Finding Magic in the Great Bear Rainforest – A Photo Journal

Megan Koelemay April 20, 2015 0


I’ve always thought of Dr. Seuss books as magical, transporting me to the most creative landscapes I’d ever known as a child. Winding shapes, curious plants, fantastical fauna…

So when I stumbled upon a Dr. Seuss-like forest along the rugged and remote coast of British Columbia last fall, it occurred to me that maybe I’d discovered the most magical place on earth I’ve ever known as an adult.

Truly, nothing else describes my spirit bear trip with Natural Habitat Adventures better than this singular word: magical. It may not have been a Dr. Seuss book, save for that one spot in the lush rain forest, but it was a different kind of magic, revealed in the green of the rain forest and the blue of the water…in the early-morning howls of wolves and the innocent gaze of a curious bear cub…in misty fjord-shrouded meadows and the microcosms of wild mushrooms and berries. And it was absolutely a photographer’s paradise at every turn! I’ve never experienced more joy trying to capture the essence of a place in an image than on this trip.

Here are my favorite shots from this stunning adventure:


The Island Roamer, a 68-foot sailing ketch and our home for 9 days.


My Dr. Seuss moment in the forests surrounding Salmon Bay — red alder trees covered in mounds of moss.


The Fiordland Conservancy.


6:30am: Sipping coffee and enjoying a freshly-baked blueberry muffin on the top deck while listening to wolf howls from our anchorage in Mussel Inlet.


Searching for grizzlies in Mussel Inlet.


Microcosms of the intertidal zone.


Wild huckleberries.


Shoreline wildlife in Mussel Inlet.


Our expert and superbly talented Expedition Leader & resident photographer Melissa Scott reminded us of the finer details in the landscape.


Exploring the ghost town of Butedale.


Our first spirit bear sighting!


A white spirit bear mama and her two black cubs enjoy a salmon snack.


A spirit bear carefully scans the water for fish.


Magical sun rays shine down on our cozy bear-viewing spot by a creek. See the spirit bear on the right?


A nose itch made for a bashful-looking bear!


The incredibly lush habitat of the spirit bear.


Having the right gear is essential.


Wild mushroom growing on the side of a tree.


A sunset kayaking excursion in Salmon Bay on the final evening of our trip.


Watching a humpback whale from the Island Roamer deck.

All photos (c) Megan Koelemay. Megan was on Natural Habitat Adventures’ Spirit Bears, Humpbacks & Wildlife of BC trip.  Learn more and see the full itinerary here.


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