Tuesday, May 24, 2011

friends and anemones.

The ocean has got to be the most spectacular and magical thing on this earth. It's an underwater world of which we barely get to scratch the surface of. It's mysterious and strong, and I was just lucky enough to catch a glimpse of it this long weekend in Tofino.
Top: Surfing at Chesterman's Beach, Bryce, Teresa and Ben. Also, the crew skim boarding. The bottom photo was taken at Long Beach, a 10-mile long beach that is absolute paradise.
Ben and I camped for the weekend at Bella Pacifica Campground with some friends, and spent every hour of the day on the beach, myself completely mesmerized. On Saturday, I zipped up my wetsuit and took in some lessons from our friend Teresa on surfing at Chesterman Beach. I'm weak, the ocean is strong, and 15 minutes was all I could take. It was incredible though to feel the fast speed of the waves as they break. Next time I'll have to better prepare for the energy it takes to "paddle, paddle, paddle."

The following day we made out way to South Chestermans, where I walked along the beach to Frank Island for some exploring. The tide was just coming in and I was able to get to the rocky shore where sea creatures of all sorts reside. Sea anemones, sea stars, fish and clams.
The Green Surf Anemone (top and bottom). I'm not sure if the creature in the middle is an anemone. The anemone is a predator and eats all sorts, including a hermit crab (about to be eaten on the bottom).
 There was also hundreds of mussels attached to these rocks on Frank Island. The mussels emit strong byssus threads that harden upon contact with sea water and thus are able to attach securely to the rock. They call a collective of mussels such as the ones below "mussel beds."

The little sea animals are so intricate in both their colour and their design, as you can see below of the shells, the sand dollar and the purple shore crab. Shells offer up shelter for animals like hermit crabs, and the sand dollar is worth nothing in Canadian dollar exchange. This little crab was hidden under the first rock I overturned, and was the only crab I saw the entire weekend.

Shells, sand dollars (which are actually herbivores that have spines to move along the sand) and my friendly baby purple shore crab.
 My favourite thing to do at the ocean, which is evident in my photos, is to take my camera and just explore. I feel there is so much to discover in doing that, and my favourite discovery was the sea stars. Below you see the Ochre Sea Star in orange and purple. They feel hard to the touch and are just one of many species of sea stars. Another one we commonly saw (and held) was the sunflower sea star.

Unfortunately three days during the long weekend was not sufficient enough to see the sea on Vancouver Island. Thus, there is no other solution than to go back and stay longer the next time.Visit, meet new friends and see for yourself how incredible the ocean really is.


  1. Tofino's shores are reminiscent of Joe's class on Coastal morphology. You probably spotted tombolos, headlands, sea caves, platforms, etc...

    Oh, and GO CANUCKS!!

  2. VERY true first sentence! Beautiful photos as well:)


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