Tofino Surf Not Happening

I got on the boat to Vancouver Island at 9am, it takes one hour and goes at the speed of light through the water. The day started off real nice, I took this photograph of an Island that the boat went past, if it wasn’t for the harsh cold look of the ocean this could have been somewhere in the Caribbean or Maldives –

After arriving at Nanaimo we boarded the Tofino Bus that did the 2/3 hour (can’t really remember how long as I slept most of the way) to Tofino. The bits I didn’t sleep had fantastic scenery of trees and mountains, although the bus driver seemed to want to tank it the entire way. We also saw a bear cross the road infront of us which was nice.

I am staying at Whalers Point Guesthouse in a shared dorm, which is possibly the nicest backpacker place I’ve ever stayed in. This is the view from the room window –

The first thing I did after dropping off my luggage was head to Storm Surf Shop to enquire about rentals. After sorting out a deal on a 5/4 wetsuit (yes 5/4, the temp here is about 10 degs) I preliminary booked the only short board that they rent out. A 5’11 Webber, I checked out another surf shop and if the 5’11 is too small they have an NSP 6’6 (not a big fan of NSP boards but will have to use it if the 5’11 is too small or the waves are 0.5ft). I then had a walk around Tofino, which took all of 5 minutes. I would have gone surfing straight off the back of arriving but the beach is too far away to walk (there’s a beach bus but I was too late on arriving for it).

So I wondered around the ‘City of Tofino’ for a bit. You have to take the word city with a pinch of salt as there is about 4 shops and a hostel.

I headed back to the hostel after running out of things to do in Tofino and talked to a Canadian from Montreal that moved here to learn how to surf (I would have gone to Calif. or Australia if I were him) and was in the process of trying to find somewhere to live. I then spoke to an investment banker from London that seemed to be enjoying not having to go to work, I can’t blame him.

So I met my ‘roomies’ they were all English and have been living in Canada on a 1 year working visa doing the Whistler season, now that it has ended they decided to come to Tofino. They seemed pretty chilled out as they have been here for 10 days and have not actually done anything yet apart from sit on the beach when its sunny and then just sit around the hostel when it is rainy!

So after making tomato soup for dinner with some bread I packed my bag and got ready for what was to be the most exciting day of my Canada trip so far. Not having a car and relying on public transport to get around is a real nightmare, so is not having any personal space whatsoever.

I woke up at 08h00 on Wednesday and it was tipping it down like you wouldn’t believe. I’ve never seen so much non-stop rain. If it did this in England there would be a national emergency! So I walked down to Storm Surf Shop in my boardies with the palm trees on and my Quicksilver coat getting absolutely soaked and freezing. I didn’t feel right, normally surfing involves loading the boards on the roof of the Vitara and flying across the bridge in Sydney to the north shore in brilliant warm sunshine. I was soaked to the skin with my bag when I arrived at Storm Surf Shop, I talked to the guy he said that someone had already rented out the Webber, but they had a 5’11 fish, which was cool because I always wanted to try one of those out and am thinking of getting a fish (Fish is the shape of the board, they look a bit like a fish obviously) back in England. So I filled out all the forms and then was told I needed a credit card as a deposit, I’d left all my card in my locker at the hostel so they wouldn’t get stolen!! Agh! I had to walk all the way back to the hostel to get my credit card, I couldn’t really get any more soaked than I already was! It would also mean I missed the beach bus and would have to walk the 4km to the beach! So I went back and got the credit card and walked the entire distance back to Storm Surf Shop. When I got there I went back into the main shop and I couldn’t see the guy I was talking to. So this girl came to me and asked if she could help me. I said that I was renting a board and had just come back with my credit card. She said that they weren’t renting boards today because the surf was massive. So I was like errr… I just rented a board and have my card as deposit. So we walked into the room where the rentals take place and the guy was there and he said ‘sorry dude I didn’t know’. So I was thinking great, the charlatans of surfing exist not only in Australian surf shops (namely dripping wet). So I asked, what about the Webber, you hired that out? I think to avoid questioning he said “i don’t know where its gone” and then left the room. So I was standing in the rental room all on my own thinking nice… I packed my bag and my brain chemically wasn’t in the mood for surfing anymore, aftering missing the bus, having to walk back to the hostel and back and being absolutely soaked through to the bone and freezing cold with a 4km walk to look forward to. The guy then came running into the room going, “OK OK HOLD THE PHONE…you can have all the stuff for free!!!” I was a bit shocked and was thinking what was going on. Does he know I have page rank and could potentially bring Storm Surf Shop to its knees? I said if the waves were 6ft and only one tiny part of one of the beaches was surfable it wasn’t worth the 4km walk and then drowning a cold dark icey death (as Mike would put it). So that is my surfing Canada experience done and dusted – although maybe there’s some surf in Halifax who knows.

I was going to stay here until Friday but I am going to go back to Vancouver this afternoon instead because it sucks here (I am sure its nice if you like whale watching or looking for bears but I came here to surf and it seems it is not meant to happen 🙁 )

I headed back to the hostel and my ‘roomies’ were still in bed, they said when the weather is like this its the best thing you can do, I agreed with them and told them I was going to go and do the next best thing after sleeping on a rainy day…..go on the internet.

I have been trying to get creative with my new camera in the five minute gaps between raining. I took this picture of a sea plane with the beautiful view behind it –

Back to Vancouver now with freezing soaked feet in my only pair of shoes 🙁

Gary

Gary