tofino surfing

A Visit to Canada’s Surf Playground

It’s been nice to get out and experience some more experiences again. While we try to experience more during the cold months, it isn’t always easy. And as luck would have it, this is the worst winter in BC in, like, a million years of something. But the weather was actually decent for us as we visited Canada’s Surf Playground – Tofino!

This week we were able to get out to BC’s beautiful Vancouver Island for some R & R, taking a ferry from Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo (home of those sweet treats; the Nanaimo Bar). From there it was a picturesque drive to where Canada welcomes the waves of the Pacific, and those waves in turn welcome Canada’s die-hard surfers.

The ocean scenery along the beaches are all similar to that of elsewhere along the Pacific coast—rolling waves, left and right breaks, and in many places, a giant rock left behind from the last ice age or strong-man competition. But the shoreline here differs greatly, with various timbers blanketing the coast, likely lost or left-behind from a logging operation elsewhere.

Now, we love new and unique experiences, and surfing in Canada would definitely fall into this category…but it’s March. The water temp is somewhere around 7 or 8 degrees Celsius, for our Fahrenheit friends, that’s Raisin Bag degrees Fahrenheit. We both decided to pass on this life experience and opted to be spectators.

I’m not that into surfing to want to do it that badly, I prefer bodyboarding myself, you catch more waves, don’t fall/wipe-out nearly as much, and it’s easier to actually catch a wave for a beginner. And from what I could tell from the shore the dudes and dudettes who were out there knew what they were doing. But this is the place for you if you are a die-hard surfer, like this wet-suit wearing crazy Canuck:

It was also interesting to see the vehicles these surfers arrived in-your stereotypical beat-up van crammed with a minimal amount of stuff in order to save room for boards and other surfing accoutrement. Surfers appear to live quite a minimalist lifestyle. All they need are some tasty waves, a cool buzz, and they’re fine!

For us though, the real purpose of our excursion wasn’t to go surfing anyway. If we were here during the summer months, maybe. But we just wanted to get away from the hustle-bustle of the city, relax in a hot tub, and enjoy some of the scenery the island has to offer. And as luck would have it, Mr. Sun cooperated and made a few special appearances on part I of our Van Island Adventures.

On our last full day we could tell a new system was on it’s way in. The winds shifted from the north to coming up from the south, which is always welcome simply for the warmer air. We managed to get a great hike in along the Lighthouse Trail, where we were also gifted with some visits from migrating gray whales!

gray whales along Lighthouse Trail in Ucluelet

So after a whale of a time, we hit the road again, with the next leg of our journey taking us to Parksville and the Courtney/Comox area, where we’ll be enjoying a nice water therapy spa experience – because hey, we like water therapy!

Now go sell all your stuff and go west!


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