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?