We were a few hours out of Tofino when the wind picked up. The mellow waters of the fjord lost their shine, developing half a foot high waves that rattled the small aluminum boat and all of our supplies. Sitting on a cooler with enough food, water and beer for two nights, I bounced along as Jeremy piloted the seventeen foot aluminum boat towards the mouth of the fjord. The cold air and increasing waves kept small talk to a minimum.
"How long till we get out of here?" I yelled to Jeremy.
"Yah," I replied nodding towards the mountains on the right.
"15 minutes. It's going to get rough for an hour or so."
I smiled in acknowledgment.
Twenty minutes later, our boat was cutting through five to eight foot ground swell a mile off the coast of Vancouver Island. Dressed head to toe in Gortex, frigid water covered me each time we bounced off the the top of a wave. Keeping my head down, I avoided the bulk of the spray, but this left me blind from anticipating the jolt of larger waves. Every few minutes, a wave shook the boat like a screen door, jaring me from my perch on top of a Coleman cooler. One such wave sent my Wayferes flying, eventually shattering against the gunnel.
After that, I went quite and focused on nothing, the way you do on a long run. Time stands still and speeds ahead at the same time.
A trail to hot springs.
The BC Ferries.
Jeremy and Trevor kickstarting a fire.
A grey whale off the coast of Vancouver.
Jeremy checking the weather forecast.
Equipped to rip.
Trevor at the Harbor.
Sea lion Bonanza.
With a descending whine, Jeremy eased off the throttle and the boat coasted. Looking up from my stopper, Jeremy motioned towards a stretch of ocean just off of a point. Shifting the throttle handel back into reverse, he anounced, "Thats the wave. The tide is still way to high."
"So we made it?" I asked, signaling my relief.
"Yah we are going to camp over in the bay."
"Awesome. I want to get the fuck off this boat. That was brutal."
"Ahh come on" Jeremy said in his Vancouver accent. "Last winter Pete, (Peter Devries a pro surfer from Tofino) and I made the same trip in three times the swell and howling 30 knots."
"I don't doubt that shit, but I'm a land lover. I feel 3 inches shorter."
"Cry about it pro blogger (Jeremy's nickname for me). The winds nice, lets get our camp set up. We'll be able to surf before sunset."
Standing up, I stretched and looked down at cooler. One larger circular dent in the green aluminium correlated with the placement and subsequent jarring of my ass during the ride.
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