Schooner’s Cove, 15km south of Tofino, is one of my favourite places to visit at low tide… in fact, low tide is theonlytime you can truly explore it as it’s cut off from beach access points and hike-in trails at high tide, with an almost impenetrable wall of rainforest guarding its rear flank from interlopers and escapees. Anyone who visits this very, very special place needs to be up on the tide schedule, which changes, both in height and timing, dramatically each day. Here’s a link to the Government of Canada’s tide schedule for the area. Don’t be cavalier about it… promise me!
This visit, going there in daylight, and at low tide, meant getting up pretty early and being at the trail head at 8am. It begins with a short hike down an incredible boardwalk trail, making experiencing the rainforest of the area deceptively easy with its staircases, hand rails and perfect pathways that twist and turn over the bogs and streams as it makes its way from the road down to the beach.
This landscape beckons you to explore! But set an alarm, because you’ll lose yourself in this marine world, and the tide can quickly creep in behind you, stranding you.
I find barnacles fascinating… a crustacean (not a mollusk as some think), they are more closely related to lobsters and crabs. So they do move themselves around (many think they grow there in place, because they are impossible to budge). They glue themselves to surfaces where the particles they like to eat float by when the intertidal zone is covered in water. They have a door, of sorts, that they can open (to feed) or clamp shut (to protect themselves from the elements or predators). And one other fun fact? They are hermaphrodites….so each one is both male and female!
Every time I go to Tofino, I come back to this place. Perched at the upper end of Long Beach, it is a spectacular hidden gem. There, time and the tide won’t wait for you. (Always remember that!) But I don’t mind…. I really enjoy following nature’s rhythm.
For more experiences of our 2017 Trip to Tofino, go here….And check out more hikes from Canada and our adventures around the world here.
Trekking up a mountain’s shoulder, hiking through a flowering alpine meadow, snowshoeing through a dense pine forest, or taking in the 360 degree views from a ridge top vantage point make me feel alive. The experiences in these places give me a profound sense of space and place.
Travel does a similar thing, pushing me out of my comfort zone, exposing me to new experiences, new people and new ways of thinking; it also gives me that sense of space and place in this world.
I believe that life is lived in the contrasts: when you experience simplicity and complexity and life's ups and downs, whether they be physically in this world or mentally in your own personal inner landscape, you know that you are truly living.
The bigger they are, the more there is to explore!
Yep, those tides can be tricky and vary from the tables place to place. If you think barnacles are cool, you should see an acorn barnacle feeding underwater. They have a fan like hand they stick out and scoop those passing particles.
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That would be amazing to see underwater, with them. I’ve seen them in the huge tanks at the Vancouver Aquarium. There’s a cave that you can access, only at low tide at the north end of Chesterman Beach that has so many of them on its ceiling. All closed up they look very, very strange.
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