Tuesday, February 25, 2014


A Spirit Bear, or kermode, hunts salmon in a rainforest stream. Photo: Bob Friel

While I've been off the outlaw (and outcast) trail for a little while to work on a couple upcoming projects, I've also been able to get back to one of my first passions: wildlife and adventure photography. Along with my life-long fascination with sharks and whales, I dig lions and tigers and bears... and jaguars, leopards and cheetahs.

On the newsstand this week is the March issue of ISLANDS magazine, and in their cruise roundup is a short feature I wrote about a sailing adventure I took through British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest.

We boarded Emerald Isle's ketch Nawalak in Ketchikan, Alaska, and cruised south into the last great temperate rainforest. The Great Bear is named for a rare variant of the black bear called the kermode, whose fur is a creamy white with tawny touches. Local First Nations tribes revere it as the Spirit Bear.

Along with the ghostly white bears, we had close encounters with "regular" black bears and their awesome cousins the grizzlies as well as rainforest wolves, humpback whales, eagles, porpoise, spawning salmon, and some of the most amazing scenery I've experienced.

While the ISLANDS story only had space for one or two pictures from the trip (I haven't seen the issue yet), I've created a slideshow of more images at my photo site: Great Bear Rainforest