In 2011 I took the long journey to one of the most special regions in the world.  Special because in this tiny area of Canada is the habitat of the unique and sacred Spirit Bear.

Also known as the Kermode bear, it is a blonde version of the common black bear.  Born to black parents, with black siblings, a Spirit bear is revered by the local northwest tribes who endeavour to protect it.  It lives in a pristine wilderness, also home to grizzly bears, coastal wolves, pine martens and abundant sea and birdlife.

I flew to Vancouver, then on to Bella Bella where I boarded a boat to Shearwater.  My big mistake was not lining my travel bag with plastic.  The rain is relentless and everything inside was wet by the time I got there.  The following morning I waited out a storm until it was safe to catch another small ferry to Klemtu, a wonderful Lodge on the bank of one of the many water channels in this area.  I spent several happy days here taking boat trips out bear watching.  My camera equipment was quite basic, no fast lenses or good telephotos. Just to be there was enough, standing in the forest with Spirit Bears ambling past and curious pine martens scampering around my feet.

Spirit Bear Research Foundation