SURFS UP AND SO ARE THE STORMS

We’ve had many wind storms this winter so far! Hardly a sunny day to poke about. If your not into the rain,best to stay home with your book by the fire.

Tofino has become Canada’s hot spot for surfing! The best in the world flock to our small hamlet! One thing that’s very different here is the water temperature! To keep reasonably warm everybody wears a thick neoprene surf suit.

Only experienced surfers need apply during the winters storms!

FRANK ISLAND SUNSET VISTAS

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Frank island is a small island on Chestermans beach.Chestermans beach is Tofino’s premier beach! Many think Long beach is but I prefer Chesty.

Chesty is in the shape of a “L” & about a mile long.Frank island is located right at the bottom corner of that “L”.You can only get to it at low tide & yes, many a tourist have gotten a soaker getting caught out there!

I come prepared.If I know the tide will be coming in I take my hip waders with me.I’ve seen many people follow me out only to run away when the first wave makes them do the Chesty hop!

Frank island unfortunately was allowed to be divided into two properties. Hanns & Tony own the two lots. Neither of them live there on a permanent basis. Tourists are constantly walking around the island even though there are signs saying private island.It drives Tony crazy chasing the tourists away!

They both allow me to walk around.I generally send them shots to pay for my visits.

Frank & Frieda are the resident eagles.I do not know them very well.They tolerate my presence. I walked around the island once & found a unusual feature near their nest tree.On the ground I found something odd.It looked like somebody had taken a rake & raked the earth hard enough to create deep furrows.I speculate that this was done by both Frank & Frieda to keep their talons sharp.The way you put a pencil into a pencil sharpener would be the same thing for them with the earth & their talons! Never seen that before.

During the winter we get lots of rain here in Tofino.I like going out to Chestermans beach after a good 7 day soaker.I need to line my ducks up for this kind of shoot. The low tide needs to be happening near sunset.If its high tide I won’t have any beach.I need as much of the beach surface to act like a mirror. All that rain bleeds off the earth onto the beach.This makes a great reflective surface.Than I need GREAT clouds! Clouds really add icing to the cake! They can make or break a great shot!

So to sum up,low tide,great clouds,lots of rain followed by a break & all of these need to happen at or around sunset! Those are perfect ingredients for a perfect sunset beach shot!

 

SUNSET STORM

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If you assume 81 years as being the average life expectance (Canada) & obviously with there being 365 days in each year (ignoring leap years of course because we’re just doing a rough calculation here)…than that means each person would of lived 29,565 days.

The reason I bring this up is because I’ve realized something about light.If you could photograph the same object each day for 29,565 days you would notice that each photograph,each days light, is unique & always different. True,some days might look the same but I think there would still be differences.

I’ve photographed this exact angle thousands of times.You can click onto the “Lennard Island Lighthouse” category & find hundreds of shots taken from this spot. You’ll find each one different even though the subject is the same.Because of the clouds,the light,the waves etc,each shot is different. Like a finger print,each days light is unique.

A TOFINO SUNSET

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October in Tofino has been unusually rainy ……………even for us! I went for a bike ride/walk on Chestermans today.I think I ran into three people.You can always tell how bad the storm is by the number of people you run into out on the beach. I’ve been out there in raging winds & hard rain with nobody else ,but If you go during a warm summer day,there are several hundred out there.So I use what I call the “Tofino”Scale to determine how large a storm is.There is the “Richter” scale for earthquakes,the “Beaufort” scale for wind strength & the “Fujita”scale for Tornados. I use the “Tofino” scale to determine how bad a storm is.

The “Tofino” scale uses the number of people found on the beach by me during a average walk. A number of 500 is considered a very excellent day to be out & about,while a number of 0 means a very bad storm. (500-0,excellent to bad) Today was a three.

So I’ve decided to repost a couple of shots I took. I shot these on April 27th/09.What your seeing is a rainstorm with the setting sun in behind.All colours are original & have not been altered.

& SO …….STORM SEASON BEGINS!

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We get some of the nastiest storms I’ve ever encountered! The wind storms whip the waves up into a froth.All one can do is hunker down & of course make sure you have candles,flashlight,batteries & food that can be cooked on the BBQ!

I also have a generator.I can power up my computer & see where the tree came down that took out the power & how long it’ll take to repair. Being prepared is a prequisite!

BEACH REFLECTIONS

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The only time I can get great reflective beach shots is during winter. As you know,we get a lot of rain during the winter. Sometimes we get a break in between these storm systems & the sun shines. It has to be low tide as well near sunset. All that rain drains from the land to the beach.With it being low tide,there are these large flat areas.The water coats these areas & makes a fantastic reflective surface!

Having some cool clouds always helps as well!

POOR CANOEING WEATHER!

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The storm season is upon us! We have 6 frontal systems lining up like 747’s coming in for a landing! Plenty of rain & wind to go around for everyone.The wildlife tends to hunker down when they come ashore.Might not be able to get out for at least a weeks time? Tis the season of boredom!

WEST COAST WIND STORM

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The wind has been strong the last few days. Whenever it gets that way,I stay in. I saw a clearing coming on the satellite & thought I’d go out to the beach & wait for the light?
I waited about a hour & a half. The light came out yes,but briefly at best! These shots show how dramatically the light was changing. I shot all of these within 60 minutes of each other.
Always a mix bag when stormy weather moves in!

EARLY WIND STORM

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We got a early reminder of whats to come this Winter. A strong wind storm battered the west coast today. The storm uprooted many trees! Everyone was wondering why so many trees were damaged? We normally get these strong winds in Winter after all the leaves have fallen. Because the leaves acted like tiny little sails,the entire tree took on a greater than normal load pressure from the strong winds! So the trees couldn’t withstand this huge load pressure & went over!
Power was knocked out in many parts of the coast, but Tofino was spared.