Close encounter of the bear kindWe were heading up Lucky Creek in our kayak to go swimming in the falls (more on Lucky Creek with photos in another post). The surroundings were lush and serene. We hadn’t seen another boat except one tucked away in another anchorage and we had Lucky Creek to ourselves…or so we thought.
We pulled close to the shore to check out the berries that were everywhere in the area to see if they were an edible kind that we recognized. As we were drifting along the shore I saw something splash in the water. My brain raced through the usual suspects. Was it a fish? An otter? A seal?
“BEAR, BEAR, BEAR!” I shrieked as I began franticly paddling backwards. The bear, hearing me, turned its head toward me and began swimming away from us across the creek.
After retreating a safe distance (have you ever seen a kayak make a wake? you would be surprised at how fast I can paddle when I’m scared) we continued to make noise but the bear sat on the opposite shore, watching us, so we left and headed back to the mouth of the river. After waiting 15 minutes, floating, eating lunch and letting our hearts return to normal, we headed back up the river only to find the bear sitting in the same spot.
As far as we can tell, the bear wanted to stay on the West bank but was surprised by us and went to the East bank. While we were waiting for it to leave it was waiting for us to leave so it could return to the West bank where the berries were.
We went back to the mouth of the river and chatted with other cruisers in a motorized dinghy who were from the boat we had spotted in the nearby anchorage. After a while, the 4 of us headed back up river under cover of engine noise. No more bear.
Somehow we still managed to feel comfortable swimming in the waterfalls and pot holes.