Behm Canal and Misty Fjords

May 13, 2019 - National Geographic Sea Lion


Today we re-entered the USA after four fine days in off of the coast of British Columbia, in beautiful Haida Gwaii. Our crossing of Dixon Entrance last night, contrary to earlier reports, was as smooth as many of us had ever experienced on that fabled piece of water and we arrived at our appointed rendezvous with the U.S. Customs Agents before breakfast at the entrance of the Behm Canal, abreast of Sykes Point, while the National Geographic Venture stood-off awaiting her turn for inspection. Our customs inspection proceeded without incident, and before we knew it we were back on our way to the New Eddystone Rock where many pictures were taken in beautiful, morning light.

At New Eddystone Rock, we decided to do a lap all the way around the rock, just to be sure we had explored all of the available angles, and all of the possible lighting. Pictures were made, and our little group of new friends used the slack time to relax together in the bright, spring sun.

This unique looking rock is actually the core, or stock of an ancient volcano. A solitary monolith of basalt, New Eddystone Rock has resisted the weathering of the ages better than anything else around it.

Having exhausted our photographic skills, we turned our bow into Rudyard Bay, and the misty delights that awaited us there.

Upon entering the Misty Fjords, one is struck by the scale of the place. Sheer rock walls rise from the sea, towering above all that enter, reminding us of how small we are. Harlequin ducks, and mergansers worked the currents while we scanned the towers of rock for wildlife.

Halfway in, we met an old friend guarding the entrance to our destination in God’s Pocket. The owl, a rock formation created by foliar wasting, seemed to gaze quizzically over all who enter this magical realm.

Shortly after traversing Owl Pass, a mother bear was spotted with her calf in the meadow at the terminus of God’s Pocket. As we watched, the slowly grazed their way out of sight, and we decided it would be criminal to ignore the fine lunch that awaited us for one more minute!

After lunch we divided ourselves into groups for kayaking, and Zodiac tours to better explore the visual feast that awaited us on this fine spring day.

Zodiac cruisers found wonderful sights and smells at the base of one of the many waterfalls, while kayakers spread across the water like so many water striders, exploring under their own motive power. After our last round of activities, we tucked into a fine platter of charcuterie in the lounge while cocktails were served, and Naturalists regaled us with recaps of the days activities.

All in all, it was a fine day out!

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About the Author

Jeff Campbell

Naturalist

Jeff Campbell fell in love with the ocean while attending boatbuilding school in Eastport, Maine. Since completing his MS in Marine and Estuarine Science at Western Washington University, he has worked for NOAA documenting the ecological impacts of transoceanic fiber-optic cable; the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife developing an aging method for sixgill sharks; the Lummi Tribe as a Harvest Biologist; Northwest Indian College teaching Fisheries and Wildlife Biology, and as a volunteer for the Whatcom County Marine Mammal Stranding Network. He has been involved in research developing mitigation methods for harmful algae blooms, sterilization methods for oil tanker ballast water, and techniques for screening refinery effluent for harmful ecological effects. He also served as Principle Director on a USDA-funded grant using student interns to study the impact of nutrient-rich run-off on seasonal dead-zones in Bellingham Bay.

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