2010 In Images: The Top Five from our Crew

James, Greg, Kevin, and I decided to reflect on another great year of visiting some of the most amazing places on this coast by each choosing our five favourite images taken during the past year.  Looking back over a season’s worth of images brings back great memories, and makes us hope for Spring’s arrival when our travels will take us back into these fantastic wild places.  Please click on the thumbnail images below to see the full sized photographs, then use your browsers ‘back’ button to come back to this page.

James Warburton

For James, one of his most memorable moments of the season [see first photo below] coincided with some of the wettest weather.  “Up until just a moment before I took this picture, it seemed like the wildlife was also trying to hide from the cold, softball sized rain drops. Suddenly the ship was surrounded by hundreds of Pacific white-sided dolphins, charging up from below the waves higher into the air than I had ever seen before, and in threes and fours simultaneously from each wave crest. This chaotic ballet gave our guests and crew a burst of energy and a pleasant distraction from the relentless downpour.”
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Jumping Pacific White-sided dolphins - Broughton Archipelago.

A Humpback whale showing off a giant pectoral fin - Great Bear Rainforest.

Humpbacks occasionally 'head stand' like this displaying their tail flukes - Great Bear Rainforest.

A rare Spirit Bear pauses for a yawn - Great Bear Rainforest.

A black bear fishing along the edge of a coastal stream - Great Bear Rainforest.

Kevin Smith

Kevin’s selection illustrates that for him some of the highlights of the year were clearly brought about by the unique characters that choose to spend time aboard the Maple Leaf – both guests and crew.  “Nothing magical can happen on our trips without the dedication of our crew and the sense of adventure of our guests.  I’ve been to so many beautiful places on this coast that defy comparison but for me it is always the people that we travel with that really make the trip memorable.”
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After the shop the epic task of stowing supplies begins - Great Bear Rainforest.

Guests and crew aboard the Maple Leaf always see eye to eye - Gwaii Haanas.

Lila, Kevin, Maureen, and Tavish hard at play - Woodruff Bay, Gwaii Haanas.

Celebrating the beauty of nature and new friends - Great Bear Rainforest.

Another perfect sunrise enjoyed on the foredeck of the Maple Leaf - Great Bear Rainforest.

Greg Shea

By Paul Smith, ed: Reviewing Greg’s pictures was a treat for me – I’ve always admired his work and the unique images he creates.  My favourite of his this year is actually the candid shot of two more photographers hidden among the sedges of a coastal estuary waiting for ‘the decisive moment’ [see photo 5 below].  For me this image captures  two things: the feeling of  meeting a large beautiful animal in its natural habitat – in this case a grizzly bear; and the beauty of the conservation economy at work.  The only big barrels on this safari are lenses…not rifles!
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Blackney traveling with the rest of the A30 family - Northern Great Bear Rainforest.

A bald eagle stands out against the background of a tidal glacier - Endicott Arm, Alaska.

A young grizzly bear gets a close inspection of a group of adventurers - Great Bear Rainforest.

In the spring grizzly bears are often seen foraging in coastal estuaries of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Tucked in and waiting for the perfect shot - Great Bear Rainforest.

Paul Smith

Personally, I’m constantly amazed at how varied the wildlife and scenery can be on the BC coast.  Before working aboard the Maple Leaf I worked for many years in Desolation Sound but have never seen such amazing light as I did on the evening when I captured this rainbow over the hills on the horizon [photo 4 below].  And the friendly obliging humpback we encountered in Alaska who for over an hour gave us a careful demonstration of bubble-net feeding…incredible!

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Sea Lions basking on a haul-out - Gwaii Haanas.

A 'grain' of sanderlings feeding at the edge of the surf - Great Bear Rainforest.

A humpback whale bubble-net feeding and showing off a great set of baleen plates - Baranoff Island, Alaska.

A rainbow over the Unwin Range after a brief summer shower - Desolation Sound.

One of the few remaining standing poles in SGang Gwaay - Gwaii Haanas.

View As a Video

View the photos – and the photographers at work – in a beautiful slide show:

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