Dec 12, 2006

TOFINO, B.C. – Winds of 30 mph froth the ocean, skittering cotton-candy-size chunks of foam. Breakers rear back, colliding with the next set like an SUV pile-up.

"Welcome to the wild Pacific Rim," I shout to my colleague as we struggle to stand on the beach. "There's nothing out there except Hawaii and Japan and Australia."

The photographer, Karen Ducey, shakes her head and points. "Surfers!"

Tofino – halfway up Vancouver Island's west coast –- is one of the world's premier cold-water surf sites. Squeezed into wetsuits, hoods and booties, the locals ride year-round. Even during a winter storm surge.

We'd traveled a day north to join them. But we didn't factor in the ferocity of December 2006. After all, who did?

Read the full Seattle Post-Intelligencer story...


  1. Awesome story, Amanda. But sorry you didn't get a chance to get into the water with a board.

    The last time work sent me to Victoria, I had wanted to get a surf lesson up in Tofino but couldn't get the logistics to work. After reading your article, I think I'm going to have to give it another try (though maybe not in December) ...

  2. Anonymous9:33 AM

    Loved the article.
    The storm photography must have been a gold mine.
    Nice photo of you.
    Passport in bag leaving to do a whisky piece, this sould be fun!

  3. DB, Tofino's quite a haul from Victoria still (5-6 hours), so I'm not surprised you had schedule troubles.

    "Surftember" is the best time, apparently: the larger waves start to pile in, but the weather's warm and clear on the whole.

    Hope you make it out there. Tofino is fantastic.

  4. IG: Are you sure it doesn't look like I'm chewing on the 400mm?

    Enjoy the whisky reporting. Drink a hot toddy for me (I'm feeling a bit poorly). Hugs, Ax.