Surfing Vancouver Island  

May 8 1997  


May 8 1997


I like everything about surfing. I cannot look at a ripple in water without scrutinizing it for a face. There are standing waves that I have seen, in flooded rivers and ocean passes that could not possibly be survivable. They haunt my dreams. If I walk down to a protected beach and see an eight inch high swell start to peel or go hollow, my adrenaline surges and my heart races. It can be shore slop in the background of a commercial, or rainwater coursing down a ditch. It takes very little to set me on my course. surfing photos and stories from Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Canada

Last night the weatherman said "a high pressure region is building off the coast, so we can expect" and I had decided to go surfing before he finished "sunny weather for the next few days".

Spring is well entrenched here now. Driving across the Island with the windows down I was hit by wave after wave of the sweet scent of fruit tree blossoms. This place never goes brown in the winter, but right now, the deep green carpet of the evergreen forests is splashed with the brilliant lime green of new deciduous leaves. The mountains still wear a mantle of snow. This is a beautiful place on earth to travel through, and I'm on my way surfing......I'm stoked...... this is all good.

As I come out the last pass through the mountains, and drop down to the coastal plain, the sunshine gives way to marine cloud and fog. This wasn't on the satellite image. As I get to the coast and start checking spots, every last one is small. Some are clean but I know I will wait. I drive up to Tofino and just kick around and visit. The talk is how great every spot was firing last night, and as one spot tuckered out, they moved, and the next spot was firing better, and I had the best wave of my life, and on, and on. Sometimes I wonder if the town of Tofino is together in a conspiracy, a little joke on me..... "whenever you see Cam, tell him how awesome it was yesterday."

I checked the spots throughout the day and heard reports from others. Nowhere was it building, and it was starting to rain. I began to despair, and briefly thought about driving home without getting wet. surfing photos and stories from Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Canada

It was getting late in the day so I made plans and hooked up with the Ucluclet crew after they got off work. "BINGO" The waves built to head high and cleaned up. The rain showers stopped and the sun tried to break out. Fun, fun waves. surfing photos and stories from Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Canada Surfed till I couldn't paddle any more, went in and got the fins and camera, and knocked off two rolls of film. There was eight or nine surfers, two Kayaks, me snapping pictures, and we laughed and joked and hooted every time someone got up or fell down.......... and we were caught outside of time and space, divorced from the waking world, but not in the dream world. surfing photos and stories from Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Canada There is nothing but the ocean and the crew. Anything on solid ground is of no interest to me. I'm often shocked at how much time passes during a session. I think it might have been an hour and it's been four. It is this magical suspension from normal reality, that draws me off the edge of the continent, and out onto the ocean again and again. And I come to realize that there is no conspiracy, no joke at my expense. Somehow between surfing trips, I forget how awesome an experience I have every time I paddle out.

What a great life we get saddled with this time around.


Saturday May 10th 97

Summer crowd - Summer weather - Summer waves
surfing photos and stories from Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Canada surfing photos and stories from Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Canada

surfing photos and stories from Vancouver Island and coastal British Columbia, Canada

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