The Great Bear Rainforest is a haven for wildlife that stretches along the British Columbia coastline from Vancouver Island to Alaska. For nine days, writer James Little sailed on the 111-year-old Maple Leaf with renowned nature painter Robert Bateman (look for his story in the Fall 2015 issue of Canadian Geographic). Along the way, they soaked up the remarkable beauty of the region and enjoyed spotting wildlife in the water and along the shore, including a mother grizzly and her cubs.

Robert Bateman photographs a whale aboard Maple Leaf Adventures.

Floating in Mussel Bay.

Floating in Mussel Bay.

The passengers get their first glimpse of a grizzly bear.

Robert Bateman in a zodiac.

Photographing Khutze bears from a zodiac.

Cruising with Maple Leaf Adventures.

Exploring one of the many beaches along B.C.’s coast.

Robert Bateman takes a moment to sketch in his notepad.

Robert Bateman gives a talk aboard the boat.