Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Does This Count As Bi-Lingual ?

The North Vancouver Parks Department have been at it again with their odd signage.  This one is perhaps an attempt to comply with the bi-lingual rules of public information signs ?


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tofino with Sue, 2010

David's Mum is over here visiting from the UK and we decided to take a few days away in Tofino on the West Coast of Vancouver Island.

We got up bright and early so that we could catch the 8.30am sailing, in the hopes we would get to Tofino in good time and enjoy the afternoon there.

The early morning sun over Howe Sound


Loading onto one of BC Ferries’ newest fleet the Coastal Renaissance.


Our friends Andrea and Stephen were joining us at the house for our break.  They had also managed to get onto the 8.30am sailing.  Sue catching up with Andrea.


We settle down for an ‘All Aboard’ breakfast – full English but with hash potato instead of fried bread !


After breakfast Sue catches some rays up on deck.  It’s nice and sunny but chilly in the breeze.


We leave the ferry, stock up for our stay at Costco in Nanaimo then head West across the Island.

The scenery is particularly attractive once you get past Port Alberni.

IMG_1371 IMG_1372

We arrived in Tofino by about 1.30pm, somewhat early for house we had rented.  So we headed into town, grabbed and ice cream and relaxed for an hour or so before heading over to the house.

‘Seascape’ was the house we had rented, set back from the side road on a long driveway.

IMG_1493 This is the front of the house, a proper beach house with weathered cedar shingles & plank and a large turret made as a look-out over the beach.


This was the rear view of the house, situated right on Chesterman Beach with it’s own path down from the garden.  In the event of a tsunami this house is NOT where you want to be, in all other occasions it’s perfectly situated for a Tofino beach vacation.


The spacious living room with big scrunchy sofas, panoramic views of the beach and a real fireplace.


The Dining Room, again overlooking the beach.


Bedroom 2 with a queen size double.


The third bedroom with twins


And the master bedroom with en-suite, deck access and beach views


These were the views of the beach and Pacific from the house.



The look out from the back of the house.


So, once we arrived and settled in we unpacked the drinks cabinet, Andrea demonstrating it here.


We mixed up some ‘Dark & Stormy’s with a Hello Sailor’ (Sailor Jerry Rum with ginger beer, lime and a splash of coke (thanks The Reef for this cocktail recipe)). Now we’re on vacation !


And there was some hot-tubbing


And some bar-be-queing


We took some lovely beach walks along Chesterman Beach, which was quiet and often we would have the beach virtually to ourselves.


Stephen, myself and Sue


Mojo hanging out with his new best-friend, Andrea.

IMG_1426 The four boys


One of the things we love most about Tofino, aside from the amazing beaches, is how unspoilt and beautiful the coastline is.

This is a panorama of a Chesterman Beach which is part of the ‘developed’ coastline, there is lots of the peninsula including Long Beach and Florencia Beach which are completely undeveloped.

Views from Chesterman Beach across to the lighthouse, just visible on the left hand side of the right hand island (red roof).


Mojo loving the beach

IMG_1517 More beach views.


Mojo is not keen on waves.  He would gladly take a nice still lake over the sea.  However, for the sake of fetching the stick (and because it was kinda fun) he raced around in the shallow waters of the Pacific on Chesterman Beach and jumped over any waves that threatened him.



Mojo fetching stick in the sea.

Views across the bay, with some orange & purple starfish clinging to the rocks on the left.


Where are you going Mojo ?


A small cove, with a Canadian Coast Guard ship in the background.


Large purple starfish


Mojo racing around on the beach to try and dry off.

Mojo shows off some more starfish.


No, we hadn’t had too many Dark n’ Stormys, we really did see a house being towed by a tug across the bay.  No idea why or where it was going.  Answers on the back of a postcard please.


More views across the bay towards the Wikaninnish Inn.


Mojo absolutely loved being right by the beach.  On at least a couple of occasions we ‘lost’ him because he had taken himself off to run around on the beach and say ‘hi’ to people down there all by himself.

When he wasn’t on the beach, he was mostly sat on the deck, gazing at the sea and the other people and doggies on the beach…

IMG_1554 Occasionally though he’d take the time to come and say ‘thanks’ for a great vacation !

IMG_1441 We also visited Tofino town on a couple of separate trips.  The town is very small, laid back and chilled.  Best way to enjoy it is to grab an ice cream and take in the view.  Which we did. IMG_1559



OK, so we all had an ice cream. And no, I didn’t have two, I was holding Davids while he took some photos !

IMG_1564 We were a little confused by the US flag flying at this dock, then we realised the site was being used for filming.

IMG_1568 There was a big film crew in town making a new comedy movie called The Big Year, which stars Owen Wilson, Jack Black and Steve Martin.

We didn’t see Owen or Jack but we did see Steve Martin getting dropped off at this set location, a house between the main street and the dock.  The scene that was about to be filmed needed to be a rainy day, so the huge crane overhead was a giant sprinkler that was turned on when filming started.

IMG_1432 The crew setting up the porch, ready for filming.


There were loads of background crew, plus a good bus-load of extras


The rain machine in action.  Unfortunately the ‘public’ were moved back from the site before filming so no good photos of the stars !

IMG_1438 Back at the house we enjoyed some terrific sunsets, being on the West Coast.



With the sun nearly gone for another day….


Once the sun was down, it was time to cozy up in the living room with the candles and fireplace lit.


After our fantastic few days in Tofino we headed back towards home, stopping for a quick break to see the huge trees at Cathedral Grove.

IMG_1620 IMG_1621 IMG_1623 Finally we make the 3pm sailing home, again on the Coast Renaissance.  Views from the ferry, ahh home !


On deck of the Coastal Renaissance. 


Views across Bowen, with the peaks of Howe Sound in the background.


The Sunshine Coast.


Sue on the ferry.


Howe Sound.


Approaching Horseshoe Bay, we pass the Bowen Island ferry, disembark and take the short 20 minute drive home.  An excellent few days away, a wonderful beach house and terrific company.