John Harvey Photo

Tofino BBGo to Slide Show

A great long weekend, but no storms!


The Tree Is Bigger Than HelenHelen And I At Tree
For Christmas, I had a tough time finding that perfect 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 Tofino before, 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!



Chesterman 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.

BedHDR_Comp

Our B&B was as close to beach as you can get without disturbing the herring spawn.  Our room had a fantastic view and was pretty much self sufficient - we had an electric kettle, a microwave, a toaster and enough dishes for simple meals or take out.  We went out for a walk on the beach.

Kite SurferLight House With FogKelp On Beach

Chesterman beach isn't the longest beach you will find around here, but it is beautiful.  It's book ended by large rock bluffs (one of which has the Wickaninnish Inn - our second choice for accommodations) and has views of the light house on Lennard Island.  We walked until we found sunset and found it difficult to find out B&B.

Sanderlings On RockReflected CloudsSunset Behind Lennard Island
 
Whale Watching Trip
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.

Harbour SealsLennard Island Lighthouse


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 kayak, 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 is 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.

Sea Lions On RockSea Lions All Over Rock


I didn't know that Sea Lions are mostly nocturnal.  Apparently they use those whiskers to find stuff at night - they spend most of the day sunning on the rocks.  Who knew?

Pair Of Eagles In Nest


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.

Long Beach National Park
 
Helen Among The Broccoli
On our last trip we didn't really stop at Long Beach - I wanted to see what it was really about.  Our first stop was the Shorepine Bog Trail - a 800m boardwalk through a bog. 

Bog Wide Shot


Our second walk was to South Beach - a little bit of beach and a large headland that is easy to explore. 

Parks Canada CenterHelen Isnt Scared Of Heights

Stonecrop FightingVery Hairy Leaves


Our last beach stop was Long Beach proper near incinerator rock.  The watched the sun set - or at least hit the horizon behind the trees.

Bottle Caps In End Of LogHelen On Rock At Sunset

Sunset From Radar Mountain
 
 
Tidepools 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 Beach. 

Breakfast  Tide Pools On Mackenzie Beach


The tide pools aren't amazing, but they do have much of the life you will find at Botanical Beach but in smaller numbers.

Chiton In RockAnemone Full Of JunkSea Stars In Tide Pool

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.

  Crow Squawking
 
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 Helen!
 


Kelp On Beach
Tags: beach, kelp
Sea Lions On Rock
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Tags: BC fauna, marine mammal, rock, safari
Bottle Caps In End Of Log
Sanderlings On Rock
Species: Calidris alba (Sanderling)
Tags: beach, bird
The Tree Is Bigger Than Helen
Person: Helen
Species: Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir)
Tags: tree
Reflected Clouds
Tags: beach, reflection, silhouette
Kite Surfer
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach
Helen On Rock At Sunset
Person: Helen
Altitude: 11m (36 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach, sunset
Anemone Full Of Junk
Tags: tide pool
Tide Pools On Mackenzie Beach
Altitude: 4m (13 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach
HDR_Comp
Tags: HDR
Helen Isnt Scared Of Heights
Person: Helen
Altitude: 25m (82 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: beach
Harbour Seals
Species: Phoca vitulina (Harbor Seal)
Tags: BC fauna, beach, marine mammal, safari
Stonecrop Fighting
Species: Sedum oreganum (Oregon Stonecrop)
Altitude: 7m (22 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: plant
Bog Wide Shot
Tags: swamp
Parks Canada Center
Tags: beach
Chiton In Rock
Species: Katharina tunicata (Black Katy Chiton)
Tags: BC fauna, beach
Lennard Island Lighthouse
Tags: lighthouse
Sunset Behind Lennard Island
Tags: beach, silhouette, sunset
Bed
Tags: place to stay
Breakfast
Tags: breakfast, place to stay
Sunset From Radar Mountain
Altitude: 84m (275 feet)
Location: Go To...
Tags: summit, sunset
Helen Among The Broccoli
Person: Helen
Altitude: 17m (55 feet)
Location: Go To...
Helen And I At Tree
Tags: tree
Sea Lions All Over Rock
Species: Eumetopias jubatus (northern sea lion, steller sea lion)
Tags: BC fauna, marine mammal, rock, safari
Sea Stars In Tide Pool
Species: Pisaster ochraceus (Ochre Star)
Tags: sea star, tide pool
Pair Of Eagles In Nest
Species: Haliaeetus leucocephalus (Bald Eagle)
Tags: bird
Very Hairy Leaves
Species: Potentilla villosa (villous cinquefoil)
Tags: flower
Crow Squawking
Species: Corvus caurinus (Northwestern Crow)
Tags: BC fauna, beach, bird, multiple frame image
Light House With Fog
Tags: lighthouse
Tags: beach(12), BC fauna(5), safari(3), marine mammal(3), sunset(3), bird(3)
People: Helen(4)
From: John Harvey Photo > John's Overnight Page > Tofino BB

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Last Modified Tuesday, June 9th, 2009 at 01:09:35 Edit
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