Thursday, January 28, 2010

When the Earth Moves

At the moment the horrific earthquake in Haiti is on everyone's mind and in the news. I know people are personally sending donations, but there have also been some community events. The elementary school is holding a bake sale on Saturday at the Co-op and the spaghetti dinner fundraiser last week raised about $2000, which will be matched by the federal government. Daughter P and I had our dinner there. (Daughter A helped serve and clean up.) It was a great night, not only because of the fundraising aspect, but because of the cross-section of the community that attended. It reminded me of the monthly potlucks we used to have in Bamfield. They'd pass the hat and the money would go to some "cause of the month." But I loved it mostly because of the community it created — there were people of all ages (particularly the 20&30-somethings, who you don't often see at these events), the kids dancing to the music and running around the hall, people gathering for a quick bite before going on their Friday-night-way. Makes me think we should do more of this.

The earthquake is also a graphic reminder to those of us who live in an earthquake zone of just what could happen. Yup, we're on the edge here; literally. Earthquakes — and tsunamis — have happened here, and will, at some time, happen again (and again). When you visit, you will notice signs like these:

Never fear. Just follow the signs to safety. You could go this way:

Or perhaps this way:

Or, if you are really confused and despairing, you could just look up:

Seriously, if you are here when a earthquake or tsunami happens, there will be some semblance of a response plan. There is a hard-working team that are up on emergency preparedness for the region. The signs seem to point in one direction or another so it's important to follow them carefully and not second-guess. There's only one road along the very low-lying peninsula and all we need is people being stupid in their cars.

As for the history of earthquakes and tsunamis in the area, Jackie (who is also a geologist) is all over it in this, her post on our "earthquake anniversary," January 26.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Day in Pacific Rim

The National Film Board has put many of their films on-line. (I know where I'll be snooping around when I'm looking for distraction.) Here is a near silent film of Pacific Rim National Park, just down the road, filmed back in 1978. (Of course it has the obligatory-in-Canadian-films call of the loon near the beginning. I don't think I've ever heard that call out here, but perhaps others have. Let me know.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Tofino's Flowers in January

It's been a busy week — LOTS of meetings about the school situation. Some good news, of course — a school won't be closed (yet) — but the fight has just begun. This has got many people engaged and ready to work together to improve the situation on the west coast. Our kids and our schools deserve our support. I'm doing what I can, working with the Save Our Schools group, handing out petitions, encouraging people to write letter, educating myself. But doing what I can also includes continuing with my philosophy that education doesn't just happen Monday to Friday from 9-ish to 3-ish. We live in a small town, we can't have it all, but we do have so much that people don't take advantage of. At times, we need to focus on what we do have, rather than what we don't. Today, that's what I'll do.

Jackie did a little bit of celebrating this week, too. She got out her camera and hopped on her bike to see what flowers were blooming this week. Here's what she found.

Remember the fundraising dinner for Haiti tonight. From 5 to 7 at the Community Hall.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Spaghetti for Haiti

What a roller-coaster week. The tragic death of a wonderful local man, the birth of a new nephew (welcome, Xander), and, of course, the tragedy of Haiti. As well, we are busy preparing for the next round with our school board tomorrow. Posting may be slight this week, but for now, mark your calendar for Friday. There will be a community spaghetti supper to raise money that will be sent for Haiti relief. The event is as the community hall from 5 to 7 pm. $10 for adults; $5 for children.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A Guitar Called Tofino

I'm always on the lookout for the word Tofino on the web and it turns out there are several items that have a Tofino "model." (Like Birkenstocks, for instance.) But here's a new one: a guitar called Tofino.

Beautiful, isn't it? And the name is appropriate as that top is red cedar.

Turns out that the fellows who designed this guitar, MacKenzie and Marr, will be on Dragon's Den this Wednesday, July 13. Check it out to see how the Tofino fared in "The Den." (I find this show hard to watch — I'm not big on public humiliation — but Daughter P, in particular, likes it so we'll try to tune in.) Although the show was pre-taped the designers can't reveal the outcome. Here's a blog post about their DD visit and a story from the Waterloo Record.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

On the Line with George

On the boat trip I described last post, we also came across these posts.

(It was a very high tide that day. For the most part, this is mudflat.) From their location, we're pretty sure they are the remains of the posts from the old telegraph line that ran from Long Beach up to the Kennedy River. Our man, George was the lineman on this stretch for several years. Here's what he was up to at Long Beach 83 years ago.

January 9, 1927
Just like summer — had lunch on veranda — 86 degrees on veranda at noon. Ten tourists just passed through from Clayoquot to Tofino this morning on way to Victoria. Several hundred ducks feeding in field all day. Took horses from tide flats and put in field.

January 10, 1927
Fine day. Worked all day on trail to landing.

January 11, 1927
Fine weather. Filed saw and cut wood. Black pullet laid for first time. Tried for ducks — plentiful in field but very wild — did not get any. Got wire from Muriel says she will be on Maquinna.

Can you believe the 86 degrees? Cool and drippy today, but one of the warmest days I ever remember on the coast was in February when Daughter A was small. We were on Chesterman in shorts and t-shirts with a gaggle of kids.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Swans of Tofino

One of the things we did manage to do over the holidays was to get out in our boat for a chilly trip. I wanted to recreate the trip that people used to take as they travelled from Tofino (or Clayoquot) up to Long Beach. Before there was a road (which wasn't really all that long ago), people would travel up the inlet by boat (canoe, rowboat, sailboat, putter,...) on the flooding tide to the narrowest part of the peninsula. From there, they'd hike across the peninsula to come out at a spot near today's Airport Road at Long Beach.

It was a drippy, cool day, but there were lots of birds around, including these ones.

Pretty, no? (A little blurry, I realize.) Winter is a wonderful time to bird watch on the mudflat side of the peninsula. Even if you don't know your birds, a little trip out to Grice Bay is a wonderful calm change from the pounding surf on the open ocean side of the Esowista Peninsula. I love the drive down the road and it's even better on a bike. If you do want to know more about birds, though, the Raincoast Education Society has a great program they offer regularly: Building Better Birding Skills. It's happening this Sunday, too. Just meet at the parking lot at South Chesterman at 10am. No experience necessary.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year

I needed that rest.

Despite a fairly hefty manuscript sitting on my desk in desperate need of attention, I managed to avoid work for most of the holidays. Instead, there were some wonderful meals with friends and family, lots of reading and movie watching, a few great walks and even a nippy ride in our boat one cold day. It was wonderful to be able to spend time at home in Tofino, just relaxing and enjoying life here. I actually feel quite rested as we launch into the new year.

I refuse to make resolutions, but I do plan to keep up on this blog. (I'd love to hear from those of you who just might be reading it. What do you enjoy? What do you want to see more (or less) of? Any feedback would be great.) I'll have a few exciting things to announce when they're ready for public consumption. One is this book I've been working on. Once it gets its final title and a publication date (it has a publisher) I'll let you know. Exciting (and nerve-wracking) stuff. The other is a new venture with a good friend that hopefully will evolve into new possibilities for us in the years to come. Again, more news on that when it's time. (Soon on that one.)

I wish all of you the very best for 2010.

(Daughter P has been out and about with the camera quite a bit during the holidays. These are her photos of some berries still hanging on. The top, I'm not sure of. It's an ornamental I think. If you know, please leave a comment. The bottom is of wax berries. Both quite seasonal, no?)