Standing up for the Great Bear Rainforest

TINA WHALE-AmberTurnau

BRITISH COLUMBIA’S GREAT BEAR RAINFOREST is more than a place—it’s a sensory voyage. A six-day stand-up paddleboarding expedition through one of the world’s last wild places is both a deeply introspective journey and a stark reminder of what’s at stake for this planet.

After a five-hour boat ride south from Prince Rupert, my journey begins.

It’s low tide and the channel is dead calm. As we SUP into the fog, the rich textures and colourful sealife sprinkle the shoreline like jewels in a crown. Spikey, smooth, porous and slimy, the emerald anemones, burgundy sea urchins, and tangerine sea stars contrast against the muted Earth tones of forest and ocean. The sun backlights a fallen tree covered in kelp, creating an illusion of gold strung across an outdoor palace. The persistent crackling of barnacles plays a Rice Krispies symphony.

Suddenly, a trio of sea lions surfaces, craning their necks in unison to watch us. At first, I’m alarmed; worried they may get territorial. But, after they follow us for several kilometres, it’s clear that they’re just curious.

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PUBLICATION: Pique Newsmagazine


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