In the wilderness lies the preservation of the world.
Henry David Thoreau
Dance of the Humpback Whales
When I wake up, I feel at home. Our camp, directly at the edge of the forest, with the small fire pit and the river, has become my home in the two nights we have been there. The daily routine in the camp, the team and the tides have become commonplace for me. Every one of us has his or her duties, and we have grown into a community.
The morning goes as usual – get up, light the fire, prepare breakfast and then get ready for the day. Today we want to climb up a nearby mountain in order to take drone video of the pieces of land we are looking to protect. First, we log the geo reference points – this will help in determining the location of the aerial images.
The way up is difficult. Here in the rainforest there are no paths, roads or signs. We have to find our own way through the underbrush of the forest. We see many old ancient giant trees and hemlock firs, which are covered in many layers of moss including beard moss. Now and then we see tracks and excrement of wolves and elk. That tells me that we are in singular, true wilderness. What an undescribable experience!
Once we arrive at the summit, the breathtaking view more than compensates us for the strenuous climb. We look out over the entire valley where our camp is located, and also can see neighboring Arthur Island and Prescott Island. We are lucky with the weather, and Tobi can fly the drone as programmed, so that we get all of the aerial images. At the same time that the drone lands for the third time to have its battery switched out, a bee stings me on the nose and it swells up immediately. The others laugh but for me it was no laughing matter. Thankfully, David quickly had the appropriate natural remedy, which saved me a lot of pain.
After this short painful episode, Jette and I begin descending the mountain, to set up a plot and begin measuring the trees. We walk through the dense rainforest back to the camp. Fill our water bottles and go into the forest. This time along the river’s edge and then through the thicket.
After our work is done, we look forward to dinner and a relaxing evening at the campfire. We recharge our batteries, enjoy the evening light and look across the ocean towards Prince Rupert, as suddenly a whale shoots out of the water. Like fountains, a bunch of humpback whales emerge from the water not too far away. We can even hear the slap of the massive bodies on the surface of the water, with a time delay. It is a crazy natural spectacle, which accompanies me into my sleep. I am unspeakably thankful to be able to experience this unique nature first-hand.