West Coast Wild Life
Sea Critter's Abound
The waters have a rich assortment of marine animals. We found out that not everyone likes crab!
Jonathan went kayaking and found a sea star, also called by mollusks "the terror of the deep". Jonathan doesn't look too worried.
The picture of this moonsnail "strip tease" was taken while scuba diving by Pamela Goats. For an idea of the creatures of the deep, visit the Ucluelet Aquarium, the only catch and release aquarium that we know of in the world.
This playful river otter is trying to figure out how to catch Gary's fish. Though called a "river" otter, these creatures are very much at home in the ocean.
Hunted to near extinction in the 1800's the river otter's cousin, the sea otter, (above right) is about the same size but looks so much larger due to its' massive fur.
Making a come back in the area, the sea otter is now populating the West coast. Brian from Subtidal Adventures shared this picture with me. One year we woke up to see two large rafts of sea otters in the bay. (picture below) After the orcas started to visit the bay the sea otters found another area to hang out.
On his way out to the Broken Group Islands, JF Marleau took this picture of a pair of orca. They are a more rare occurance in these waters than the other whales as they are transients that scour up and down the coast for sealions.
A migration of 20,000 gray whales pass by the B&B on their migration up north in March. Some stay to feed in the rich waters of Barkley Sound.
The humpbacks return from their mating in Hawaii and California in July.
Below, Gary stops to look at a whale on his way to drop off paddlers to the Broken Group Islands for Majestic Kayaking.
If you are very lucky you may be able to see humpbacks lunging out of the water. Sometimes, as in the photo below, it is to feed. Jeorge took this picture of the whale to the left. He counted 30 jumps and then stopped counting! There didn't seem to be any reason at all for the whales repeated jumps. I suppose it was happy. It sure put a smile on all of our faces.
We often spot whales passing by the B&B. Sometimes it's just a blow, but there have been times that they have put on quite a show.
There are a number of sea lion rookeries in Barkley Sound where both Stellar and California sea lions haul out of the water. The California sea lions are all bachelor males that make a trip down to California in early July to visit the females and return to fish the area in August
Nelly and Jean shared this picture of a Stellar sea lion jumping into the ocean on a whale watching trip.
Though most trips advertise, "whale watching", watching the sea lions is my favourite part of any "seafari".
Wolves, Bears, Cougar, and Deer "Oh my!"
Rob Ferguson caught this wolf on camera just days after it had walked past the breakfast table. None of the guests were able to get a picture, probably because of me screaming to all that would hear, "Wolf! It's a wolf!" Sorry guys. I don't know why Rob doesn't take me on his photo shoots. Check out Rob's other wildlife pictures from the area.
There was a flurry of excitment when this furry neighbour walked past the breakfast table on his way to Little Beach. There he turned over rocks and logs to see what he could wrestle up for breaky.
There are plenty of bear watching tours. Laura Jeutt captured this fabulous picture of bears fishing. Though they are around and about most of the year, the best time to see them is in late September as they appear in number around Thorton creek to feed on the salmon that swim up the river.
The Columbia black tail is the greyhound of the deer family. It is small and thin. Most of the deer in this area have lost their fear of man and have become a nuisance eating most of my bushes into topiaries and most of my topiaries into toothpicks. As no one takes pictures of my garden, while folk grab cameras when these creatures come around, I have learned to grin and bear it.
I do not have a picture of a cougar. This is a good thing!
Birds of All Sorts
JF Marleau caught this eagle catching a rock fish. JF is an expert kayak guide who teaches guides, writes books, and runs Outward Bound. Follow the link above to his facebook page.
There are a myriad of sea birds in the area: puffins, oculats, blue herons, and of course the ever present gulls.
The stellar jay is a common visitor to our bird feeders. There are many birds to see on the water, in the woods, and right from your room.
Fishing in and around Ucluelet
There are many fishing charters where you could catch a meal for a neighbourhood. To the left, Brent strains to hold up his halibut and below right Brian shows off his salmon.
Below, Richard has already wrapped his spring salmon to take home to Nanaimo.
A spring salmon more than 30 pounds is called "a smiley" by the locals. You can tell by the expression on the fishermen's faces how they got their name!
Wild Bostrom Bears for Sale
Go home with a memento of your wild life excursions with a Bostrom's Bear. Bostrom Bear is a Warm Buddy. Inside his big tummy is a bag of rice. Put the bag in the microwave and cuddle up with warmth for hours. If you come from hot climates you can also put the bag in the freezer to cool off. Bostrom's Bears are sold "bear" naked other than a t-shirt.