Dolphins in Dean Channel

Today (Monday, May 30) was a wonderful day for wildlife! It began with my sighting a grizzly bear (probably the one we saw on Sunday night) digging for his breakfast on the shore of Eucott Bay as we were eating ours in our “sun room” (Braesail’s cockpit), where it was wonderfully bright and warm and we were blessed with amazing views that were mirrored in the glassy waters of the bay.

Walt’s photo of the grizzly bear on the shore of Eucott Bay
Water-mirror in Eucott Bay–no bear this time!
Another Eucott Bay view reflected in the water
Yet another Eucott Bay shore reflection
A long, narrow cataract winds its way to the shore of the bay; it’s “splash point” is the the dark, vertical crevice in the granite rock face toward the bottom left

As I was looking at the bear, I saw a seal perform the “up periscope” maneuver, glance around, and then dive near the shore.

Map of our motor trip from Eucott Bay (top right) through narrow Gunboat Passage to the town of Shearwater (bottom left)

Then later, as we were motoring in Dean Channel on our way to the Heiltsuk First Nation town of Shearwater (a 35-mile, 6-hour journey), I noticed a swirl of bubbles on the water off our starboard side, and then saw a dolphin’s fin break the surface. Before long, there were a large number of Pacific white-sided dolphins in the channel, some zooming along right beside Braesail’s hull, some arcing into the air at a distance, some across the wide channel, the tips of whose white dorsal fins were the only evidence of their presence. For many miles we watched them race us, individually, in pairs or trios, and, at our bow, as many as a half dozen at a time JUST below the water’s surface (we could see their white sides as they sped along), keeping perfect pace with the boat (at speeds of 7 kts. or more). I was thrilled to have such elegant, swift, silver-and-white company for such a long time!

A somewhat blurry picture of Pacific white-sided dolphins that I took from Braesail’s bow. My smartphone slipped out of my hand, but, FORTUNATELY, it landed behind me on the deck!
Walt’s excellent photo of dolphins playing around Braesail’s bow

We arrived in Shearwater on Denny Island in mid-afternoon after motoring straight into 15-18-kt. winds and slightly choppy seas for a good while and then cruising through some shallow channels lined with lovely little islands. We docked, visited with some of our fellow boaters, and dined at the pleasant bar-&-grill on shore. We spent the rest of the evening catching up on email, on blog-writing and posting, and on trip planning. Tomorrow we’ll be busy with grocery shopping, doing the laundry (first time in three weeks!), and accomplishing some clean-up and marine plumbing tasks (Walt’s favorite–YUUCK!) on the boat. It’s been a sunlit day of many gifts!

Don’t forget to look back at earlier posts to see more photos and maps. Re-reading (“The story so far . .” or “When we last saw our heroes . . .”) is not a bad thing!

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