Hanson Island to Village Island, Knights Inlet and Alert Bay:
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Totem on 
Village Island
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Mask at Alert
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PowelRiver     TelegraphCove    Hanson Island    Village Island    Echo Bay    KwatsiBay    BlackFishSound  ShawlBay    KingcomeInlet    MackinziSound    Map

July 17

The last 48 hours have been intense.  Springer, monitored by Graham Ellis in “Shamis,”  Helena and Paul at Orcalab, Nick and Scott from Strait Watch, The folks from Stubbs Island Tours, Bill McKay on Nyad Explorer, and many others, presents behavior that sends everyone involved from elation to concern hourly.  Several times she has hooked up with some hapless sports fishing boat, circling, bumping, etc.  With help from people on the scene the fishing boats have been extricated. There is an exceptionally large number of killer whales in the area at present and from time to time Springer has appeared to be integrated, or at least within proximity.

We have taken advantage of some slack time to visit the museum in Alert Bay, which is a remarkable collection of First Nations masks and artifacts housed in a traditional long house style building. We also visited the abandoned site on village island and did some “fishing”.

Night before last, as we were eating dinner, Shadow safely anchored in a quiet cove, we were visited by tribal representatives who approached with drumming and singing.  We were invited to the site of the First Nations ancient village of Mamalillicola yesterday for a welcoming killer whale dance, welcoming the return of one of their own.  Twelve of Springer’s trainer’s attended, and Pete Schroeder, in a gesture typical of his amazing sensitivity, presented the tribal representatives with Springer's “stick,” a four-foot Alder log that she adopted in Puget Sound and that has accompanied her throughout her odessy.

Bob Wood and Bob McLaughlin, aboard Wood’s beautiful Hinkley, “Shelmar,” have been active participants in Springer’s saga from the beginning.  Shelmar’s twin jet drives propel her, 44 feet long, at a steady 38 knots.

Yesterday afternoon we accompanied the Bob’s and the divers on a trip up Night inlet to see grizzly bears and indeed we did – as well as ancient pictographs on the rock walls along the way.  We had the good fortune to have Tom Sewid, the guardian of the traditional territory of the Mamalaieqala, as a tour guide.

Today was yet another fabulous adventure.  Pete (our fearless deck hand/marine mammal consultant) decided he would like to spend his last day in the area whale watching – so off we went in spite of the fog.  Our first attempts fumbled but before we knew it there were Orca’s everywhere.  There must have been 60 or 70, often only yards from the boat and occasionally even swimming under.  We could hear them blowing and with the use of the hydrophone, clearly hear their clicking and singing.  We were adrift among them for several hours.

July 19

Last night we returned to Telegraph Cove for a final dinner before Pete, Jeff, Stephen, and the Bobs returned to Seattle. 

This morning, we waved goodbye to Shelmar as she began a 10 hour trip home, one that will require four days for Shadow at the end of the summer.  And now, wash and dry the laundry, haul the trash, and refill the water tanks.

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Whale Mask
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Grizzly Bear
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