Monday, August 21, 2006

Boca del Infierno and the Bear

Boca del Infierno and the Bear, originally uploaded by macatay.

We went kayaking this afternoon north along the shore from our Nootka Sound anchorage. We found a wonderful bay, which led to a narrow channel into an inner cove. We paddled casually into the channel, realizing too late that there was a strong, strong current sweeping us into the cove. We were barely able to paddle out against the current. It turns out that place is called Boca del Infierno, and it is not a recommended route.

Paddling back to our anchorage, we hugged the steep shoreline to get out of the wind. I came around a corner and looked up to see a big, black bear standing on the rocks above, hanging on to shrubs, and feasting on salal berries. I was way too close - all I could think was that he might fall on me - so I began to back-paddle. The bear was busy and happy, and the wind carried sound and scent away from him, so that he wasn't aware I was nearby. A minute later, the Captain came around the corner, saw the bear, and yelped. This got the bear's attention, and with amazing speed, given his size and the steepness of the terrain, he dropped to all fours and disappeared up through the vegetation.

That's my bear story. The sketch is from memory and won't do the big guy justice, but it's the image I will carry in my mind's eye.


Blogger Owen said...

So you are saying the the Captain is a scaredy-cat?

August 21, 2006 11:23 PM  
Anonymous The Nehler's said...

Wow! Intense, to say the least!!

August 22, 2006 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did it have extra large teeth?


August 22, 2006 8:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gripping story, glad you escaped!!

August 22, 2006 9:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like some great adventure. Glad he was only eating berries.


August 23, 2006 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally (and just how good a reference is that?) wild bears will be about as afraid of you (unless they are females with cubs) as you are of them.

that said, being that close to a bear and getting away without a frightening encounter is a lucky escape.


August 23, 2006 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Rob said...

Seems like there was three infernal mouths... a cove, a bear, and a "yelp"... interesting day

August 28, 2006 5:20 AM  

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