A Quick Trip to Tofino

Yesterday we managed a supply trip to Tofino when a decent weather window arose. I picked up a cold virus just before coming out to the light station, and have been feeling "under the weather" for the last couple of days. With no rain, fog, or high winds in the forecast, and most importantly, a rippled sea, we decided to boat into town to pick up some meds from the pharmacy along with a few other supplies. Now, out here you can't just walk across the street, or slide in the car and drive to the drug store.

T's zodiac resides on a trailer atop a steep rocky ... dare I say cliff? In order to launch it, we had to  drag the trailer into position, gather our equipment and prep the boat, and then attach the boat to a winch by means of a giant iron hook. My job was to hold the bow line and keep the teetering boat vertical, while T ran the winch that lowered it down the high line and into the channel. Here it is in the water.

We also had to carry the skiff down the cement steps to the boat ramp, so that T could then row out to the zodiac, board it, and motor over to me.

My trick was to hop into the bow of the zodiac from the ramp. After that, we were on our way.

Tofino is about 15 minutes by water from the light station. For the most part, it is known for surfing, fishing, beaches, seafood, and storm and whale watching. This time of year, most of the tourists have vacated, leaving the town to the locals. Yesterday several First Nations folk had come in via water taxi from the neighbouring reserves to shop, and it was a bustling community. It's a pretty little town of friendly folks with a cared-for feel. After gathering our supplies we boated back -- bracing -- making it back just before the weather turned and the window shut.

But no getting out of the car and running in the house -- the whole process must be reversed, including running the zodiac up the high line and landing it in the trailer. Meanwhile, the tide was ebbing, so when I hopped off the boat and onto the seaweed-riddled ramp, I was amazed by pools of undiscovered  (by me) sea life. "Nimbly" pulling out my camera, I snapped a few shots while holding on to a rope with the other hand -- delicate lime green sea anemones and starfish hidden beneath the sea grasses.

By the time I crawled into bed at 7pm with a tall hot Neocitran and brandy, I was weary. At 3am when I did my first marine weather observation, we were already experiencing fog and light drizzle. The weather here changes rapidly and without warning, which is one of the reasons light keepers observe, record, and relay weather reports every three hours. With this front upon us, it might be days before the chance arises again to take out the zodiac. Life here follows its own rhythm and we must take advantage of every moment.


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