Anan Bay is the site of a US Forest Service Bear observatory, that is a safe structure to hide in and take refuge to watch the bears eat the salmon at Anan creek in the waterfall. Unfortunately, we have arrived a bit early in the season, the salmon is not running and there are no bears in the creek.
The ½ mile long hike to the observatory from the beach is superb though, going along the water in a salt lagoon right to the rushing rapids. There has not been anyone here in a while I suspect but there are many piles of fairly fresh bear scat all along. Some it seems to be still warm. We are therefore singing and whistling all the way to let the bears know that we are using the trail. Thankfully, they don’t insist on sharing the path.
After a while, we are back on the boat eating lunch on deck and I spot a moving shape right on the beach. Through the binoculars, a grizzly is identified and I get ready while Dunnery pumps up my inflatable kayak. I have the camera with the Nikon 300 zoom and here I go as fast I can paddle to reduce the distance between Grizzly and Frog. The water got pretty shallow near the beach and I thought prudent not to get too close but I certainly got quite a few shots while Dunnery who had joined me held my line so I would not drift to the beach as I was distracted looking through the objective at mostly the bear’s bum. Nothing would disturb him from dinner and I had a hard time getting some mug shots. And, Dunnery is still in the bear spotting contest lead with another black bear on the next beach!
We are staying the night here, it is too nice to leave and the eagles are soaring above the trees.
So just relaxing before dinner, we have yet another unexpected visit. Two black bears walking along the beach very casually and past the Forest Guest Cabin. So the show has now come within distance from the boat. No need to paddle out, just keep an eye open for the bears. They are everywhere. We watch them for a good half hour until they retire to their den, not the cabin!