I Did Not Cry Wolf

Entering the trail to Combers Beach, the first thing to see are the warnings for “Wolf in Area.”

Five minutes later, my heart skipped a beat when I saw this.

Combers Beach-131405

It looked like a wolf.

But it was only a log in disguise.

Ucluelet. April 2019

 

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The Seals were Steller but not Whales

Seal Lions--2
Steller sea lions 

We wanted to see whales.

It was a foggy day in Ucluelet. At least it was on our side of the peninsula. On the harbor (a ten minute walk away) it was crystal clear. At Jamies’ Whaling Station, the group coming back from an earlier trip said they’d seen lots of whales.  And so we went.

We saw lots of this.

But no whales.  March is the beginning of the annual whale migration.  During this time  20,000 Grey Whales move along the Pacific coast to their summer feeding ground in the Arctic.  On the shore we can see evidence of whales by the flumes of water spouting in the distance.  To truly see the whales, we have to get closer by boat. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate. Despite being crystal clear in the harbour, we were socked in by fog in open water, where the whales were hiding.

We did see other wildlife.  The Steller seal lions (shown here) are native to the North Pacific. They’re distinguished from the California seal lion by their look and sound.  The Califorinians have a loud ‘ark, ark’ bark and the Stellers have a lower growl. Stellers have a lighter brown-blond colour and are much bigger, almost twice as big. The bulls grow up to 2200 lbs (~ 1,000 kg)  and have a distinct ‘mane’ on their upper torso which the Californian do not have.

We saw both types of seal lions.  The Steller colony was dominating a rocky island, sharing space with a large group of sea otters, while the Californians hung out in the harbour.

Seal Lions-
Steller seal bull with his colony

While we didn’t see the whales, we actually had an excellent day out. It was our first time on the water and it was wonderful to see the coast line and islands in Barclay Sound.  Besides, since we hadn’t seen any whales Jamie said we could have another trip for free.   We will be back!

Ucluelet. April 2019

What Not to Do

After my last post, I feel obliged to publish a disclaimer.

If you see a bear – DO NOT RUN and DO NOT THROW things at it. Those are big no-no’s according to the people at Parks & Rec. and they know what they’re talking about.

But you knew that, right?

You know unreliable advice when you see it.

Right?

Wolf & Bear Country. Ucluelet. March 2019

 

Reasons to Look Up

Wild Pacific Trail to Amphitrite

There are lots of reasons to look up when walking on the Wild Pacific Trail.

The magnificent coastal views.

Clear skies to Broken Islands

The splendor of rain forest trees and strange obsession of people with locks.

Locks on the trail

The danger of looking down is that it might lead to finding this.

Grisly find by someone taking a walk. Image from Ucluelet Community Facebook page.

There have been multiple reports of wolves out and about.  Sightings and howlings at twilight and dusk. 

We don’t have a dog, so we’re not normally out then.  It’s only the garbage that needs to be taken out at night.  The threat there is for bears. They like to hang out near dumpsters for late night snacks. Of garbage, not people.

But the bears haven’t woken up yet.  And it’s hubby who takes out the garbage. He can toss bags better and further than me. He runs faster too.

Ucluelet. March 2019

Walking Through the Pacific Rain Forest

The best way to experience nature is to take a walk.

While exploring Tofino we took a hike to Schooner Cove in the Pacific Rim National Park.  The web page said it was a short and relatively easy trail, leading through lush rainforests and over gentle meandering streams.

“How long is it?” I asked.

“It’s not far,” hubby said. “Less than ..” he mumbled into his shoulder as he turned away to get something from somewhere else.

So we walked.  It started out easy enough.

But after walking down and around for what seemed like forever, we came to this extended ramp.

Down and across …

… and across some more

At this point, with only the faint promise of  surf in the distance, we had too much vested in the walk to turn back.  We continued walking, going up and down several more ramps and valleys until we faced the final ascent.

On paper it is  only a two kilometre hike. However most of it is climbing up or down stairs. It could have been worse.  If there wasn’t a board walk for instance.  But then I probably wouldn’t be taking this hike.

How was Schooner’s Cove, the final destination?  It was good.

After the walk we went back to the hotel.

Thoughtfully displayed, for our post-walk reflection were these warning signs.

Cougars, Wolves and Bears. Oh dear.

Pacific Rim National Park in Tofino, Vancouver Island. BC. 2017