By Thomas Roy, Capilano University Outdoor Wilderness Leadership student and Mountain Life intern
Before the boom of tourists hits the west coast of Vancouver Island for the summertime, Tofino is an exposed place. The weather changes rapidly and can include high winds, persistent heavy rain and large ocean swells. When the sunshine does appear it is accompanied by cold northern winds. This is the environment that our group worked through for ten days as we aimed to achieve our Assistant Overnight Guiding Certificates for Sea Kayaking in BC. As the days passed we became efficient at setting up camp, reading charts, and interpreting the technical V.H.F marine weather reports. More importantly we developed a mental toughness that can only be achieved from putting on a cold wetsuit each morning, and entering a damp sleeping bag each night. The reality of how dangerously cold the Pacific Ocean can be came when a member became moderately hypothermic during a rescue drill. Despite some hardships it was an unforgettable trip. Our crew landed and camped on a sandy island so small that it seemed like one big wave could devour it whole. We spent one afternoon surfing storm waves in the pouring rain, adrenaline propelling us for hours. Collectively we witnessed some spectacular sunsets; we shared meals, had a lot of laughs, and in the process of our journey became capable kayak leaders.
Film shot and edited by Gavin Williams, Capilano University Outdoor Wilderness Leadership student and Mountain Life intern