Thar She Blows

Yesterday started in Ucluelet where Dave, Amanda and I jumped on the Seaway Express to make the trip to Bamfield. It was a pretty awesome cruise that took us through the Broken Group islands, which are a world-renowned kayak destination. Along the way we spotted a Grey Whale and a Humpback Whale, both of whom put on a show of spouting and diving with their tails breaking the surface.

Once the Seaway Express dropped us off in Bamfield, we took the tour of the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre. The highlight for me was the “touch tank” which is inhabited by a variety of sea creatures such as starfish, urchins, and crabs. All the animals are safe to handle and we were encouraged to dip our hands in and pick up the various critters.

After our spin through the research station we hopped on a water taxi to head to the older half of Bamfield which sits across the inlet. There we wandered along the boardwalk that takes you along the shore and could be considered the main “street.” Eventually we found ourselves on Bradys Beach which had a beautiful view of the ocean. Farther down from the beach is a place called “the blowhole.” The Blowhole is a narrow channel in the rocks which turns into a small cavern and when a large wave rushes in, the back pressure will cause a spout of foamy water to jet straight up in the air. I was standing a little too close and got soaked. Fortunately my camera is weather sealed.

Back at the dock we had a little time to kill and thought a beer would be in order. Unfortunately, the place up the road was in the middle of renovations and the only other pub was closed on Wednesdays. We did spot a bunch of the locals sitting outside the general store (which also served as the liquor store) knocking back some Budweisers and we realized that this is how after work drinks are done in a tiny place like Bamfield. So we went into the store, dug the last six pack of Granville Island Hefeweizen out from behind a pile of (ugh) Molson Canadian in the beer fridge and sat back on a park bench and sipped beer until the boat arrived to take us back to Ucuelet. I understand why my sister liked small town living so much. You’d never get away with drinking beer out in the open in a city.

That evening we decided to hit up the Shelter Restaurant in Tofino for dinner. One of Dave’s friend’s joined us and we feasted on tasty salmon and clam chowder before heading back to Dave’s to crash. An entire day running around in the fresh air takes the gas out of you.

Today was pretty mellow. We had thought about going kayaking, but slept in instead and had a leisurely breakfast at a local cafe. Amanda and I left town, spent a little time on Schooner Cove and then hit Nanaimo for the ferry. The damn ferry line was all backed up so we wound up missing the 5:20, despite our reservation, and made it back on the 7pm sailing. Good thing Amanda had 3 seasons of How I Met Your Mother on her laptop. It made the wait go by pretty quickly.

I’ve also put some pictures up on my flickr account if y’all are interested.

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