After my wonderful day with the Grizzly Bears in Bute Inlet, there was one last adventure in Campbell river… Snorkeling with Salmon. I left my parents at the hotel and I went to the office of Destiny River Adventure Tours. I was fitted with a wet suit, hood, booties, and gloves as well as mask and snorkel. I was joined by a family of 4 from Australia and we were driven by bus to an old hydro power plant and got in a raft.
The guide paddled us a short distance up the river and encouraged us to get up on a rock and jump into the river so we wouldn’t be too cold when we started snorkeling but I was too chicken to jump off the rock.
We paddled just a short distance and he dropped us at the first snorkeling site. Here we would see Pink Salmon. He instructed us to jump in the pool, ride the rapids, and get out just down the river. He also told us to look under rocks for crayfish.
The first pass was great so he asked us if we wanted to do it again and of course we all did! So we took a short walking trail and went the same way a second time. Then we all piled into the raft and rode down more rapids as we passed eagles and fly fishermen.
He pulled off to the left of the river and told us this would be our longest pass. He recommended that we get in the water parallel to each other and outstretch our arms and legs “like superman flying”. And that we did. We entered some rapids and were traveling at crazy fast speeds. It was impossible to slow down or control our direction. It was exhilarating and scary at the same time.
At some points the river would slow and we could see huge Chinook Salmons dart by. It was impossible to get a picture they were so fast. At one point I saw something dark on the left bank of the river. It was slow enough to raise my head out of the water and I discovered it was a black bear!
How many people can say they snorkeled a salmon packed river with a bear hunting for salmon nearby? Further along, the water got colder. Now we were near the estuary and the water was half fresh and half sea water. The light spot in this photo is a seal that swam by me:
A little later we got into the raft and then back in the bus. I was shivering by the time I got to land so it was great to get on my sweatshirt and onto the heated bus. What an adventure this was!
Where to stay in Campbell River: Anchor Inn. Great views, location, pool, breakfast and value. Book it now at booking.com
Would you ever snorkel with salmon? Add your comments below or pin me for later!
Traveled Sept, 2016