Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Red Bluff Bay

One of the beauties of expedition cruises is that you often wake up in wondrous locations. So it was on Sunday the 15th, when we awoke in Red Bluff Bay. The earliest risers played a game of "spot the bear" with a young bear on the distant shore. Through binoculars from half-a-mile, the bear was little more than a moving smudge, but we were still excited: our first ever sighting of a brown bear.

Not, I hasten to add, a grizzly bear. It turns out that the salmon-eating coastal bears are called brown bears, while the inland ones are called grizzlies. Unless, of course, they are actually black bears. Which brings us to today's survival tip: If attacked (highly unlikely) by a brown bear / grizzly, play dead (unless you are a salmon). If attacked (also highly unlikely) by a black bear, fight back. Just don't try to judge based on color alone; plenty of black bears are really brown. And some are bluish-white - the much revered "spirit bear." So try to look for other details, like the length of the bear's claws. Long = brown, short = black.

But we digress. No bear photos this day, but the bay made for great kayaking--highlights include many salmon, a stunning waterfall, and a 20-armed starfish called a sunburst.

And several very cooperative eagles.

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