Wednesday, January 26, 2011

So Are You Ready for a Tsunami, Tofino?

Three hundred and eleven years ago today, the largest earthquake in Canada's history happened off the west coast. In fact this was one of the largest recorded earthquakes in the world. This is recorded in the oral history of the Huu-ay-aht people, whose village at Pachena Bay was destroyed during the event. There are also written records of the event from Japan and geological records in the sediments of the coastal shoreline on the west coast.

So, it has happened. Earthquakes happen all the time. Just check this out.

Each year, seismologists with the Geological Survey of Canada record and locate more than 1000 earthquakes in western Canada. The Pacific Coast is the most earthquake-prone region of Canada. In the offshore region to the west of Vancouver Island, more than 100 earthquakes of magnitude 5 or greater (large enough to cause damage had they been closer to land) have occurred during the past 70 years.

So are you ready? What would you do if the earth started to move? Where would you go? How would you get in touch with the rest of your family? Today is The Great British Columbia Shake Out. If you haven't got a plan, this might be the day to make one.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Different View

Visitors to Tofino and area love the long walks on our sweeping beaches. We love it too, of course, but a bit of variety is always welcome. We are finally getting a new trail in Tofino. The Lighthouse Trail is currently under construction and, when complete, will take you from Tofino (near Tonquin Beach) to Middle Beach. This trail will provide a forest walk and also a trail along the more rugged, rocky shoreline that are also common here. (The shoreline goes something like this: beach, rocky headland, beach, longer rocky headland, beach, cliff.... You get the picture.)

Ucluelet twigged to the idea of a shoreline trail years ago and now they have a local gem: The Wild Pacific Trail. Short of hiking the West Coast Trail, this is going to be your best place to get a look at the stunning, rocky wildness of the west coast. I had some time to kill in Ucluelet yesterday, so took the opportunity to hike most of the trail. What a fabulous way to spend a few hours. I love the several "Artists' Loops" that are being added to the trail. These little side loops have great vistas with small platforms, large enough for an easel and a small stool. Great idea!

This are remnants from the old raised plank road that once ran near the current road to the Coast Guard Station. That section of the trail has some great interpretive signs that explain some of the historys.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Tofino with a Trademark?

It is a bit odd to see the name of our town with a tiny TM behind it. I assume it is only in relation to this product? Let me know if you know!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A New Look

It's a new year. Time for a change. I'm all about clean lines at the moment so I thought I'd fiddle a bit with the look of the site. I still would like to customize a header, but for now I thought this made the blog easier to read. What do you think? Is there too much grey? (Very west coast.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Strawberry Island "Boat House"

This is cool. Rod Palm's home on Strawberry Island is on this blogger's list of 10 "recycled ship houses" from around the world. It was interesting to see the other ways that boats have been converted into permanent homes. Check it out here.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Frank Island Memorial Print

Roy Henry Vickers has just completed a print in memory of Jo-ann Fuller and Ivan Polivka. It is of Frank Island at Chesterman Beach, a favourite spot of all Tofitians. You can read the artist's statement here and here is a news story about the print's release.

[Update: As of Saturday, January 22, this print was sold out.]

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Long Beach Surfers

With surfing being such a passion for so many right now, it's easy to think that it is a current passion. But it's not, of course. Some say the first surfer was a shipwreck survivor who rode to the shore near Long Beach on a door from his sinking ship. And, of course, FIrst Nations people surfed the waves in their canoes for generations. But surfing as we know it — on boards, in wet suits — started out here in the 1960s. Richmond's "Skeg and Keg Club" was visiting Long Beach in 1965 or so and there was an active, but small, surfing community pretty much forever since then. The first surf competition was at Long Beach in 1966. And there was also surf advertising. As evidence, I bring you this gem:

I don't think I'll ever be able to look at a can of Lucky (which I mostly see discarded on the road side, mind you) without thinking:

"Savour the flavour of a man-sized beer."