Ucluelet and Tofino in the storm

“If you go under, count to 10. Everyone can hold their breath for 10 seconds. If you get scared, remember that you’re surfing in Canada not Hawaii.”

My sister and I listened intently as the instructor drew a map in the sand explaining rip currents. I stared into the ocean in the direction to where he was pointing. “The waves are choppier there,” he explained. To me, they were all choppy. “It’s hard to see. There’s a storm coming tonight.” We had been warned; the forecast estimates 15 to 20 feet waves tomorrow. Today, they were three to four feet.  September is the tail end of the peak season and weekdays are usually quiet. Storms start picking up, surf instructors cancel lessons, people call in sick, and a buzz of excitement peaks as the experienced head out to the waters.

We’d been wanting to do this for years but ferry prices to Vancouver Island have tripled in the past couple years. The previous night we had arrived at Surf  Junction Campsite in Ucluelet setting up tent in the torrential downpour. This weather is deemed usual for the surfing capital of Canada. The thought of massive waves was bittersweet; it meant that us beginners had to surf on white wash.

“You’re lucky you’re staying at that campsite, you won’t get flooded,” our instructor had tried to reassure us.

Flood… flood… flood

The stretch between Ucluelet to Tofino is lined with beaches and short hikes in the forest.

Schooner Cove

Wickaninnish Beach

Chesterman’s Beach

We stood there as the water receded back into the ocean dragging not only sand from underneath our feet but our bodies as well. I succumbed to the force of these waves and put the surfboards away opting to watch the more experienced “shred it.”

Black Rock Oceanfront Resort (UCluelet) – Storm Watching
Long Beach at sunset

Wild Pacific Trail

Where we Stayed: Surf Junction Campsite 

Surf Lessons: Surf Junction
REstaurants: Wolf in the fog – best burger ever
Number of Nights: 3 days 3 nights


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