A camper we met at Telegraph Cove suggested we stay in Cluxewe, a First Nation campground just out of Port McNeill. Boy, are we glad we took her advice! The best part of this place was the jumping salmon. We spent hours just watching people fish with the background of dozens of salmon jumping out of the water at any one time. It took a lot of snapping to get the right pictures, but we had fun doing it. The best pictures were taken by Leon.
Other than the fish, it was a lovely beach to just walk on and enjoy the evening as the fog rolled in. We walked down to the Cluxewe River’s mouth to see if any more salmon were there, but found nothing of note. An experienced fisherman told us that the fish are jumping to get rid of the sea lice while they wait for the river to rise so they can spawn in it. He said that at times, the water sounds like popcorn from all the fish jumping out of it and that for every fish out of the water, there are 70 underneath it.
The next morning we drove north towards Port Hardy. As we crossed the Cluxewe River bridge, I looked down and spotted a nice black bear walking along the shore. We stopped and went back to look at it, but it was gone. Well at least I’ve actually seen 2 bears in the wild on this trip west.
We decided to take a detour and drive to Port Alice to see the “Wild West Coast”. Other than enjoying a peanut butter sandwich and a glass of chocolate milk on the waterfront, we really didn’t see that much to get excited about.
We did get a great eagle show in Port Hardy though! There were 4 eagles constantly flying around and swooping the ravens on the waterfront. I have never seen an eagle that close up. Of course, we didn’t have a camera handy on that walk. We went to bed really early in the ferry parking lot so as to catch our inside passage ferry the next morning at 7am. The parking lot was rather noisy until midnight, but at least we knew we wouldn’t miss the boat.