Sun and Rain in Tofino

I have a soft spot for Tofino. Sure, it’s foggy (most mornings), it rains (more than 10 feet a year) and it’s not exactly a hot weather beach destination (always pack a toque, even in summer), but there’s something special about this ocean-hugged town.On past Tofino camping trips, I’ve battled tarps blowing off tents, prepared burritos in sideways rain, and peeked into tidepools while desperately clutching a wind-blown umbrella.So when the sun finally does shine, I feel like I’ve earned it.This past summer, a group of friends and I were lucky enough to experience one of those spectacularly sunny days. We surfed, cooked burgers on the beach, watched bald eagles and looked for sea stars and anemones – all under a bright blue sky. It was almost enough to make me forget about the sideways-rain-burrito-incident (almost). The photo above is from the tail end of that blue-sky day, as we tried to find a way to hold on to those final moments of Tofino sunshine. If you’re planning a summer trip to Tofino and the weather forecast is looking rather un-summer-like, here are some wet-weather tips:> Exploring the beach can still be fun on a rainy day, as long as you have good wet weather gear. Umbrellas are tricky to handle when it’s windy, so opt for rain jackets, hats and rubber or waterproof boots.> You can still surf if it’s raining. A wetsuit will keep you warm in the water, regardless of whether the water is in ocean or rain format. If you do surf in wet weather, keep your warm clothes/towels in a plastic storage bin on the beach or in your vehicle. There’s nothing worse than “drying off” with a cold, wet towel. > The Wickaninnish Interpretive Centre is a favourite place of mine to visit on a rainy day. Enjoy a hot chocolate from the neighbouring café and watch the waves.> If you’re camping, bring a couple of tarps. You (or your friends who forgot a tarp) will be thankful you packed them. > It’s foggy most mornings, but don’t despair. The fog often burns off mid-afternoon.

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Taken on December 8, 2008