I am healthiest when I immerse myself in nature.
Join me each year as I swim through the Great Bear Rainforest in on the central coast of British Columbia, Canada.
Some swims take me on wild adventures to magical places. It wasn’t until I swam in the Great Bear Sea that I truly understood the beauty of the province that I live in and now call home.
I have had the honour and pleasure of swimming in Heiltsuk First Nations traditional territory from Ocean Falls to Bella Bella, through Lama Pass down Fisher Channel past Namu and to the Koeye River. My hope is to make my way down the coast and cross the Queen Charlotte Strait to Vancouver Island.
My home base when in Great Bear is Drifter’s Cove Eco Retreat on Denny Island. It is my second home. It is where I train and play.
My swims in this region are currently on hold. There are vulnerable populations in the region. I hope to return once COVID-19 is more manageable. In the mean time you can learn more about the Great Bear Swim here.
About the Rainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest is a 400 km long temperate rainforest on the central/north coast of British Columbia. Characterized by its proximity to both ocean and mountains the region is one of the world’s last pristine wilderness environments. At 6.4 million hectares it is the largest intact temperate rainforest on the plant. The forest features 1,000-year-old western red cedar and 90-metre Sitka spruce.The animals that inhabit the Great Bear Rainforest are both incredible and unique. There is an abundance of life in the air, on land, and in the sea – all playing a critical role in maintaining this rich diverse ecosystem.
Look to the Great Bear Skies and here you will see bald eagles, woodpeckers, owls, snow geese, common murres and rhinoceros auklets. In this pristine wilderness close to six million birds from 15 or so seabird species rely on the abundant waters off the Great Bear Sea for feeding. The Sitka spruce, an ancient tree in the Great Bear Rainforest, provides habitat for several species of birds including brown creepers, pileated woodpeckers. The region is well known refueling stop for millions of migratory birds, including sandhill cranes and sandpipers, traveling along the Pacific Flyway.
On land you may see coastal gray wolves. When night falls, the calls of these wolves can be heard throughout the valleys. It is the call of the wild and there are only a handful of places on Earth where you can still hear this sound. Other land based animals include cougars, grizzly bears, black bears and wolverine. Hoofed mammals, such as the black-tailed Sitka deer, can be found in the mountains.
Many of the large carnivores are symbols of a vast wilderness. This is the only place on earth where you will see a Kermode (“spirit”) bear, a unique subspecies of the black bear, in which one in ten cubs displays a recessive white coloured coat.
Turn to the sea and you will bear witness to a rich marine environment where pods of orcas feed on salmon, sea otter feed on sea urchin and minuscule krill feed humpbacks, salmon, herring and birds. Paddle the waterway and you may come across whales, sea otters, dolphins, sea lions and more.
For more information on the Great Bear Rainforest please visit PacificWild.org