Tuesday there was rain in the forecast for Squamish. Finally, my (Erik's) chance to convince the boys of the perfect rain day activity: surfing in Tofino. Here's a few highlights from our trip.
I (Erik) had visited Tofino just two weeks prior to my return trip with the Choss Boys. Before the return trip I had talked so much about Tofino that Daniel and Nick were convinced I had found Shangri-La. I told them about the waves, the water, the trees. I wore a 'Tofino Brew Co.' Hat under sun bleached hair. I told them they must join me for the next visit or miss out on an experience of a lifetime. So I secretly celebrated when I saw 40% chance of rain in the forecast after two weeks straight of sunshine in Squamish. The perfect chance! Not being able to climb in the rain, Tofino would serve as the ideal alternative to climbing during inclement weather.
So on a Monday we were Tofino bound. Ferry line, Pacific Rim Highway, and finally - we were at the end of the road. The Pacific Ocean. I drove with Kate in her '04 Suburu with New Brunswick plates and the boys drove the van over with Nick's friend Seamus, dropping him off in Nanaimo along the way. I hadn't seen them since the ferry and now without cell service on a forest road in Tofino I started to wonder where they were. The next morning my phone buzzed as I dipped into range of a cell tower on the windy road into town. A text message read: "We broke down 17 km from Tofino, come meet us at the cafe." In typical Choss Boys style, this trip was off to a rocky start.
No problem. Meeting at Rhino cafe on the tourist strip of Tofino and hearing Nick and Dan's break-down story energized us to get out there and surf despite the broken van. Fully caffeinated, we stuffed Nick and Dan into the back of the Suburu and headed to the rental shop. Once fully equipped, we headed for Cox Bay with four boards strapped to the roof. The surf report indicated decent surf conditions with a primary swell of 3 ft at 7 seconds and no wind. Decent introductory conditions. Perfect for Nick and Daniel - who had never surfed before - and myself and Kate, unabashed surf newbies.
The first day was blast. With all the energy in the world the four of us smashed through the break and negotiated with the waves to toss us back to shore. There was a heavy shore current pushing us towards the rocky North end of the beach which exhausted us. Kate, after being swallowed by a wave and getting tossed like a cork, emerged with a bruise the size of a dinner plate on her thigh. She retired to the beach with her ukulele as the Choss Boys continued with our cruel and unusual punishment. We all managed to ride some waves in one way or another and finally, depleted after a full six-hour session, we returned to the car utterly defeated.
Kate put on a brave face as the Choss Boys piled into her car along with a bag of soaking wetsuits and booties, in between a mountain of climbing and camping gear, my duffel and backpack of clothes, innumerable bags of snacks and water bottles, four sandy boards strapped to the roof. How can we thank Kate enough for generously carting the Choss Boys around Tofino?
Day 2 in Tofino. A Wednesday. Someone said Justin Trudeau was in town. We headed to Cox Bay again where surf conditions promised 4 ft swell at 8 seconds. Not bad. The sun was shining today and without the fog shrouding the shoreline it looked like an entirely new beach. Paddling out of the breakers proved to be a cinch compared to the first day and the waves much more consistent. With a better understanding of the shore current we started on the Southern end of the beach and slowly drifted Northwards, catching waves along the way. I (Erik) caught the wave of my life, riding it as it peeled behind me, carving without any hurry all the way into the shore break.
With our second day of surf done, we were returned the rental boards and celebrated a successful trip with Tacofino burritos. We copped a quick shower under the frigid rinse station at Long Beach and headed for a beer at Tofino Brew Co, conveniently located next door to the garage where the van (recently dubbed "Wesley") was parked next to a pile of old tires. Another reason to celebrate: the replacement parts for the van would arrive the next day and we'd all be off to Squamish again. It turned out it never did rain in Squamish, but we were glad to have taken the rain days anyways to experience the surf capital of Canada. Tofino: you've won a place in the hearts of the Choss Boys.
And here's something a little extra: a video edit composed by Daniel which captures some of the highlights. Enjoy!
We are Daniel, David, Nick & Erik.
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