GRIZZLIES OF THE KHUTZEYMATEEN JUNE 2019
June 6-11, 2019
6 days, 5 nights (meals, all lodgings included*)
limited to 7 participants - SOLD OUT
* workshop in partnership with Shane McDermott / VisionQuest Photography
Price $5,250 CDN + 5% GST tax (based on double occupancy only)**
Deposit $2,000 CDN + 5% GST tax
Balance due 120 days prior to trip departure date (Feb 5, 2019)
I first went to the Khutzeymateen in 2008 & 2009 and was immediately drawn to the prestine area and the abundance of wildlife, mainly the coastal Grizzly bears. I have sold many Grizzly bear prints, cards and license rights for images captured on those trips. Over the last nine years I have explored other areas of nature photography (landscapes, long exposure, night, etc.) and have once again been drawn to the "Khutz". I will be going this coming June 3-6, 2018 on a personal trip to capture new images for my own business use. For some people, the time in the Khutz can be life changing. It is different for everyone. If you are thinking about visiting the area with myself or otherwise, please consider the following.
The Grizzlies of the Khutzeymateen Photo Tour has taken A LOT of time, energy and general waiting before I received confirmed dates from the tour operator, Ocean Light II (and a lot of time to organize). To be specific, it took just over 8 months to wait for a date and then it will be another 18 months before departure. In total that is over 2 years from first inquiry to actual trip date. To say I feel very fortunate to have this space for 2019 reserved is an understatement. Demand for the Khutzeymateen is very high for the tour operators (there are only 2 operators permitted into the Khutz Estuary each spring). If you have any questions at all about the Khutz Photo Tour, please call 250-655-1105 or email me directly.
Now for the actual trip information. First we will spend the first 2 days photographing birds in Prince Rupert (mainly eagles), we will take a float plane (morning of June 8) to the Khutzeymateen Inlet where the 71 foot ketch Ocean Light II will be waiting our arrival. After a brief introduction and depending on tide levels at the time we will head out in the 19 foot Zodiac in search of grizzly bears. For a detailed itinerary please see below.
The Khutzeymateen Valley is Canada’s only grizzly bear sanctuary and the home of one of British Columbia’s most important coastal populations of grizzly bears. Located on the northwest coast of BC, the Khutzeymateen is a stunning land of dense Sitka spruce rainforest, fjords and high, rugged mountains. The Khutzeymateen River watershed plus the neighbouring drainages of Larch and Cedar Creek, make up the 44,000 hectares of the sanctuary.
It is thought that a minimum of 60 grizzlies call the pristine wilderness of the Khutzeymateen home, which is perhaps the largest known concentration of grizzly bears on the entire BC coast. The grizzlies share the watershed with black bears, wolves, wolverines, mountain goats, mink, otters, martens, porcupines and beavers. Marine mammals such as seals, otters, and whales frequent the area and over 100 species of birds are also found in the valley.
This Photo Tour is not meant to be strenuous but a good average physical fitness is required for daily activities. There are several hours (with breaks) spent in the 19 ft Zodiac where you will be sitting, kneeling, squating, etc. There are three kneeling pads provided in the Zodiac which are very useful while photographing. If you have mobility concerns, please call or email myself directly.
Thursday, June 6 - Arrive into Prince Rupert and check into Eagle Bluff B&B in Cow Bay (part of Prince Rupert). Orientation and general meet and greet 4 pm at Eagle Bluff B&B. We will spend the remainder of the day photographing eagles and marine life in Prince Rupert. Most is walking distance from Cow Bay.
Friday, June 7 - Time spent photographing eagles and marine life in Prince Rupert and Cow Bay. Some structured time will be allowed for image processing and image review.
Saturday, June 8 - After breakfast, we leave Eagle Bluff B&B for the float plane base very close to Cow Bay. The float plane ride is about 20-30 minutes to the Khutzeymateen Inlet. The 19ft Zodiac takes us from the float plane to the 71 ft Ocean Light II. After a briefing and introduction, we will head out in search of grizzly bears (I can't wait for that part). When we actually leave the ship is tide dependent. We actually can go back and forth from the ship to the Khutzeymateen Estuary 3-4 times per day (a meal in between in common).
Sunday, June 9 - Depending on the tides we may head out straight away to see the bears and have a light snack along the way and breakfast when we return. Again this is largely tide dependent.
Monday, June 10 - same as above, MORE bears.
Tuesday, June 11 - Breakfast and then say your good byes to the crew aboard Ocean Light II. Board the float plane for the trip back to Prince Rupert. Depending on your personal schedule and return flight we may gather again for a good bye lunch. If you choose to stay longer in Prince Rupert, hotel / food is not included on June 11 (just breakfast aboard Ocean Light II).
What is included:
- float plane transportation to and from the Khutzeymateen from Prince Rupert.
- any transfer fees incurred getting to and from the Prince Rupert Airport to the Eagle Bluff Bed & Breakfast.
- first 2 nights stay at the Eagle Bluff Bed & Breakfast (June 6-8, 2019 - 2 nights)
- 3 nights stay on board Ocean Light II (June 8-11, 2019 - 3 nights)
- park entrance fees (currently $50 per day per person which is included in the workshop fee)
- breakfast June 7 & June 8 at Eagle Bluff B&B
- lunch, and dinner while on board Ocean Light II June 8
- breakfast, lunch, and dinner on board Ocean Light II June 9 & 10
- breakfast only on board Ocean Light II June 11
What is NOT included:
- medical insurance
- trip cancellation / trip interruption insurance
- airfare to and from Prince Rupert Airport
- lunch and dinner on June 6 & 7
- any additional baggage charges incurred to get to Prince Rupert
- any additional baggage charges (max 60lbs) on the float plane to and from the Khutzeymateen from Prince Rupert (details will be published in 2019)
- your personal items and camera gear
What to bring:
- 2 x camera bodies is very beneficial
- 5-6 memory cards (depending on the sizes you have)
- spare camera body batteries
- mid rangewide angle for landscape shots like a 24-70mm or 24-120mm
- mid range telephoto 70-200mm (this focal range is very important)
- telephoto or zooms 80-400, 200-400mm, 200-500mm, 300 2.8, etc.
- from my experience prime 500 and 600mm are not necessary
- polarizer for landscape shots
- tripods are not necessary as all image making is done from the 19ft Zodiac (if you do bring a tripod please arrange to leave it at Eagle Bluff B&B - it will not go on the float plane)
- camera bag with water proof cover
- camera lens cover (Aquatech or Think Tank Hydrophobia is recommended)
- several lens cloths
- water bottle
- water proof rain pants (we will photograph in the Great Bear "Rain" forest)
- water proof rain jacket (light one is good if you are layering with a few sweaters)
- light sweater(s)
(please dress in layers as it can be cool and warm in the Khutz on the same day)
- rubber boots are mandatory (boots can be provided if you are traveling from overseas - please check first)
- sandles or light runner while on Ocean Light II
- hiking boots are NOT required
- hat / cap - waterproof
- sunscreen (can be bright on the water)
- sleeping bag and single fitted sheet for the cabin while on board Ocean Light II - revised June 28, 2018
- pen and small note pad for camera bag
- laptop for image review and backup (or storage for memory cards)
** Trip pricing is based on shared accommodations only due to the layout of the cabin space onboard Ocean Light II. The cabins hold two people each in separate bunks (one overhead). There is a double bed cabin at the bow of the ship in case a couple joins the trip.
Payment & Cancellation Policy:
- $2000 CDN + 5% GST tax deposit due to book your spot
- $3250 CDN + 5% GST tax due 120 days prior to trip start date (Feb 5, 2019)
- more than 120 days prior to trip start date, 50% refund (unless I can fill your spot)
- less than 120 days prior to trip start date, no refunds (unless I can fill your spot)
- payment accepted by PayPal, E-transfer (Canada only), or credit card over the phone
- highly recommend trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance (medical too)