A great long weekend, but no storms!
For Christmas, I had a tough time finding that
gift so I gave the gift of travel - lets go away for a weekend!
We picked a weekend for just after when my latest project completed and
looked into Tofino. I've been to
, but that was a vacation rental for the May long
weekend. Doing the research, Tofino has upped the Tourist ante
again - late fall to early spring is "Storm Watching Season" and the
week covering spring break in BC is "Whale Festival". We happened
to pick the last weekend of the Whale Festival, but it didn't seem to
cause much problem for bookings. I booked Chesterman Bed and
Breakfast from the internet and we made reservations for our return
ferry trip (and glad we did).
We made a long weekend out of the trip so we left Friday morning.
The 8:30 ferry is a bit rough but it makes for much more of day.
Helen had the sunshine breakfast (1/2 of your lifetime limit for
cholesterol) so we had to stop pretty quickly once we got to the island
- Hello Cathedral Grove!
Bed and Breakfast
Tofino is a long ways away. Getting to
Port Alberni is an
accomplishment - from there you are driving for at least an hour
more. We got into Tofino at 2pm. We looked at booking a
whale watching trip for Friday afternoon (4pm?) but the tour operators
didn't have tours at that time (unlike what the internet says) and they
suggest it would be a bad idea anyways - the wind picks up during the
day and a late afternoon ride is likely to be rough. We talked to
a few operators and then headed for our B&B.
Our B&B was as close to beach as you can get
the herring spawn. Our room had a fantastic view and was pretty
much self sufficient - we had an electric kettle, a microwave, a
and enough dishes for simple meals or take out. We went out for a
walk on the beach.
We wound up booking the 10am whale watching
trip. The weather on
Saturday was beautiful and we didn't want to risk Sunday being poorer
conditions. We skipped breakfast (a good suggestion) and I took
gravol (almost useless). We got suited up into ocean
survival suits and headed out on the Zodiak.
On our way out of Tofino we stopped at seal haul
out rock in front of
Lennard Island. Cool. You can't get as close as you can with a
, but it was still nice to see. We headed into open
ocean and pretty quickly spotted whales. The Grey whales a
somewhat boring - we didn't get particularly close and the open ocean
rough on the stomach. I was worried about splash so I didn't pull
out my camera - even if I did, it would just look like a grey rock in
the ocean. After an hour or so in the chop, we headed close to
land to see a sea lion colony.
I didn't know that Sea Lions are mostly
they use those whiskers to find stuff at night - they spend most of the
day sunning on the rocks. Who knew?
One pleasant surprise right at the end was
getting close to a large
eagle nest. I've seen lots of eagles but seeing them like this in
their nest was actually the highlight of the whale watching for
me. The guide told a funny story of a nest crashing out of a tree
in Victoria - apparently they found 42 cat collars in it.
Beach National Park
On our last trip we didn't really stop at Long
I wanted to see what it was really about. Our first stop was the
Shorepine Bog Trail - a 800m boardwalk through a bog.
Our second walk was to South Beach - a little
bit of beach and a large
headland that is easy to explore.
Our last beach stop was Long Beach proper near
The watched the sun set - or at least hit the horizon behind the trees.
on Mackenzie Beach
The next morning we enjoyed a big breakfast and
then took advantage of
the low tide of the day to explore the tide pools at Mackenzie
The tide pools aren't amazing, but they do have
much of the life you
will find at Botanical Beach
but in smaller numbers.
Taking pictures of animals is funny.
Vancouver has no shortage of
crows - hundreds of them often fly by where I work and you can often
see flocks flying on the horizon, yet I've never taken a picture of
them. Here at the beach where they exist in much smaller numbers
(unlike the offshore cormorants) the seem to match their setting.
So I decided to take a picture.
We had reservations for the 7pm ferry so we had
to start thinking of
getting back. After a picnic lunch at long beach (that's a big
parking lot) we were on our way home. A great weekend - thanks
Tags: beach(12), BC fauna(5), safari(3), marine mammal(3), sunset(3), bird(3)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Tofino BB
Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 01:09:35 Edit
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