by Martin Nichols
So the plan was to head off to the West Coast of Vancouver Island right after Christmas, hole up just outside Tofino with a dozen or so bottles of wine, and watch the rain for four days from the confines of a luxury Chesterman Beach suite equipped with hot tub, king-size bed, leather armchairs, and heated slate floors. And first day out it was all going like clockwork: torrential rain was pretty much relentless from the time we left the Sunshine Coast at around 0730 until we got just past Port Alberni at around lunchtime. At which time everything changed as a freak blizzard suddenly descended out of nowhere, sending dozens of cars fitted with lousy tires and/or nervous drivers gently into the roadside ditches of Highway 4. Half an hour later the snow turned back to heavy rain in a matter of seconds, the road was simply wet again, and we continued to Tofino without further incident, reaching our digs at around 4:30 pm. Mission accomplished...let the rain-watching begin.
It was only some hours later that, wine in hand (probably the second bottle at this point), hot bubbling water lapping at my neck that I saw it, and said to Jules, "Guess what I can see?"
She said, "What?"
I said, "A star...no, cancel that, a lot of stars...it's stopped raining."
"Cool? Cool? Do you know what this means?
What it meant of course is that the sun was going to come up in the morning and I would have to drag my ass out of bed to shoot it. Oh well, price you pay, I suppose.
Top image: Daybreak at Chesterman Beach, Vancouver Island. Below, similar shot, different day, different beach; Cox Bay, about an hour before sunrise...holy cow I can't tell you how cold it was, except that frost actually formed on my equipment bag while I was waiting for the light.
Below: no big storms, but some pretty good wave action here and there; McKenzie Beach on the left, and Cox Bay.
Twilight at Chesterman Beach...simple is usually best.
December? Are you kidding me? Look at that sky. Love this part of the world...you can check out some more of these at the new-look Burning Sand website. Thanks for looking.