Catching the Wave

Catch the Wave of your dreams and ride it until it breaks.

I have paddled many times on the west coast of Vancouver Island in the past decade or so. Though the beaches I have landed upon are familiar territory the landscapes of them are never the same twice. Tide, wind, and winter storms shape these places birthing them seasonally. In the spring it is the most evident that a birthing had taken place over the wet winter months. Silent in the changes a log that was once half-buried the summer before has gone out to sea or moved along the beach for a year of new perspectives and a refreshed view of the water.

On a week spent on one such beach I was gifted to witness the changes, daily during days and nights of winds and heavy rainfall that drummed on my kayak deck in the faint early morning when I could not sleep and opted instead to brew coffee under the tarps. Sand shifting and exposing treasures such as urchin remains, beach combing treats and a few bottle caps. The tidal creek that ran parallel to the shore widened and virtually vanished over a two-day period, only to reappear the morning we decided to take advantage of a window and skeedaddle home.

I never regretted the sudden stop in out journey and eventual cancellation of our route due to ongoing Mother Nature’s fury. It played to my kayaking aesthetic of paddling to a place and taking the time to soak it in. Well, I was soaked most of the time but enjoyed the feral nature of where I was, and how simply life can become at that stage on a far-flung beach.

Morning surf rolling in at WhiteSands Beach, Flores Island, Clayoquot Sound BC.Photo by Dave Barnes

Morning surf rolling in at WhiteSands Beach, Flores Island, Clayoquot Sound BC.
Photo by Dave Barnes

The flip-side of that week was ten-days of glorious sunshine only once interrupted with an evening of drizzle, and then back to sunshine. The paddling was incredible and we revelled in our luck to land on a surf beach, intact and relatively dry for once. Coming from sheltered waters practice in surf was impossible so each of us found our own way in. That afternoon we sat in hot sand, watching a calm sea swells meander by without a thought to us. The next morning I was again first to rise, restless from my tent and making a brew under blue skies and sand bathing the skin between my toes. I walked the beach with my camera (analog if you can believe it) and a spilling mug of coffee. I planted myself in the wet pavement-hard sand as the tide receded away from our camp. There I patiently waited for the wave of my dreams to wrap itself on the sand with a thunderous noise. I took several images not knowing for certain as it was film not jpg, and there was no instant gratification verification of photographic success. A week later I sifted though the photos of that trip and lo and behold, the wave of my dreams rolled towards me, frozen in time.

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