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Welcome by Wolves - Martin Ryer photo

Welcomed by Wolves!

Note: This article is a repost of M. Ryer’s “Welcomed by Wolves! We’ve included some of the photos. See the link at the bottom to see his full article.

Sam - Rock Shot
Martin Ryer photo

I will start with a bit of a preemptive spiel. Normally I am very excited to share the specific locations that I paddle to, visit and explore in hopes that others can do the same or may be inspired to do so. I will neglect to do so this time. To some, it may be obvious as to where I was and it may not be difficult for others to ascertain, I’m sure. However, there’s some that mean to bring harm to wildlife and in particular British Columbia’s Wolves and I will not be a proponent in any shape or form as to these sickened objectives.

The “Wolf kill program” or better put, “inhumane slaughter of Wolves” has raised a lot of controversy in our province. To become truly informed, I invite you to visit, an organization which I have long supported. Here, you will find fact based science as opposed to conjecture shared by other less informed bodies and organizations.

My paddle started out on the morning of April 24th, a successful launch into a fairly active harbor. After I cleared all of the activity and as I crossed into the channel I realized that conditions on the water would prevent me from reaching my originally intended camping location. Luckily, there was a suitable alternative not far away to the northeast. As I paddled along, three Sea Otters greeted me along the way. Sea Otters are wonderful and I can’t forget them even if they may be overshadowed a bit by what I was about to soon see.

Even though conditions in the harbor were placid, there was some respectable swell in the channel and breakers o my west as I already eluded to. The aridity subsided as I approached my alternative camping location. A magical moment was about to occur, one that will be forever cemented in my mind. I completely forgot that it was going to be a surf landing. I had to take a second look and in a sense of disbelief I realized that not one but two Wolves were on the beach to greet me.

What a welcoming and a huge thrill! For obvious reasons I tend not to carry my expensive SLR’s and telephoto lenses “on the water” though maybe I just should. Recent speculation was that Wolves were no longer residing at this location so it was reassuring to know that in fact they still were. Both animals were curious as to my entrance but quickly vanished into the rain forest. I would not see them again or any sign of them over the course of the next three days but all that mattered is that I knew they were there. Of all the places that they could of been, they were right there as I was approaching. Had conditions to the west been better, likely I would have never saw them. It was meant to be!

I set up camp and explored my surroundings and basically just settled in on day one. My senses were heightened in hopes that I would spot these magical creatures maybe just once more, but to no avail.

My friend, Sam “popped in” on his way home in the late afternoon. It was great to see Sam. Sam has helped me explore “this area” and has taken me to places that are also “permanently etched” in my mind forever. Sam is a rock climber and can anchor a boat anywhere I think! You’re a good man Sam!

My intention was relaxed paddling and camping, to and from without any real challenges. I got everything I asked for. I spent much of the next couple of days lounging at my campsite, reading and being lost in my thoughts as I watched the waves roll onto the beach. I did hike out on a rough trail on day three and immersed myself in some photography.

To see more of Martin’s photos please visit his blog.

Martin Ryer

Martin Ryer - BC Marine Trails Vice President I live and paddle on Vancouver Island, the Comox Valley and surrounding areas. I feel most at home on the island, surrounded by not only the coastal and inland mountain ranges but also the Pacific Ocean, countless lakes, rivers, streams and the rainforest. To me, this beauty and tranquility is unsurpassed. I am inspired by and dedicate my efforts towards all those who know what it means and how it feels to paddle through the fog, ride the swell and land a kayak on a remote shoreline on the west coast of Vancouver Island.

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