Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tsunami Debris Updates

As the anniversary of the 2011 Japanese tsunami has just passed, there have been several articles an updates, specifically focussing on the debris that will inevitably wash up on our shores, in the news. Here's one and another.

And here's more on tsunami debris and footage of yesterday's storm. Anyone coming to the coast to storm watch, got their money's worth.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monk's Point

This house is one of my favourites in Tofino. Harold Monks was its last resident and I miss our conversations an awful lot. As I collected stories and histories of Tofino, Harold was one of my "go-to guys," who was always generous with his time and stories. I so enjoyed visiting him at his home and garden, where we'd have a cup of tea or coffee and he'd answer every one of my questions in great detail. (He was a stickler for detail too, and never shy to point out even the tiniest error. I appreciated that.)

I also appreciated that he left his family's house and property to The Land Conservancy as a historic property. The house is a west coast classic — and there are so few left — and the gardens are beautiful as well. I can just image what might have been built there if it had been sold. Eventually we hope that the property will be open to the public, but for now visitors can stay on the guest cottage on the property. Details here.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Whales are on Their Way

Soon, most of the chatter and news about Tofino, Ucluelet and Pacific Rim National Park will be all about whales, whales, whales. It's just a few weeks until this year's Pacific Rim Whale Festival and the local whale watching companies are getting their boats and crews together for the start of the new season. It's the migration of the grey whales that drives this festival, as on their northward migration they stay quite close to shore. Here's an article that talks about the migration and the festival too, but it was the mention of Varara a grey whale from the western Pacific that piqued my curiosity. She's a tagged whale so we can watch where she's been. Here's a map tracking her movements from a few weeks ago as she started her journey north from Baja.

Grey whales were protected in the 1930s, when their populations were perilously low. While the population of grey whales from the eastern Pacific has recovered (more than 20,000 individuals) and is no longer considered endangered, the same cannot be said for the western Pacific population which is a dismal 130 animals or so.