Our trip to Vancouver Island gets off to an auspicious start when we squeak on to a 5:30 ferry on a Friday evening. With a later-than-planned start, no reservation, rush-hour traffic, and a detour to put gas in the car we expect to have to wait a sailing. Miraculously, we are the second last vehicle on the ferry! YAY!!
The ferry trip and drive across the island to the west side reveal the breathtaking beauty of this part of the globe. We travel the world to see the sights, but right here in our backyard is a wonderland of nature.
First stop is Ucluelet, where friends Jeanne & Don live quite literally at the end of the road. Nicknamed “the Edge”, their property overlooks the Pacific and is hemmed in on two sides by deep surge channels. The hot tub has a sublime view of the ocean the drive to Ucluelet.
In addition to beach combing, dog walking and wine drinking, we kayak for a day in the Broken Islands. A foggy morning makes for a moody start and some great photos. As well, it is low tide and, for some reason I don’t recall, it is an extremely low tide. This means that the rocky shorelines are more exposed than usual and we are able to see a lot of starfish and anemone.
By noon the fog starts to lift and we are treated to lunch in the sun on one of the islands and an afternoon of clear blue skies. As the tide rises we are able to paddle through a few narrow channels and caverns that would otherwise not be navigable.
Sitting in Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island, the Broken Islands are a group of 100 islands and islets. The waters surrounding the islands teem with marine wildlife. Starfish, sea cucumber, anemone, urchins, clams, mussels and crabs abound. Harbour seal and sea lion as well. A few loons. Many bald eagle. No whale sightings the day we are out, but we know they are around.
Our last night with Jeanne & Don we drive 40 mins north to Tofino for a memorable meal at The Wolf in the Fog. Recently named one of Canada’s best restaurants, it features fish and foraged food. We order small plates to share and fill our faces with food that is fresh, flavourful and fanciful. That’s a lot of f words! Very fitting for an f***ing amazing dining experience!