Tofino - A Long Weekend on the Island

I'm getting these posted completely out of order, but the pics from last weekend are done, so I figured I might as well get on with posting this one. I will get back to the Stockholm trip sooner or later. Sooner I hope.

Anyway... last weekend, Justine and I were invited to go to Tofino with Stu, Tammy and the kids, and their friends Leanne and Kevin (and their son Jude). Stu has a line on this amazing house right on Chesterman Beach, just outside of Tofino. Needless to say, we were very much excited about it, and took a couple of days off work to make it a long weekend. I was just getting over a pretty nasty bout of the flue that had laid me low the previous weekend, so I wasn't sure how much energy I was going to have, but like that was going to stop me. :-)

Justine and Addison out front of the house we were staying at. The beach is literally right behind where I am standing, taking the picture.

And the view out from the house. It's a pretty amazing spot.

A whale jumping through the cherry blossoms!

Justine and I packed up and headed to the Island on Thursday morning. The rest of the crew had been there since Tuesday, and had had some decent weather by the sounds of things. We weren't expecting much - the west coast of the Island is notorious for rain all winter, but it's still a beautiful place.

We were on a pretty early ferry, and it was quite empty which was nice. The ferry trip from Horseshoe Bay was easy, and in no time we were making our way west across the Island.

I still wasn't feeling 100%, and ended up falling asleep on Justine a few times along the way, but I think the extra sleep helped out. I was feeling almost myself by the time we arrived in Tofino.

The view out over the deck,. towards the beach. I found this new iPhone app called Waterlogue that takes photos and converts them into watercolour painting-like images. It's so cool.

The drive itself was actually quite a mixture of weather. We had some sun, some rain and even some snow at the higher elevations. We had a 20 minute stop for road construction, and some hair-raising turns on the bad stretch of road, where some transport trucks made us feel like the road wasn't really big enough for everyone. In any case, we made good time and were at the house by about 4:00 in the afternoon.

 The view out over Chesterman Beach.

The view out over Chesterman Beach.

Thursday night was pretty mellow. Some time with Ethan and Addison, dinner from one of the local take-out restaurants, and some board games to take us fairly late into the evening. It was a fun night.

Friday we actually woke to a pretty nice day. The weather forecast had been for rain all weekend, so when we saw some sunshine we were pleasantly surprised. Taking advantage of the sunshine and the low tide, we headed out onto the beach to wander and explore. 

As the tide was actually really low, we were able to take Ethan all the way out to the island off shore, to poke around in the rocks and tidal pools that were left behind when the tide went out. We probably spent a good couple of hours out there, wandering about, and we found some cool things to show him.

Ethan showing Justine some of the snail we found on the rocks.

Probably the most interesting thing we found all weekend. In one of the tidal pools, an anemone had caught and mostly eaten a crab. I had thought it was a crab caught in the shallow pool, but when I went to grab it and pull it out to show Ethan, it was stuck inside the anemone, and was obviously very dead.

 Pink anemones in the tidal pool.

Pink anemones in the tidal pool.

The view from the house out over the sundowner lounge, and out onto Chesterman Beach. You can see the low tide, and how you can walk out to the island off shore.

After using the morning to explore, we chilled out at the house for a little while in the early afternoon. Around 1:00, we went over to the surf shop and rented some gear for a couple of days. We went out "surfing" in the late afternoon. I use the term very loosely, as I really have no idea what I'm doing. We basically played in the waves, tried to catch the waves, and every one in a while I would try to stand up on the board. It never really worked out all that well, and I got a board to the head for my troubles. Still, it was fun being in the water, and the sun was shining so there was really nothing to complain about.

 Kevin and Jude, hanging out in the sun on Friday afternoon.

Kevin and Jude, hanging out in the sun on Friday afternoon.

Friday night Justine and I were on dinner duty, so I made us some halibut that we had found in town, along with wild rice and asian veggies. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself. The evening included more wine, and another round of Scrabble.

Saturday the rain came back. I guess we were lucky to get any nice weather at all, so we couldn't really complain too much. Justine and I went for a walk in the rain along the beach, then we spent some time with the kids, and generally relaxing. Later Saturday afternoon we had another go at surfing. The waves started off less impressive than the previous day, but by the time we came out, they were getting pretty good. A soak in the hot tub was perfect after spending a hour or so in the cold ocean waters. It was a good way to end the day.

Somehow, the boys ended up on dinner duty on Saturday night. Earlier in the day Kevin and Leanne had found us some crabs, and I was on crab duty.

Jude, enjoying his Tofino trip.

Dinner was pretty damn good - Kevin did up some sausages to go with the crab, and Stu put together salad, orzo and some veggies. It was great food, if a lot of it. 

Saturday night included a Scrabble rematch from the night before. Sadly, we discovered that one of the players was not above cheating to get an advantage over her competitors... Good times. Sunday, the weather cleared up a bit, and we had some sunshine for a little while before it was time to depart.

We had to clean the house up and return the surf gear, but it still left us enough time to wander the beach again for a little while. It was a good morning, and gave the kids a chance to work off some energy before getting back in the car for the long drive back to the city.

Addison trying to dig up the whole beach.

Ethan on our rare, sunny morning.

Jude and Addison.

Ethan walking on a log - he ended up in the water right after this picture was taken...

Just before lunch time, we were all packed up and ready for the drive back. Justine and I took Ethan with us in our car, which made the drive to the ferry fun. He did sleep for a good part of it, but we also got to visit for part as well. We were at the ferry in lots of time, and the trip home was pretty unremarkable. 

We had a great weekend. I was feeling myself again by Friday, which was good, and we got lots of time with the kids, which was fun. We got out in the surf a couple of times, and even saw the sun. All around, pretty good for a weekend on Vancouver Island in the spring!