August 19, 2005

AT LONG LAST - BEARS AND CRABS!

Hi Everyone!

We left Sullivan Bay, Tuesday in rain showers. This Pacific Northwest weather is pretty depressing, a totally sunny day is pretty rare. Most days it's also fairly cool, only reaching the high 60s by mid-afternoon.

A short distance from Sullivan Bay, we anchored in Claydon Bay up Grappler Sound. We had a pleasant night at anchor and the Wednesday morning, Travis and Barbara on Bar-T-Na, joined us. Mary and Travis went off crabbing with Travis's lucky crab trap and finally success! the first pot had 4 keepers out of 7 total (the other 3 were real close to keeper size). Re-setting it with some bait fish, it had 3 the Thursday morning and a huge sun starfish. These were Mary's first successful catch of keeper dugenous crabs.

We also arose early Thursday morning to look for bear. They like to hunt on the beach at low spring tide. Claydon Bay is on the BC mainland coast, North of Broughton Island and is prime bear country.

Travis and Barbara spied a mother and cub from their boat, but by the time we got dressed and on deck they were gone.

We got in our dingy and went exploring.

In the next lobe of the Claydon Bay is an abandoned logging trestle and a broad beach at low tide. We slowly motored by, being very quiet, searching the beach and tree area. Nothing...

We went almost completely around the bay and started back.

Looking back, I saw a black spot emerge from the trees. Quickly changing direction, we crept closer...

It was a mother and cub!

When we got within a few hundred yards, we cut the engine and let the slight breeze and tide carry us closer. Fortunately, we were not directly up wind of the bears, so they remained oblivious to our presence.

We got within 30 feet of the shore where the bears were happy turning over rocks, some very large, noisily crunching their clams. The bears were about another 20 feet from the shore so we were at a safe distance. Bears can swim well and a mother and cub are not to be trifled with, but they showed absolutely no signs of distress or alarm.

At one point the cub wandered back into the woods and the mother, happily continued munching clams for another 20 minutes before she noticed he/she was gone and went huffing into the woods looking for her progeny.

They both returned 5 minutes later to the beach and continued hunting. After watching the bear for over an hour, we left them to their breakfast and went back to ours.

We had a great rest of the day Thursday, having breakfast with Travis and Barbara and cooking up our crabs. That night they came over for dinner. Mary made her world famous Crab Cakes and I made Pork Marsala.

This morning, it was very foggy, but when the fog lifted around noon, we left and went about 7 miles further up Grappler Sound to Turnbull Cove. Another lovely anchorage, with the usual trees, etc. Yawn...

We had lunch and decided to head down to Dickson Island to get ready to head across Queen Charlotte Straights in the morning to head either to Port McNeill or Sointula.

That's the news from Raptor Dance!

Warmest Regards,
Bill and Mary

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