Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Meaningful Memories by Mat Janeway ~ Bluewater Mate

The cloudless blue sky reflected off the calm pacific around us, and the gentle breeze was matched by an easy, almost lazy swell.   The Island Roamer was steaming west, out to the continental shelf, and we couldn’t have asked for fairer weather. Suddenly, a yell from the wheelhouse:

And there it was, a Black Footed Albatross, Phoebastria nigripes, sedately bobbing on the surface of the water. With a spread of its wings, and three long beats, it was airborne.  The jaw dropping, 6 foot wingspan carried it just above the surface, gliding easily over the waves. The massive bird gently turned to cross our bow, and presented us a view of its entire body; the perfect photo opportunity.

Hardly 5 minutes had passed, when a second yell from the wheel house was heard, louder this time.
"Sperm whale!"

The Long black body, hanging almost motionless in the water, had just surfaced 200 yards from us and was drifting slowly forward, across our path. The blow hole, the dorsal fin, the long deep back furrows, we could see it all.  And it was big. For a full minute, we watched in awe, as this mysterious, graceful creature hyperventilated before diving below the surface once again. We were all left with that funny feeling, a mix of disbelief, wonder, and serendipity.

It is moments like these that make each day, week and season with Bluewater Adventures memorable.  This year was no exception.
My season as mate for Bluewater Adventures began in late May, in the remote and wild archipelago of islands called Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Island). These islands are widely known for their rich cultural history and abundant wildlife, but that’s a bit of an understatement.  They offer an experience unlike any other, presenting your senses with unique sights, sounds, smells, and textures. Some of these experiences can happen again and again, and yet others are over before you know it.

One thing you can almost always count on in the spring are humpback whales. Returning from their winter breeding grounds in Hawaii and Mexico, they arrive with only one thing in mind; food. Sometimes it may be just be a few whales within sight, but this season saw scores of hungry humpbacks, all frothing the water in a feeding frenzy. Lunging, lobbing, breaching, and breathing, all day and all night. 

And then there were the Velella velella, the strange and beautiful Hydrozoan that sails the pacific, who washed ashore in their millions, littering the beaches with a deep indigo blanket. But
these curious little creatures didn’t arrive alone, they brought all sorts of exotic flotsam and jetsam with them, all carried in the same ocean currents to be washed onto the pristine shorelines.

And what shorelines! Home to a squishy, oozy, and slippery assortment of unusual forms from the intertidal zone, they are absolutely abound with life. Scarlet sea stars, carmine cucumbers, aqua algae and crimson crustaceans. Enough to fill your wildest dreams—and memory cards.
And yet, season after season, it’s always the people that surprise most. The new, young, and passionate generation of Haida, practicing age old traditions; the kind and generous passengers, with unwavering enthusiasm; and of course, the crew, with their lively company and quiet competence.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Bluewater Adventures is Excited to Announce a Unique Travel Opportunity in the Great Bear Rainforest!

  “The Great Bear Rainforest Allies Expedition”

– Bluewater Adventures Partners with Raincoast Conservation Foundation 

Photo: Sherry Kirkvold

Bluewater Adventures is excited to announce a unique opportunity to explore the Great Bear Rainforest like never before. Along with one of nature’s greatest allies, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Bluewater presents an expedition focusing on the work that goes into understanding and conserving this very special area and why its preservation is of the utmost importance. 

Photo: Rachel Elliott
Led by Raincoast’s Captain Brian Falconer and Dr. Caroline Fox, this voyage will introduce guests to the Great Bear Rainforest and Sea on a very intimate level. We will observe research techniques and learn about the biology behind a thriving ecosystem. We will learn how scientific practices are enriched by First Nations’ traditional ecological knowledge and discover the importance of current conservation campaigns on the British Columbia coast...All while being immersed in one of the largest unspoiled tracts of coastal temperate rainforests in the World.

Photo: Sherry Kirkvold

This is a “first time experience” offered to travelers in the Great Bear Rainforest. A small group of people will have the unique opportunity to share a passion for nature with those who make understanding and protecting it their life’s work.

This announcement coincides with CREST's recently released report comparing two outdoor recreational activities within the Great Bear Rainforest – bear hunting and bear viewing. The outcomes largely support bear “viewing” as being the most economically valuable. Bluewater welcomes guests to join this research and conservation-based expedition to get an “on the front lines” perspective.

Part of the proceeds of this expedition goes to supporting the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

August 28 – September 4, 2014
Aboard SV Island Odyssey

$5407.50 per person*

*Includes 5% GST and a $300 contribution supporting the Raincoast Conservation Foundation

Contact us for more information 
TEL: 604-980-3800/ 888-877-1770