Where to start?
The trip to Tofino was great. NB, JB and I headed out early Sunday morning and caught the 8:30 Ferry to Nanaimo. On route we stopped at Cathedral Grove to check out the beautiful old forest growth. The trees really were spectacular. We arrived in Ucluelet around 1:30 and decided to hike the Wild Pacific Trail first thing. It was beautiful but I not quite as wild as the lady at the tourist office made it out to be. Next we jumped back into the truck and made the trek into Tofino. After the Big Daddy Special of fried oysters, halibut, shrimp and salmon we headed to Storm to book some surf lessons. We got hooked up for some lessons the following day with the Pacific Surf School. We headed back to Ucluelet around 6:30 PM and checked into the lovely Horizons West B&B. We got the cabin which had two bedrooms a small kitchen and comfy living room area with a wood burning stove. All the rooms come with a stunning view of the Pacific. After a light dinner and a quick game of scrabble we called it a night. Brother & Sister owners Rich and Jenn didn't disappoint with a yummy breakfast of fresh fruit & yogurt, fresh oatmeal muffins and waffles.
We met up with Kita (KADA!!!!!!!!!!) our Aussie surf instructor at Storm at 10:30 Monday morning. After getting all our gear (wetsuits, gloves, booties and boards) we headed out to Chesterman Beach for our lesson. Just getting the wetsuit on was a workout. After some basic instruction on the beach we hit the surf. Our 3 hour lesson was great with Kita giving us some pointers for the first hour and then joining us as we moved out to catch some bigger waves. We were joined in the surf by a local seal who kept popping up out in the deep as we waited for waves. We even ran into Aquaman out in the waves who turned out to be #4! We said goodbye to Kita after the 3 hours were up and caught waves until NB & #3 came back from their walk on the beach. After drying off the 5 of us headed to the restaurant at the Long Beach Resort, a recommendation from Rich (the first of many great recommendations from him). The view from the restaurant was spectacular and we all munched away on delicious pizzas and crab cakes. Next we decided to try and find Mussel Beach, remote spot that Jenn from the B&B had only discovered the day before. After a very Deliverance like drive (which included having to leave one car behind due to the rough road conditions and cryptic signs about what was approaching) we finally made it to Mussel Beach. It was worth the drive to see a number of grew whales feeding very close to shore on herring eggs. In keeping with the Deliverance theme we were approached by a young guy with a mohawk and barking dog and informed that we were on private property. I managed to negotiate half an hour of whale watching and were out of there in 25 minutes not wanting to over stay our welcome. It was a good thing as the sun was starting to go down and none of us wanted to know what goes on at the Renegade Lounge after dark.
Tuesday morning JB, #4 and I headed out early to catch some waves before meeting up with NB & #3 to go whale watching and to the Hot Springs. Howie didn't disappoint. We found several pods of grey whales, visited some sea otters and sea lions basking in the sun on route to the hotsprings. I even picked myself up a cute little english fellow.
After the boat tour we decided to follow up on another one of Rich's recommendations, the Wikkaninnish Interpretive Centre. We arrived just in time to catch the sunset and imbided in some yummy hot chocolates with special whipped cream. I highly recommend this diamond in the rough. Again...Rich was spot on! Tuesday night we were all bagged from the long day outside that it was another early night. We awoke Wednesday to overcast conditions with light rain off and on. NB & #3 headed off for hotstone massages but I couldn't pass up a last chance to surf. We ran into Kita at Chesterman's Beach and decided to head up to the South Beach with him where the waves were said to be much better that morning. With a storm heading in land we got some great waves for our final day or surfing. Reluctantly we finally dragged our wave beaten bodies ashore and headed back into town to meet the girls. After returning the rented equipment we headed out to Sobo for our last meal. It was awesome. The Killer Fish Taco's are just that...killer. Unfortunately I may never be able to return thanks to JB and his gift to me. Finally it was time for NB, JB and I to head out. We left #'s 3&4 who were staying one more night before heading to Victoria for their last day on the Island.
The Big Yellow Banana and I are now counting the days until we can go back.