I went down “the Channel” (the collective name for the waters of Douglas Channel and the surrounding passages, channels and canals) with friends on Monday, August 28.
We were first heading down Ursula Channel toward Monkey Beach where I was going to shoot some portraits of my friends, Before we got to Monkey Beach we saw humpbacks breaching far, far down Ursula Channel.
After we finished shooting the portraits, we went into nearby Bishop Bay for supper. We never made it to the famed Bishop Bay hotsprings. There was a pod of perhaps seven humpbacks hugging the shore, feeding. So we had supper on board and spent a couple of hours watching and photographing the humbacks.
As well the whale missing a chunk from its back, at least two others showed scarring from probable past ship or boat encounters.
Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue Unit 63 alpha and bravo vessels, the “Snowflake Responders” exercise in Kitimat harbour on Sunday, August 13, 2017. (Robin Rowland)
On Sunday morning, we held a North West Photo Fest long lens photo workshop/photo walk on the seawall at the Kitamaat Village, mostly shooting birds, when the search and rescue boats came out for a training session.
Related: Kitimat christens new SAR 63 rescue vessel, Snowflake Responder III October 25, 2014.
Jay Gough of Nikon and the participants in the Kitamaat Village photo walk (Robin Rowland)
And around the same time we caught a rainbow over the harbour, putting the legendary “pot of gold” at its end right in the Rio Tinto aluminum smelter. (Robin Rowland)
A belted kingfisher perches on the root of an upturned tree at the mouth of Whatl Creek after days of heavy rain. (Robin Rowland)
Harlequin Ducks gather on the shore of MK Bay by Whatl Creek. (Robin Rowland)
Harlequin ducks fly past MK Bay (Robin Rowland)
A crow flies past Maggie Point. (Robin Rowland)
A Bonaparte gull flies past a red-necked grebe at Maggie Point (Robin Rowland)
A pair of red-necked grebes at Maggie Point. (Robin Rowland)
On the morning of August 7, North West Photo Fest took out our out-of-town special guests, Andy Clark, Paul Colangelo and Ali Ledgerwood on a tour of upper Douglas Channel, including the Kitimat Arm, Coste Rocks, Jesse Falls and the Kildala Arm, including the Dala and Kildala estuaries.
Our host was Rick Thompson, proprietor of the floating Tookus Inn.
As the tide goes out, the ice covering a briny tidal creek collapses, leaving patterned cracks. Minette Bay, Kitimat January 1. 2016. (Robin Rowland)
I spent New Year’s Day on the mudflats of Minette Bay, near Kitimat, with other local photographers. At low tide, of course. Ruth and Howard Mills who run the luxury B&B the Minette Bay Lodge invited us for the photo walk on the ice and mud followed by hot soup and great New Year’s snacks.
Most of my images look best in black and white. There are few in colour at the end of the blog.
Looking across Minette Bay with Kitimat’s iconic Mt. Elizabeth in the background. Just after noon the water was just a couple of centimetres deep, covered in thin layers of ice. The cold made the mud solid enough so that it wouldn’t be boot grabbing ooze you experience in the summer. January 1, 2016 (Robin Rowland)
The twisted roots of a dead tree lying on the beach in some ways reminded me of the Iron Throne. Game of Stumps, anyone? (Robin Rowland)
Ice on a chunk of rotten log on the mudflats. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)
An ice crystal floats on the thin layer of water on top of the frozen mud. (Robin Rowland)
The winter sun shines through the rain forest. January 1, 2016. (Robin Rowland)
Happy New Year! Kitimat’s photographers celebrate in the middle of a day on the ice. (Robin Rowland)