Wednesday, July 18, 2007
The Cadillac VAN ISLE 360 was about ready to commence as Diana and I arrived at Amphitrite Point Lightstation this morning. Forty-one of the forty-two sailboats were milling about atop the relatively calm water, their captains anxiously awaiting the signal blasts that would come from just behind where we stood. The final starting signal was preceded by three separate air horn blasts: a ten-minute warning horn, followed by a five-minute warning and then a one-minute warning blast. The morning was perfect for the many spectators to witness the start, and at 10:00am sharp, off they went – well, slowly, because there was hardly any wind blowing.
Before driving toward Tofino, we stopped for a bit of gift & souvenir shopping. There were so many nice things! You’ll just have to visit this place and see for yourself!
After the shopping, enroute to the Rain Forest Walk, we stopped to see the passionate people surfing at Incinerator Rock. The day was nice and warm, but the water was not.
A few minutes past Incinerator Rock, the lush, emerald forest engulfed us and Diana and I entered a tranquil world all our own. Although close to the busy highway, no sound from it reached our ears. Along the deeply shaded pathway, we stood beside a tree that had been a seedling in the year 1271AD - when Marco Polo was trekking for China! Sporting my “old” 47 years of life, I felt rather insignificant indeed standing beside this 736 year-old! As I left the world of moss-covered, towering giants, I felt I had just walked out of the pages of history, having had the privilege of taking a brief glimpse into the distant past. To think what those ancient trees had lived through!
Once back in 2007, Diana and I returned to Florencia beach and down the 75 wooden stairs to the waiting sand. The tide was out a little more than it had been on our last visit, but the incoming swells had diminished in height and were much less noisy. Again we enjoyed the wonders and marvels of the inter-tidal region as gentle crested waves broke into a chorus of white froth over the cream-coloured sand. It was good to get our feet wet again and to stroll hand in hand.
About 8:30pm, we finally pulled ourselves away from the peace-giving sand and surf. For the final time, we reluctantly climbed the stout, wooden staircase to the wooden pathway that led to the parking area. A two-minute drive got us to the Wickininnish Beach Restaurant where we enjoyed an elegant desert at a window table. As the warm sun was trying to set, we gazed out at the handful of devoted surfers, still cavorting it the surf. What an awesome view at the end of a gorgeous day!