In early October my wife and I decided to visit Ucluelet, BC. It had been too many years since I made a visit to the ‘real’ west coast of BC. I forgot how beautiful and how close it is. From Vancouver it is only 200Km plus a 1.5 hour ferry ride. The weather was truly amazing, it was unseasonably warm for October and we made the most of it. At night it got quite cold but during the day it was in the mid 20’s and sunny. I wore shorts, t shirt, and sandals, we couldn’t ask for better weather.
On the way to Ucluelet, we stopped at a river to let the dogs have a break and enjoy some time out of the truck. Cedric immediately ran into the water and started to pull out sticks.
Jammie almost took our her eye by running through the forest.
Then she did her best impression of a wolverine.
We also stopped along one of my favorite spots along the drive. Here the river (I can’t remember the name, if anyone can help please post in the comments) cuts into the bedrock leaving deep green pools and amazing formations. It is a busy spot in the summer, but now there was almost no one there.
Once we arrived in Ucluelet, we went to our condo which was fantastic. Located right on Big Beach and near the Black Rock Ucluelet Resort facing west for a fantastic sunset view.
Upstairs, Katie immediately took advantage of the chaise to relax.
I also managed to lure a resident blue jay in for a photo with some crackers.
Our condo from the front.
The first night we were there, we were treated to a beautiful sunset. I find that sunsets over the open ocean are often amazing and I have seen them from several spots in the world. With no obstructions and a completely flat horizon you have the most vibrant colors.
A few minutes later. The contrast between blue and orange is great.
Katie and I spent a lot of time at Florencia Bay, it was a 20 minute walk to get there but we usually had the beach to ourselves. It is a nice walk through the forest and we saw a ton of different types of mushrooms so we dubbed Ucluelet the ‘mushroom capital of BC’. Here are a few of them.
These are some of the best mushrooms to eat, I grew up collecting these with my family. Common name is the Saffron milk cap (genus: Lactarius).
No idea what this is, but looks like fungus so I’m throwing it in. If anyone can help identify it please post in the comments.
There were more, but I would just fill up this post mushroom photos. At the trail head to Florencia Bay, there was a funny sign. I guess you if you are going to deface a sign you have to do it right and in both languages.
Once on the beach, the dogs could run around and we could walk for ages and not see anyone else. There was bull kelp all over the place and the dogs loved to play with it.
I also found that it was hard to take a good photo of the waves.
The second night, I decided to venture out on the rocks at Big Beach for some sunset photos.
Also took a long exposure shot using a neutral density filter. I definitely need more practice with this, but it does give the water an interesting texture.
On my way back to the condo, I saw a couple of black tailed deer in the parking lot of the condo complex. They didn’t seem to be too scared so I watched them for a few minutes.
One morning, I decided to try and photograph a sunrise instead of a sunset. I went to the lighthouse at the south end of the peninsula, it’s near the Tofino MCTS Centre but it’s actually in Ucluelet (go figure). This was taken just before the sun came up over the horizon. I was the only one there, very peaceful and quiet.
Shortly after the sun came up over the horizon.
Soon after the sun came up, another photographer joined me and said he could see a whale off shore. After a few minutes of looking, I did see a humpback whale breaching in the distance. I tried to get some photos, but it was just too far away to get a decent shot. Not long after this sighting, a gray whale came cruising by much closer to shore. Having seen two whales that day, I decided to check into a whale watching tour.
On the way to Tofino, we stopped at Long Beach. It was a foggy morning so we didn’t stay long. I think other beaches in the area are much nicer but this is popular with the surf crowd.
Katie and I decided to go out with a tour company in Tofino. We did try to find a humpback but were unable to do so. However, we did get very close to two gray whales feeding. A great experience.
Two gray whale spouts.
A rainbow created by the spout of a gray whale.
Considering how big these animals are, they are very graceful in the water. Even the giant tail fluke barely makes a splash as it sinks below the surface.
One more walk on the beach, here Katie is enjoying the sunshine and solitude with the dogs. It turned out to be one of my favorite photos from the trip.
We had a beautiful sunset every night we were there but the last one was the best. Clouds always make a sunset more interesting and colorful, this one was taken from our condo.