healthy people
Monday December 7 Whether it's dining out or reporting a whale sighting, your actions can make a difference to our oceans. Join us for this special conclusion to find out what you can do to help.

Please enter at the Aquaquest Administrative Entrance.

To confirm your seat, email: or call 604-659-3432. Please identify which session you would like to attend.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Haida Gwaii 2010 - Into Ethnobotany?

Come aboard with Island Roamer with Nancy Turner, ethnobotanist and author of 'Plants of Haida Gwaii' and her good friend, Haida Matriarch Barb Wilson in Gwaii Haanas. Explore the native use of plants and the roll these plants play in Haida culture. For more information on the Queen Charlotte Islands click here

Monday, August 10, 2009

Take the PLUNGE! Book Alaska 2010

Come experience Alaska like you never thought possible. This trip will exceed all expectations! The list of wildlife is too long to list... so come list it yourself. 2010 Adventures now available. Check out our schedule for more details

Friday, August 7, 2009

Humpback Whales Playing in Frederick Sound

Check out these active whales from Frederick Sound. Island Odyssey guests watched in awe this past July as the Humpback whales were so active in the waters. Everyday they saw large numbers of Humpback whales and even transient Orcas.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Spend a Moment with a Bear

At the Anan Wildlife Observatory in the Tongass National Forest, you can view bears in their environment - feeding on wild salmon, walking in the water, laying down on the grass.... It is a great chance to see bears interact with as black bears and brown bears confront eachother, see eagles soaring through the trees, witness a healthy salmon run and enjoy nature. To visit Anan Creek, you have to apply for permits. Bluewater takes care of this for you so you can enjoy this spectacular place.

Click here to see what is available for 2010!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Go Coastal in 2010!

Take advantage of Early Booking Discounts and book your 2010 adventure now! Contact our office for more details. 1.888.877.1770

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Gourmet Food On the Island Odyssey

Gourmet Chef Annie Strucel Serves up amazing meals like this in the Galley everyday!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Southeast Alaska...Beyond your Wildest Dreams!

I just returned from 10 days in Southeast Alaska aboard the Island Odyssey. I could not have even imagined how great this trip would have been. Endless whales, sooo many bears, an amazing glacier... There were 11 passengers onboard for a journey from Petersburg to Prince Rupert. Neil, Annie, Steve, Danny and Brian were our fabulous crew who showed us so many spectacular places along the coast. Some of the highlights for me were visiting Anan Creek with all the Grizzlies and Black Bears in the river feeding on the salmon, taking a jet boat into the LeConte Glacier and watching all the ice calve into the water, a rare encounter with a large group of sea otters while we were kayaking near Security Cove, seeing all the unique birds of the region, floating past ice bergs in the waters, seeing Orcas and humpbacks in Frederick Sound, and of course the wonderful food from Annie : ) This trip was wild, and I highly recommend the Southeast Alaska Adventure to all of our clients! I will be posting some videos and pictures from the trip in the weeks to come.

Leanne Carey, Marketing Coordinator

Monday, July 13, 2009

Northern Vancouver Island Adventure

Come join the Island Odyssey as we explore the Northern waters of Vancouver Island. A great family adventure for all ages! Bring the kids - bring the grandparents. This trip is an excellent way to see Orca whales in the rich waters of Johnstone Strait. See ancient totem poles and visit historical sites like Village Island. Gourmet food, knowledgeable crew, lots of wildlife, and much more. Contact our office for more details on this fantastic summer adventure! 1.888.877.1770 $ 2,470 CDN + 5% gst

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Hunting Skills of the Orcas

Each year, Bluewater partners with the Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society from the UK for some amazing adventures on the BC Coast. Their guide who joins us each year, Rob Lott - has a great article in the online World News today! Check out his great photography here

Photo by Rob Lott, Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society
We are looking forward to getting Rob back on the Pacific Coast to see our BC Orcas and share his wealth of knowledge with our guests.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Interested in a Mothership Kayaking Adventure?

The Snow Goose is fully equipped with enough kayaks for your Mothership Kayaking Adventure. Whether you want to paddle the waters of the Southern San Juan Islands, or the Northern shores of Southeast Alaska - The Snow Goose is your vessel for an excellent kayaking experience. All of our vessels have kayaks onboard, but this vessel has a wide range of inventory and styles. Contact our office for details 1.888.877.1770 - We look forward to hosting your group!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Amazing Sightings in Haida Gwaii!

The 4 crew and 12 guests onboard the Island Roamer right now in the Queen Charlotte Islands had a great wildlife show yesterday. They spotted two Sperm whales, which were both approximately 40 feet long. The whales were located roughly about 10 miles off the Islands in the open Pacific waters. What an experience! To top it off, they also saw 45 black-footed Albatross the same day. We are looking forward to seeing the pictures and the videos when they get back from their trip.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Bluewater Welcomes Erin Hrushowy

Our staff would like to introduce you to Erin Hrushowy - the newest member of the Bluewater office team. Erin's educational experience is in Business & Tourism Marketing - and has a variety of work experience in Logistics and Planning. Erin can be reached at and looks forward to helping you all plan your adventures this season.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bluewater in British Columbia and Westworld Magazines - Available Now!

Check out an article "Sail through Haida Gwaii" - by Frances Backhouse who joined us in May 2008 in the Queen Charlotte Islands. Special Anniversary issue, Summer 2009

White Sight - Spirit Bear Spotting in BC - By Bill and Joan Prunkl
Summer 2009 issue

visit our media page for full articles and other recent news

Illegal Grizzly Bear Poaching Discovered in Great Bear Rainforest Park

Picture by Randy Burke, Bluewater Adventures

Bella Bella (June 12, 2009) -- A grizzly bear trophy hunter was found illegally baiting bears Thursday night in the Giltoyees River Conservancy Area on the B.C. north coast. Captain Eric Boyum, owner of the bear viewing company BC-based Ocean Adventures, discovered the incident while guiding a group of international clients in the remote watershed twenty-five kilometers east of the First Nations village of Hartley Bay. "We were getting settled in for the evening to photograph and watch for bears as they feed on sedges at the waters edge," stated Mr. Boyum reached by satellite phone on the Douglas Channel "when we discovered the individual, along with a large sack of bait being used to lure the bears into shooting range." "We have reported the full details of this sickening discovery to the local RCMP in Kitimat." Under section 33.1 of the BC Wildlife Act, it is illegal to use bait when hunting bears. "We have been receiving reports all season from frustrated bear viewing businesses, First Nations and members of the public that are fed up with finding trophy hunters in areas where they believed wildlife were protected." stated Ian McAllister of the conservation group Pacific Wild. "However, this blatant illegal poaching - in a park - is one of the more disturbing." The B.C. spring bear trophy hunt season closes on June 15th and it is estimated that between 100 and 150 BC grizzly bears have already been killed for sport in 2009. The BC liberals recently declared 30% of the central and north coast protected but continues to allow trophy hunting of bears in protected areas.

Over 80% of the protected areas and parks in British Columbia allow trophy hunting to occur within park boundaries. A coalition of Coastal First Nations, conservation and animal welfare groups have been working to ban the sport hunt of bears on the BC coast and Haida Gwaii. A 2009 Ipsos-Reid poll shows more than 79 percent of British Columbians want to see protection for bears in the Great Bear Rainforest.

For more information contact: Ian McAllister, Pacific Wild

outbind://85-0000000045F121361680344AADFC01B3B64AAA8D44352600/ For b-roll video and interviews contact PacificWild.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Getting to Know Humpbacks

By Bruce Whittington, Bluewater Naturalist

Taxis, buses, ferries, a plane ride or two — it’s not easy to get to Haida Gwaii for a trip with Bluewater Adventures. But the effort seems to vanish once we are underway. Each time I return, I am reminded of why I love this place: it’s the abundance of life here.

Within the national park reserve, vast forests stand unchanged by industry. The Haida people continue in their ancient relationship to this land. In May, thousands of tiny Ancient Murrelet chicks make their midnight dashes to the sea, in search of their parents whom they know only by the sound of their voices.

Perhaps the most visible of Haida Gwaii’s residents are its Humpback Whales. Until the 1940s, these gentle leviathans were hauled ashore at Rose Harbour, and rendered into oil and meal. The population was reduced to a fraction of its historical size. Today, though, the Humpbacks have returned in a way that is at once encouraging and exhilarating.

They come from Hawaii, where they spend the winters mating, and giving birth. But they do not feed there. In the spring, they migrate to the North Pacific, with its teeming marine food chain. The 40-tonne whales feed largely on krill, tiny animals that may be less than two centimeters in length.

On a typical Bluewater cruise, we see whales daily. Some are identified only by their distant blows, while others feed intently within easy photo range of the boat. It’s not unusual to see 20 or more whales in a given area.

How many whales are there? Are we seeing the same whales over and over? I’ve been photographing the whales in the years I’ve been a naturalist for Bluewater, and it’s fascinating to see how different these animals can be.

Researchers are identifying Humpback Whales by the pattern on the underside and trailing edge of their broad tail flukes. They range from black through mostly white, with an amazing variety of patterns in between.

Canada’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans hosts a web site with photos of over 1,000 Humpbacks known to occur in British Columbia waters. They are grouped according to the amount of white in their flukes:

Using this site, I’ve identified at least eight whales in my photos. It’s exciting to know that “my” whales have been seen before. But more exciting was a whale photographed in 2008 that appeared again in my photos from 2009! The whale’s number is BCZ0273, and here are the photos. You can see that the pattern on the tail is the same a year later. (The yellow markings are algae growth, and they do change over time.)

It shouldn’t surprise me to see the same whales returning, but it is a thrill just the same. It gives me hope that perhaps this diverse and wild landscape will continue sustain the Humpback Whales and all the other species that call it home.

Bruce Whittington, Naturalist

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Environmental group launches expedition to assess danger to coral from trawler gear By Judith Lavoie, Victoria Times Colonist May 31, 2009

Picture: Stringer, AFP/Getty Images

VICTORIA — Delicate forests of deep-sea corals under Hecate Strait and the Queen Charlotte Basin are virtually unprotected from destructive fishing methods such as bottom-trawling for groundfish, says the executive director of a marine environmental group.

Each year in British Columbia waters, about 2,000 kilograms of coral is hauled to the surface in trawl nets, according to Department of Fisheries and Oceans statistics. "That is amazing when you think the coral is incredibly light and fragile — it's not huge boulders," said Jennifer Lash of Living Oceans Society.

Lash, with a team of international scientists, will embark on an expedition in June that she hopes will provide enough information to convince the government to step in and protect the coral forests. Until now, there has been little research into varieties and locations of the tree-like creatures, Lash said. In 2004, after research by Living Oceans, activists demanded the deep-sea habitat be protected from bottom trawling and DFO responded with a scientific review that concluded the habitat should be protected.

Boosting calls for protection was a 2004 statement signed by 1,100 international marine scientists calling on governments and the United Nations to stop the destruction of deep-sea corals. "Bottom trawling is like fishing with bulldozers," U.S coral expert Elliott Norse said at the time. But action from DFO has been slow, largely because of lack of information about deep-sea corals, Lash said. For the full article, click here

Bluewater Adventures is active in educating our guests about this issue, as we do daily intertidal explorations - we are visiting some of the richest intertidal zones in the world. If these disappear, we will be educating our guests on what once existed in these coastal waters.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Looking for your "Video Diaries"

Photo: Rudy Stein

For those of you on Bluewater trips this year, we are looking for short 30 second video clips of you telling us why you love the destination you are traveling in! Whether you are watching a Spirit Bear play in the river, a pod of whales traveling past the boat, or enjoying the beautiful scenery that surrounds you. We want to hear your comments, and we will post your videos on our website to help show guests what makes these trips great. If you have any questions, please email Leanne at

Friday, May 22, 2009

Guests are Soaking in the Charlottes

Natural hot springs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, hundreds of Humpback whales, ancient totem poles, Haida Elders, local culture, migrating sea birds, untouched beaches, black bears, sunshine, gourmet food...the list goes on. What a week on the Island Roamer!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hungry Bears...

By Neil Shearar - Bluewater Skipper

Last year while running a wilderness expedition on the remote British Columbia north coast I had an incredible shock. We visit coastal estuaries in the hopes of encountering bears, Grizzly bears and Black bears feeding on salmon that migrate up the rivers to spawn in the late summer and fall. I have run these bear focused trips for many years. On a typical year I expect to see many thousands of salmon in any one of the estuaries we visit. Last year I was stunned to find that there appeared to have been an absolute collapse of fish stocks within the estuaries we visit.

One river, typically a Grizzly hot spot, seemed very quiet on our initial approach, the tell tale bald eagles which dot the green tree tops with their white heads and the seals which hang around in the river mouth were suspiciously absent. As we entered the river we expected to see large schools of fish hiding from predators as they migrate upstream, carcasses of spawned out fish washing downstream and covering the bottom where they nourish the estuary and river mouth, also partially consumed salmon carcasses strewn along the banks where bears and wolves had left remains that the eagles and other animals would clean up. We saw nothing, not one fish. Normally this place would be ripe with the scent of decaying salmon, there were none.

We made our way up river and climbed out onto the river bank, pushed our way through some brush and yelled "Hey Bear" to make our presence known as we hiked up a narrow bear trail. We broke out into a sedge meadow with open sight lines and then quietly scouted around. There was a lot of "bear sign" more than usual, bears had been excavating, feeding on the bulbs and root systems of estuary plants. Bears typically do this earlier in the summer while they wait for the return of salmon to the estuary. There was also the occasional berry filled scat, further indication that bears were around. We sat tight and scanned the meadow for signs of movement, as bears often bed down in the sedge grass to rest during the mid day. Finally after a time there was some movement, a juvenile male Grizzly came out of the tree line and ventured out into the open. This was the skinniest bear I had ever seen, his ribs were showing through his coat. Typically bears we view at this time of year are rotund having gorged on fish in preparation for winter. We saw no other bears that day in a place we normally would count on seeing many. It appeared as though the bears had waited in anticipation of their yearly bounty that never came.

I saw this scene played over in many of the amazing places I take people to experience in the B.C. coastal wilderness, it is a great concern. The loss of wild salmon stocks on the North American west coast is catastrophic and tragic. The north Pacific salmon run may be the largest movement of biomass on the planet and is the primary natural source of protein for the entire region. There are a few likely reasons for the stock declines, some we can do little about, some we can.

It is clear that the effects of salmon farms on wild salmon migration routes are a major factor. Alex Morton is a biologist from the Broughton Archipelago, her research has clearly shown these effects, she has been fighting an uphill battle, campaigning against strong financial interests to put an end to the current system of salmon farming. There is a petition running collecting names to show that the public are aware of this issue and wish to see more effective management of wilderness recourses.

Please view the web site and sign the petition. Some people may perceive these causes as liberal, socialist and even bleeding heart. Please suspend this perception for one moment, this is as conservative as it gets, the growing and sustainable tourism industry in which I am employed is at stake. B.C has incredible untapped tourism potential which will provide employment and economic growth on the coast for years to come. Our wilderness as a resource needs to be better managed.

Please forward this message to as many people as you can and sign the petition if you care. Current number signed is 14 000, we need thousands more if this issue is to receive any real attention.

Neil Shearar

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oil Cube Lifted out of Robson Bight 'Cleanly'

$2.5M salvage operation underway after barged tipped in August 2007

Picture: CTV News

Observers on a barge in Robson Bight ecological reserve held their breath yesterday afternoon as a metal cube containing 1,400 litres of hydraulic oil was carefully pulled to the surface. "There was a lot of anticipation when the cube finally broke the surface, but the crew were very calm and professional, which helped," said Randy Alexander, environmental protection manager for the Environment Ministry. The two-metre-square container, with 72 pails of lube oil, had been sitting on the ocean floor since August 2007 when a barge tipped equipment into the famed wildlife area, where threatened northern resident killer whales feed and rub themselves on pebble beaches. The 11 pieces of equipment belonged to Ted LeRoy Trucking of Chemainus, which is charged with numerous pollution violations. The company declared bankruptcy last year.

The $2.5-million operation to remove the oil cube and a fully loaded fuel truck from 350 metres of water is being conducted by Mammoet Salvage B.V., a company based in the Netherlands, on behalf of the province and federal government.

A remotely operated underwater vehicle was first sent into the water, then a crane dropped down hooks and chains, which were attached to the container by the underwater vehicle before it was slowly pulled to the surface. Initially, the company planned to cover the cube with a special jacket to catch any spills, but with debris on the ocean floor, it was feared cables could be snagged.

The operation went extremely smoothly, said Paul Spong, director of whale research station OrcaLab, one of the many environmental groups pushing government to remove the equipment. "It came out of the water cleanly. There was a tiny bit of residual oil, but they had a boom around the site and I would say there was no impact on the environment."

Click here for the full story by Judith Lavoie, Times Colonist

Monday, May 11, 2009

Birds of Haida Gwaii, Queen Charlotte Islands

Photo: Bruce Whittington

The spring plankton bloom which provides a rich influx of food into the ecosystem and supports breeding colonies of up to one million seabirds. Some of the more colourful species include: tufted puffins, horned puffins, rhinoceros auklets, black-footed albatross, black oystercatchers, and pigeon guillemots. With such abundant bird life, raptors, such as the peregrine falcon, are common in the Charlottes. Heavy concentration of Bald eagles. Our constant companions will be the smaller seabirds such as ancient murrelets, marbled murrelets, common murres, phalaropes, and gulls. If you are an avid birder, the best time to be in the area is May and June.

Join avid birder, author and Naturalist - Bruce Whittington May 23-31, 2009.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bluewater Adventures - The Book!

That's right, you can share your memories with friends and family right on your own coffee table! The Bluewater Book is 20 pages, full colour, hard cover and full of amazing photos and information on your favourite coastal destinations. Purchase onboard the vessels or order online.

Monday, May 4, 2009

NDP promises to buy Vancouver Island land...return public control

New Democratic Party leader Carole James promised today an NDP government would buy 12,000 hectares of land on Vancouver Island that the B.C. Liberals removed in 2007 from management under the province's tree farm license system.

For the full article by Andrew MacLeod click here

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Annual Spring Newsletter!

Check out the Bluewater Spring Newsletter on our website! This edition of 'Waterways' shows 2009 special trips, talks about our adventures and provides insight into coastal conservation issues that affect the areas in which we operate. Check it out!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

School Trips Wrapping up in the Gulf Islands

Our 2009 school trip season is wrapping up in the Gulf Islands this week. It was another great year of sailing, campfires, kayaking and learning about the BC Coast. We had amazing weather for sailing and lots of luck with wildlife sightings. We hope all our students and teachers had a memorable experience with us in the Gulf Islands! Bluewater looks forward to hosting you again on another adventure aboard the Island Roamer and Island Odyssey.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bluewater...the Green Generation - Celebrate Earth Day!

April 22, 2009 is Earth Day! Bluewater is educating school groups in the Gulf Islands tomorrow about ways they can reduce their impact and become part of the green generation!

To see some of our acts of Green click here or Check out our new 'Coastal Conservation' page and get educated on some serious coastal issues that impact our areas of operation.