Getting the Gang Back together!
I've had a close group of friends since high
school. People come and go with work and other reasons, but
COVID was particularly bad for separating people. Mark, whom
I have known since grade 7, moved to Japan at least a decade ago
and now is living in German. At the start of COVID (April
2020), Mark married Takako in a small ceremony in Tokyo.
COVID has now relaxed enough that we can get together again!
With everyone arriving on different
routes, just getting dinner was a challenge. We arrived
around 5pm at Tacofino and met up with Andrea and Wendy who had
arrived earlier. An hour or so later, the Japan crew arrived
- Mark, Takako and Taiki.
We had dinner and eventually wound up at the restaurant at Mark's
Hotel for drinks.
Morning Walk at Chesterman Beach
Vacations are different for different
people. When I go to a place, I want to check off as many
"did that" goals as reasonably possible which generally means
finding nice things to photograph. Other people have the
view that vacation is there for relaxing and running around crazy
is actually counter productive. One compromise I use is to
get up at my regular work hours and just go for a walk by
myself. Everyone else gets their sleep in and I get to see
something and get my "I'm going to miss out" anxiety down.
Our AirBnB was on Chesterman beach which
is beautiful by itself, but the tide was low so I walk over to
Frank Island to look at the low tide zone. Frank Island
(which is at least two major island and a bunch of small outer
rocks) is private property so you shouldn't walk up to people
houses, but the tidal zones are fair game.
It used to be that every creature in a tide pool was new to me -
the first time I saw an Ochre star it was magic - I had no idea
they were so common. Over the years you get favorites -
things you expect to see in the ocean around here. On this
beach I expected to see Aggregating Anemone an no stars because of
sea star wasting disease. I was quite surprised to see Giant
Green Anemone everywhere and decent sized Ocre stars wedged into
the crack. The sea stars were a real surprise - they love to
eat mussels and there are mussels everywhere so I suspect they are
just starting to return.
Walking back to the AirBnB I did stumble
upon something new - a skate egg case (I think). This is a
new one for me. There are easily a dozen different species
of skates around here and this one is pretty far gone, but it's
nice to see there are still new things out there on a public beach
Market in Tofino
Our first meet up point is the market in
Tofino - a new one for me. This isn't a farmers market (I
think the closest land farms are probably close to Port Alberni) -
it's more of an art market. Mark and company were at Greg's
wedding today and Eric and Gabi were still driving over so this
would be our first meet up with the people staying in
Ucluelet. Of course, we had to be there for market
open - friends arrived later, but found coffee.
What really impressed me was the graphic
artist - vinyl stickers, signs, prints and fabric work.
There is a lot of great talent in this town.
This is my kids first trip to Tofino so I
wanted to make sure they saw the highlights. Long
beach is at the top of list - so much so that they had to build a
second parking lot! The traditional lot (right on the sand,
now with great washrooms) was full but just down the road is much
larger lot (further from the beach) with also nice
bathrooms. We had a picnic lunch and went out for a walk on
The sand is almost flat which lea
Surfing Pacific Rim National Park is way
more popular than I remember it being. There were so many
people out in the waves, I don't know how they figured out who got
to ride each wave.
Near the North end of the beach are a few huge rocks that make up
the headlands. These rocks have short trails and lots of
wildflowers growing in the thin soil.
Our next great meet up was the Ucluelet
Aquarium. This is my first time at this aquarium, but I've
heard lots about it. The Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education
Centre in Gibsons is inspired by the same model (catch and
release) and we happened to go to that aquarium first.
There were two exhibits that I really
liked - the first one was geeky. They had a cement block in
a tank that they have been circulating sea water over for 5+
years. Everything in the tank arrived as micro sized
creatures in the water and they colonized the cement. Very
cool. The second was an exhibit of a Pacific Octopus.
It spent a lot of time hiding, but it did come out to see Claira!
Wedding at WickInn
Amphirite Point Lighthouse
Two households of guests found places to
stay in Ucluelet so we decided to spend the afternoon in the
south. After a filling lunch at the wedding, we decided a
good hike was in order. Wild Pacific Trail has a number of
sections that include a visit to the lighthouse so gathered in the
parking lot and went for a little walk!
The trail is right on the edge of the forest and rocks and there
are a number of beach access points.
While the beach is mostly rock, there are small pockets where life
is sheltered from the storms.
We arrived at the lighthouse faster than I though - from there we
walked up the road and back to parking lot and our cars.
Helen and the kids we back home resting - doing a bit of homework
and taking it easy.
It would be very easy to just visit the same
things every time you visit a place. Doing the research in
advance I found two trails I didn't know about - 1 km loops in the
Rainforest. My kids would rather sleep in than go for a walk
so I got to go out on my own for a walk.
Our accommodations was walking distance from Chesterman beach, but
it actually took three days before the kids walked down to check
it out. Chesterman beach is known for it's huge expanse of
flat sand, but it was really low tide so the kids decided to
explore the rocky headlands at the southern end of the beach.
The headlands have deep cracks allowing the ocean to make it's way
deep into the shoreline. There was a cave with a skylight at
the end of one of the cracks.
Clinging to the rocks was a small selection of intertidal life -
anemones, sea stars and lots of mussels.
After exploring the end of the beach, I
expected we would walk along the length of Chesterman, but no the
kids were tired and wanted to go back in. What do you do?
That evening, I went out to the rocks at the edge of the beach and
watched the sunset. We didn't get a lot of color in the sky
(one of the locals said this was the place of a thousand shades of
gray), but it's nice to see how busy the beach is even into the
Tags: Ucluelet Aquarium(5), aquarium(4), lighthouse(2), tide pool(2), water sports(2), beach(2)
People: Claira(8), Nara(7), Eric(4), Andrea(3), Stephen(3), Helen(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > Blogs for 2023 to 2005 > Tofino Wedding
Last Modified Saturday, January 28th, 2023 at 20:30:24 Edit
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