March Trip to the Island


DAY One of the trip was yesterday and it got off to a slower start than I intended, I had a harder time saying goodbye to my dogs than I thought Hit the road and got over to the island just before 5 and did a quick trip to the world famous downtown Namaimo, what a shock!

I was shooting a wedding in Tofino last September, and a fellow photog had mentioned to me that Namaimo had won an award. I thought she was joking when she told me that Commercial Street in Nanaimo was voted first in the Great Streets national contest. 6000 nominations 4 months of voting and the fight to keep the heritage buildings a key focal point has certainly paid off. There was a long list of criteria that Nanaimo had to excel in to become the first choice, but as far as I can see this is one of the the best examples of downtown rejuvenation I have ever seen. I’m so glad I worked two stops in Nanaimo on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. (Stay turned for the photos, the architecture is amazing) If you haven’t seen it lately I highly advise a stop soon.

After a stop for dinner I made my way to Parksville to see my friends Troy & Michelle and drop off yet another box of baby outfits from Michele’s mother as they are expecting soon. It was nice catching up with them and Troy forced me to eat again! Penne Alfredo with Cajun chicken. By then it was ten o’clock did some editing and hit the hay!

DAY Two Woke at five and snuck out and drove to Tofino this morning. arriving just after sunrise. this was my third trip there and I must say the drive did seem shorter and I didn’t feel like I had just sat backwards reading on the ferry during rough seas. (that was last night) Note to self Whoppers cure sea sickness!

My first stop in Tofino was Cox Bay, nestled between the Long Beach Lodge and the Cox Bay Resort is a pubic parking area with beach access and very cool and clean washroom and change room facilities, I had a bit of breakfast, I find it easer to pack a bunch of stuff into a cooler that I can grab on the run, especially when trying to get so much shooting done in such a short period of time. I put on the hikers and rain gear and set off down the wood plank path to the beach.

It was quite warm and the winds were not crazy the rain was intermittent and when it did rain it wasn’t sideways. All in all theft a bit overdressed for the weather. I’s stil a great ideas to layer up thought as it is easier to take stuff off than to get soaked to the bone and have to stop shooting because of it.

After Lunch I headed south to Ucluelet, a place I have been wanting to shoot for years. I did a short tour to get the lay of the land and plan on heading back out later tonight.

While here I am staying at The Cabins and and have been typing this to the sound of waves crashing some sixty feet away. It’s taken a bit longer to complete this opening post as the view when I look up is just amazing. Most people come to this part of the island during the spring and summer but if you are a shooter you need to get year in the winter for storm season.

The exposed coast line is unlike any place in the world. Rugged rocky shoreline giving way to wind shaped trees. I can truly understand why artists thrive in this environment. The constant soft white noise drowns out any concerns of time and space. For quite some time friends have been asking why I haven’t moved to the island and right, now at this minute and for the past 12 hours, I can’t think of a single reason I wouldn’t.

Tomorrow I will be hiking the Wild Pacific Trail that meanders through area along the shoreline. But right now I’m just content to sit here in front of the fireplace and listen to the waves!

DAY Three Started at 4:00am with the waves calling me with more urgency than when I fell asleep! Which meant one thing in my mind, Big waves!!

What I actually saw was completely unique and awe inspiring! You have to keep in mind that I have made the trip to Oregon, a six hour drive, just to see big waves. I have often said its the one thing BC just didn’t have, or so I thought.

I spend a few minutes at check in yesterday to grill Toni as she checked me in. I founds the perfect person in the winters Toni works at the Cabins but come spring she guides both hiking and kayak. Toni was able give me directions to find exactly what I was looking for. Normally I would spend two or three hours driving around, exploring new places I visit, taking notes on where I wanted to return too! Many times I would have to wait years before I th conditions, lighting or atmosphere would be right!. Now I had been to Ukie once prior to this trip when I took a quick look around the weekend I was shooting a wedding in Tofino. I had even driven past the cabins a few times that trip and again yesterday before checking in. Little did I know just around the corner was the road that would take me to the lights house and the Wild Pacific Trail and a place I will never ever forget! Lesson number one Ask A Local!20120328-132053.jpg

Day 3 ended in Nanaimo for a night shoot. The scene in the downtown was just as I had hoped for . The streets were wet and very little traffic. This was one of those places I could spend quite a bit of time shooting. It really did feel like walking on to a movie set.

DAY Four – The trip was planned so that I could shoot each city both in the evenings and in the mornings. Here are a few of my day shots from Nanaimo, I didn’t have to travel far from the downtown, in fact this is a section of the sea wall closets to Commercial. 

Please feel free to post any comments or questions you may have.


2 thoughts on “March Trip to the Island

  1. Nice blog post Peter… I have a similar trip just waiting for a spot on my calendar. I will of course be recording that white noise and everything that is buried in it and hopefully finding some beauty shots for my video camera. Thanks for sharing friend, I can’t wait.

  2. Hey Peter, my girlfriend and I went to the Cabins for spring break and the waves were just as loud and spectacular. I love the Cabins, and it was good seeing Ron again. Such a beautiful place, even in the snow!!!!!

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