Category Archives: Adventures

Adventures / Eat

The quintessential checklist for a quick rendezvous in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

January 5, 2018

Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale

Ocean and Oak

Two best friends, a Florida native and a first-timer, five full days, and a list of must-do’s:

Crush Coronas and people watch at the iconic Elbow Room

Eat brunch at The Floridian on Las Olas Boulevard

Check out the daily catch on Commercial Pier

Scope out surfboards and gear at BC Surf and Sport

Pack a picnic and spend the day at the beach and in the sea

Catch a buzz at Fat Cats

Eat late night pizza at Primanti Brothers

Watch the sunrise from the sand with fresh brewed coffee in hand

It was a short week filled with a lot of laughs, gorgeous weather, a crystal clear ocean, and unbounded bliss.

Writing by Jenn Parker

Photos by Kaitlyn Shea

 

Adventures / Canada / products / stuff we love

Crucial Gear for Fall on Vancouver Island

November 13, 2017

Fall is our favourite time to be on Vancouver Island. The waves pump, the crowds thin out and the weather isn’t totally unbearable. We all know the question; imagine you were deserted on a remote island, what items could you not live without? We have put together our top twelve items for fall on this Island.

  1. Aftanas Sled Round Tail Surfboard—This is my go to board for Vancouver Island; actually this is my go to board for everywhere now. The shaper is a Tofino local and knows the waves really well, and his boards are made for the conditions here.
  2. Filson Dry Bag—This bag has been a lifesaver for me. It keeps my camera dry, as well as anything else that is inside. It’s perfect for the rainy weather on the island.
  3. Billabong Towel Poncho—We do a lot of undressing and dressing in beach parking lots. With this poncho, changing in and out of your wetsuit is easy peasey. Last fall Jenn swore she wouldn’t spend another fall on the island without one.
  4. Arc’teryx Gortex Rain Shell—This jacket will keep you bone dry, which will keep you happy. It rains a lot on this part of the island (it’s a rainforest after all), and there is nothing worse than being soggy and cold.
  5. Hunter Rain Boots—Most rain boots are sloppy and hard to walk in. These ones are slim and comfortable for dog walking and surf checking. They also come in an array of super cute colors, which is also very important.
  6. Patagonia Fleece—The trick to staying dry and warm here is strategic layering. This fleece is the perfect under-the-raincoat layer or outer layer, if it isn’t raining. Patagonia gear is high on our list because they promote sustainability and also back up their products with a lifetime guarantee.
  7. Stanley Thermos—Yes, this thermos is growler size and can be filled with beer at the local Tofino Brewery, which is perfect for post surf beers on the beach. It keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 18 hours, so it can also be filled with tea or whatever other liquid your heart desires.
  8. Salvaje Bikini—Didn’t think you would need a bikini on this chilly island? Guess again. You’ll need one for the post surf hot tub. These bikinis are just our ultimate favourites. Use promo code OCEANANDOAKF&F online for a deal.
  9. Billabong 5/4 Synergy Wetsuit—The water starts to cool down in September and October, so a hooded suit is preferable for those who value coziness. We like Billabong because of the flexibility and comfort; some 5/4’s can be very restricting and hard to paddle in.
  10. Xcel Wetsuit Gloves—As the temperatures drop and the fall swell fills in, gloves become a necessity. We like these ones because they aren’t cumbersome as some others can be.
  11. Xcel Wetsuit Boots—These boots have fleece lining and are super cozy.
  12. Lightspeed Outdoors Waterproof Beach Blanket—This beach blanket is another key item to staying dry. Perfect to sit on for the post surf beer.

If you are coming to Vancouver Island during the fall, we hope this guide will help you out a bit. Stay warm, dry, and happy on the island!

 

Adventures / surf / travel

Vida Baja en VidaSoul

July 18, 2017

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

VidaSoul Hotel East Cape

It had been four months since our last Mexican beer together; four months too long. I traveled north and Kaitlyn traveled south to reunite on the East Cape of Baja in the middle of the desert and the Sea of Cortez. The adventure began in a cube shaped rental car and a drive at dusk down a lonely desert road that was fringed with cacti, the sporadic cluster of skinny cows, and the random landmarks that we were told to look for in order to find our way. The harsh landscape inspired a feeling of lawlessness. It was time for that first Mexican beer. It became apparent upon initial observation that only the determined can survive here, and there is something inherently beautiful about that.

As the arid mountains devoured the last light, we turned left at our final landmark and shortly thereafter we pulled into VidaSoul, a beacon of life in an otherwise seemingly deserted human oasis of private homes. We walked into the bar to find tequila happy guests dancing their last song and a group of determined cows quenching their own thirst in the pool. Our bedroom overlooked the swell saturated sea and gratefully satiated desert souls that depend on the fresh water pool. The cows returned everyday. VidaSoul is an architectural marvel and luxurious haven in what felt like the middle of nowhere. We dropped off our board bags in our room, and then we found our own tequila happiness.

Sleep came easy and fast in our king-sized Tempur-Pedic bed with soft white linens and the lullaby of the Sea of Cortez drawn out into the balmy night. The eager anticipation of waves woke us up before daybreak though. By the time we had finished our first cup of coffee, we had already made friends with a group of surfers from San Diego who were heading out for their last surf. We tagged along and found the wave that we would surf for the entirety of our time on the East Cape. One was even so kind as to let me use his brand new board since mine had sustained some damage during transportation. He helped me to repair it though in time for our sunset surf.

He became part of our tribe for the next three days since he was staying longer than his friends. We met and befriended an inspiring collection of gypsy souls, adventurers, professional campers, cross continental drifters, and free spirited surfers who found what we had soon discovered about life in the desert by the sea. It was like everyone was meant to be there in that exact moment in time. Everyone whom we met possessed the same positivity, minimalist philosophy, and citizen of the world vibe. We became part of something before we even knew that it existed.

Our timing was impeccable. The waves superseded our wildest expectations. We were surfing overhead to double overhead flowy rights that peeled from a coral reef that was teeming with parrotfish and sergeant majors to an inside reef covered in sea urchins. If you caught the right wave in the right place, the dance between you and the sea lasted for hundreds of meters. It didn’t always line up though, which spaced out the thin crowd even more and gave everyone the chance to catch ample waves. Everyone in the water seemed to share the ideology that the waves belonged to no one and everyone. This is how it is supposed to be.

We refueled and recounted our waves over fish tacos for lunch and the most exquisite veggie pasta and margaritas every night for dinner. Antonio and Juan took exceptional care of us from dawn until after dusk. Antonio had a sweet stoic face and the gentlest demeanor. He looked at us like we were his daughters. He reminded us of an old boat captain that we had had a few years ago on a surf trip to Ollie’s Point; determined and sage-like. Juan wore a permanent smile on his face and made sure that we had everything we needed. They were our desert guardians.

It became impossible not to wonder how such a place as VidaSoul came to be all the way out here. How was construction and operation even possible with nothing but sand roads and not even so much as a small food store anywhere nearby? There hadn’t even been any measurable rain in the last six years. Then we met Joan. Joan is the owner of VidaSoul and her son is the visionary architect. While we didn’t have enough time with her to get the complete detailed story, we found out that the initial days of VidaSoul were quite eerie and only possible through impressive determination.

 

It was the middle of August in 2004. I was working out here alone and it was 100 degrees at night, so I had to sleep outside in a hammock. In those years, we didn’t have any storage so the boxes of beer were outside and the burros would come and eat the cardboard. On that night, I cleaned up the kitchen and then went outside to relax in my hammock. It was so hot that I couldn’t sleep. I returned to the kitchen for a snack and realized that the freezer had defrosted and it had fish juice coming out of it. I had to clean it up, but afterward realized that I was covered in the stinky smell of fish. The offensive and potent smell was everywhere. There was no escaping it.

I returned to my hammock and now I couldn’t sleep because I was covered in fish juice. However, I eventually drifted off, but the sleep didn’t last long. I woke up to a very startling sound. I could hear beer bottle rattling and then I saw the burros running away. This was quite curious to me, so I got my flashlight and walked around my camper. I encountered an animal  that was as dark as night standing next to my generator. I shined the light on it, but it didn’t as much as move a hair.

I ran the light down its body and discovered that it had a long tail like a lion. It still never even flinched. I just stood there ten feet away trying to decide what one should do in this type of situation. I slowly backed away from the large cat. Eventually, it slowly sauntered off into the night, but as it did it would occasionally glance back and my light would catch its yellow demon-like eyes glaring back toward me. I finally returned to my hammock. Even though I reeked of fish and might seem like a tempting feast for the wild cat, it was just too hot to go inside of the camper. I then realized that the initial noise that woke me was actually the roaring cry of the cat. It was terrifying.

In the following years, I saw this same cat or a relative of this animal walking up my fence line and then jumping over into the neighbor’s yard on a prowl for a meal or just a drink of water. There was one that even came inside of the building that is now the restaurant before we were occupied and had any doors. The smell of fish must have been initially too inviting to resist, but I am still here to tell the tale.

 

We ended up having to seek refuge on the Pacific coast near Todos Santos from a two day wind storm. It was strange being back in civilization. We surfed a sketchy and sharky feeling point break that was far bigger than it appeared from the shore. The water was cold and a single local was out who told us that we picked a hell of a day to paddle out. We drank warm beers on the beach to warm up after a heart-pounding exit through a heavy and seething backwash shore break as the sun was setting. The call of the East Cape was too strong though and we returned as soon as the wind broke.

Our tribe had dispersed and it was just the two of us now. Our final days at VidaSoul were blissful and every moment, past and present, honored great gratitude. Our journey came to a close as were we driving for one final last surf check. We encountered a lone desert burro walking up the road. We got out of our car and he walked right up to us. His sweetness was the embodiment of this place. He seemed to have relished in the encounter as much as we did. We had our final words and loving contact, and then he turned and walked back into the desert as we turned and left the desert.

Huge Thanks to VidaSoul Hotel for having us

Bikinis & Shorts by  Salvaje Swimwear—use our promo code for 15% off OCEANANDOAKF&F

Writing by Jenn Parker

Photos by Kaitlyn Shea

Photo 10 by Deb Crowell

Photo 11 by Nathan Weldon

 

 

Adventures / travel

Maui and all it’s wonder

May 4, 2017

costa rica photographer

photographer costa rica

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

costa rica photographer

I have been to Maui many times and every time I go back, there is a certain sense of newness. The island itself is incredible with its fields of lava, crystal clear turquoise water, the monstrously huge crator, and hidden waterfalls seemingly everywhere. The feeling of Maui, its spirit, is just as beautiful as the landscape. My mom always says, “If you want to see life with clarity, Maui is the place that it will happen for you”.

We spend our days cruising around the island while stopping to admire each and every view. We take pictures and swims. We race to catch sunsets, laze around on the beach to catch rays, sample new types of poke, and carry around several bikinis in our bags at all times so that we always have a dry one to put on. Life on Maui is pretty simple, and we don’t resist it’s perfect simplicity.

Photos & writing by: Kaitlyn Shea

Clothing (in order of appearance): Wilfred, Eau Paix Vie, Billabong

Adventures / surf

Surf and Rain Showers in Panama

December 20, 2016

There has been but few cessations in the rain in the past twenty-four hours. The weather bands cloak Isla Cebaco before extending their long and dripping hands landward to take hold of the Queen’s beach. In a place like this, all you can do is embrace the holdfast.

The thunder here sounds like the shaking of rusted sheet metal. The air smells of wet dogs, jasmine, and stagnant water. The river is swollen and saturated with driftwood and detritus; it consumes the shallow seas to the west, south, and east. The beach is littered with single shoes, plastic, and cobs of baby corn. There is little movement on the streets; only stray dogs seeking shelter and sympathy. The air and our attitudes are wet with indecision.

This is now. Here is then.

We crossed the peninsula Thursday afternoon after several meaty beach break surfs in Playa Venao and a right point break session to ourselves off the untamed coast of Playa Cambutal. I had my first experience with homemade hojaladres (Panamanian fried dough) in Cambutal as we waited for the right tide. Leon walked to the tienda and bought four eggs for eighty cents and asked the woman at the fonda (equivalent to a soda in Costa Rica or a small, typically family owned and operated restaurant that serves homemade traditional dishes) to cook them for the three of us. We sat in the backyard of a house on a river and ate. Three women were already prepping for lunch at nine o’clock in the morning. The perfume of onions and cilantro wafted through the yard.

The road led us through rivers, past pastures, into bare boned towns, and in peripheral view of the sunset as we arrived in Mariato. We ate rice, lentils, and fried chicken with pineapple and lime chicha (a sugary homemade juice mixed with water) at a fonda with painted gourds hanging from the rafters. We were asleep by 7:30.

Entering the water here felt septic. My hands completely disappeared with each stroke forward. Tiny twigs and decomposing plant matter filled my bikini and tangled into my hair. I spit and flushed my nose after each duck dive. The water felt lifeless and the waves took on a tidal bore-like texture. The sea seemed void of salt. After one set wave, one overhead, open, top to bottom hackable wave, I noticed nothing displeasing.

When your days are heavily centered around the tides and you are staying in a town with no name, the common cure for antsyness is taking unnecessary risks. We decided to try and drive down to the river mouth via the patch soft sand, dry tributary indentations, and driftwood and rock piling topography that separated the shore from the parallel riverbed. Rental car, four-wheel drive, and finger counting the tide, a risk on the mind cancels time.

The river mouth session had the makings of a dirty dream. What looked like nothing turned out to be a peeling perfectly sculpted left point break. It was a rare period of time where I had absolutely nothing on my mind…until a large reptile caught my peripheral eye, then I had crocodiles on my mind as I made the long paddle back to the take-off spot alone. In that seemingly lifeless shoreline, I think the sea turtle appreciated our company.

That was the last surf before the great storm. The sky unzipped with such force that I’m afraid that the zipper might have broken, as all of my zippers seem to do somehow. We drank beers, ate soup, watched Jaws with subpar Internet from a hammock, and still felt no relief from the overbearing weight of October. With the certain uncertainty of the season comes the opportunity to practice patience. We are but bystanders in the wake of natural forces that are beyond our control. We did have a car though.

There’s a frustrating and inexplicable art of decision making in a triad of indecisives. However, the morning monsoon graced us with a decisive decision. We drove north to head west to end south in Santa Catalina with pessimistic weather and optimistic minds. The sky can’t cry forever. The wind will eventually tire of blowing onshore. And, when it’s least expected that one wave will start the show. Until then, we sit and stare at the sea.

Written by Jenn Parker

Photos by Jenn Parker

Adventures

Mountain Valley Mornings

April 7, 2016

Returning to Canada is always something I look forward to, and even more so this year because I would be spending my birthday weekend in the mountains with my sister. The day of my birthday, we woke up before the sun rose, put on our bikinis underneath our clothes and headed out to one of our favourite spots. We would be spending the day at a natural hot springs at the end of a lonely logging road.

Photographer in Tofino

photographer in Tofino

photographer in Tofino

photographer in Tofino

photographer in Tofino

photographer in Tofino

photographer in Tofino

Photos & Writing: Kaitlyn Shea

Bikini by: Moana (we love you)

 

Adventures / surf / travel

A week on Oahu with the Poke Squad.

December 1, 2015

ocean and oak hawaii

ocean and oak hawaii

ocean and oak hawaii

ocean and oak hawaii

ocean and oak hawaii

ocean and oak hawaii

ocean and oak hawaii

One of my great friends moved away from Costa Rica this past April. It was a little bit sad, as it meant I wouldn’t be able to see her and surf with her as frequently. The only saving grace that enabled me to see past the aspect of losing a very cherished local girlfriend was that she was moving to Hawaii, an island paradise with tropical weather and beautiful waves.

My recent visit to Oahu was the ideal version of a brief week long vacation. We surfed every morning, hiked most afternoons, and ate fresh poke and açai bowls in between. Niki lives in Honolulu, so we hungout and caught waves in the city for the first couple of days before heading up to the North Shore. Winter swells had not yet arrived so all of the waves were fairly playful and perfect everywhere we went. This being said we still managed to break two boards.

One morning we took a boat trip with Hawaii Shark Encounters to swim with Galapagos and sand sharks. It was so cool to observe these creatures in crystal clear water right off the coast. I had never seen sharks up close and personal, so it was a definitely a highlight for me that morning to watch them swim so gracefully.

After a week of surfing peeling reef breaks, swimming with sharks, and eating my favorite Hawaiian foods, I said seeya later to island life and gave Niki a huge seeya later hug. Mahalo Niki & Oahu for a dreamy week of island bliss!

Writing & Photos by: Kaitlyn Shea

 

Adventures / Eat / stay / surf

Turning it Up in Tofino

November 7, 2015

ocean and oak Tofino

Ocean and Oak Tofino

Ocean and Oak Tofino

Ocean and Oak Tofino

Ocean and Oak Tofino

Ocean and Oak Tofino

Ocean and Oak Tofino

It’s good for the soul to sleep on the ground every now and then; go back to the basics and wake up to the cackle of black crows and a dew drenched earth. We joyfully endured two days of rustic beach camping on Mackenzie Beach during our five day stay in Tofino. We slept between the sand and the stars. The song of the sea was unceasing, and set the mood for our stay. Soft ethereal fog rolled in from the ocean and was met by night old campfire smoke that permeated the dense tree line each morning. The collusion has a mystical effect, and made that first cup of coffee feel dreamy, even though insta-coffee is anything but dreamy.

Fortunately, there were plenty of coffee houses in town to fire us up for the cold surf. The Pacific Rim is rugged and rich with waves. This slice of the world is wild and unpredictable, but where there were waves, we found them. Kaitlyn knew all, the right spots to check. Suited up in 4/3mm wetsuits, we were a formidable match for the 57 F water and the waves that Long Beach threw our way for two days. We spent our days walking endless beaches with Nugget and surfing the un-crowded peaks off the rock at Long Beach. We spent our nights staying warm next to the fires we built, eating havarti and mayo sandwiches, and drinking local brews. Sweet, simple, and highly satisfying, the way life should be.

Oftentimes, timing is everything. Gale force winds tested our tent assembly skills to the maximum late Saturday night and into the morning. Needless to say, it was a restless last night of camping as we lay waiting for our tent to take off with us in it. We couldn’t have been more ready to pack up our site and to check into our honey combed shaped cabin at Ocean Village later that afternoon. In the meantime, we sought refuge at Florencia Bay, which was protected from the wind. We slept in the sun baked sand until the middle of the afternoon.

Checking into Ocean Village was like a hug. Our little cabin suited us perfectly. We immediately felt warmth and coziness, like a home, our home. We had a full kitchen, an ocean view, and yellow crate with everything needed to build a beach bonfire. We drove into town for a few provisions, including sparkling rosé, and spent the rest of our evening on the beach, under the star saturated sky, and next to our crackling fire. It was a night full of laughter and reflections.

The next day will always remain as the sweetest of reveries. We made bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches, and then Kaitlyn took me wetsuit shopping; it was time to get my own gear. I might have found the last 4/3 mm in the Pacific North Rim. All of the shops were already preparing for winter. I bought the suit that I swore was designed specifically for my body, and also a pair of booties and gloves. After a quick dirty chai, we decided to check the surf at Wickaninnish. This is Kaitlyn’s favorite beach on the island, and it quickly became mine too.

The rainy weather brought glassy conditions and offshore winds. There was also a nice little bump in the swell. The water temperature dropped into the low 50’s, but we felt tropical. The sea was emerald green and crystal clear, and the waves were firing. Being out there was invigorating! These are the types of moments when nothing is as good as the present. We surfed for so long that our bones finally became chilled. We stripped down to our bikinis in the parking lot and rode home with the heat blasting, seat warmers on, and beaming with the type of euphoric happiness that all surfers know. The only logical thing we could think to do next was to celebrate.

After long hot showers, a cup of tea, and a beach walk with Nugget, we went out to dinner at the Wolf In The Fog. We shared a bottle of DMZ chardonnay and ate the most unique and decadent creations. We had oysters wrapped in shoe string potatoes over avocado, smoked steelhead trout with roasted beets and mixed micro greens, and perfectly grilled squid. It was the kind of food that makes you laugh when you eat it. Seafood on the island is as fresh as it gets, and such a sweet gift from the wild Pacific. Wine buzzed and satiated, we decided to have sarpe(s) at Shelter. It was a rosy cheeked kind of evening.

Our last day of surf was the best day of surf. We returned to Wickaninnish. It was the coldest day, but we were geared up and eager to get in the water. We shared, just the two of us, a perfect A-framed peak, and surfed until the cold eventually got the best of us, over two hours later. The lefts and rights were long, open, and consistent. The combination of wave adrenaline, the brain freeze-like rush of duck diving, and the savage beauty of the land and seascape, produced an instantly addicting and long lasting high. We savored that last surf.

We returned to Reef Point in Ucluelet for our last night. We drank cold beers in our hot tub, as our wetsuits hung to dry. We reflected on our adventure, and began thinking about when we would return together again. It was hard to say goodbye to a place that now holds a piece of both of our hearts.

Written by: Jenn Parker

Photos by: Kaitlyn Shea

Big thanks to Ocean Village for having us!

Adventures / stay / travel

Unwinding in Ucluelet

October 21, 2015

 

Reef Point Cottages, Ucluelet

photographer in Tamarindo

photographer in Tamarindo

photographer in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

photographer in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

photographer in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

photographer in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

photographer in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

photographer in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

Reef Point Cottages, Ucluelet

Reef Point Cottages, Ucluelet

Photographer in Tamarindo, Costa Rica

For the past year, Kaitlyn had been telling me about this magical island off the coast of British Columbia. She shared with me her past experiences of camping, exploring, and surfing the rugged northwest coast. She described a place of such beauty and mysticism. She planted the seed that took over both of our minds until we finally decided to meet there in the middle of September. What she would share with me, and ultimately, what we would share together was something special and for the books. After almost two months apart, Vancouver Island became the perfect meeting place.

Kaitlyn, Nugget, and I met in Vancouver after all crossing vast distances to get to each other. We caught the ferry to Vancouver Island early the next morning. This is when months of anticipation became a reality. The morning was cool and misty, and the air felt heavy with salt and sleepiness. The adventure had truly begun as we said goodbye to the mainland and hello to island life for the next eight days.

We drove northwest for three hours to the town of Ucluelet. The entire drive was picturesque. The road was winding and lonely. Ancient sky high pines induced vertigo and an optical illusion like a flip book. A deep yearning for running barefoot on the top of the moistened moss floor captured the imagination and the nostalgic voice of childhood. We drove with the windows down, and the pristine cool air swirled happily in our nostrils. We were lost in a peaceful trance as we found our way to Ucluelet.

We pulled up to Reef Point Cottages in the early foggy afternoon where we were greeted warmly by the receptionist and the icy blue eyed office cat. Our cottage was outfitted with a private hot tub on a wooden deck, a grill, a well stocked kitchen, and a big enveloping bed. There was even a little doggie set up for Nugget when we arrived: bones, doggy bags, and towels just for him. You know a place is amazing when it is this dog friendly. It is easy to imagine living in a place like this.

The next two days were filled with simple pleasures like long beach walks through thick dancing fog, exploring tidal rocks that were breathing with purple and orange starfish, black and brown mussels, and neon green sea anemones, and warming our souls with dirty chai lattes from Barkley Cafe. Since the wind was onshore and the sea was stormy those first two days, we spent a lot of time in the protective embrace of the rainforest. We hiked by way of mist soggy wooden plank paths into the heart and sacred wisdom of sage old, moss covered primary forest. There is something about being in the presence of such beautiful giants that aligns one’s prospective. The trees shared their breath with us, and the effect was cleansing and rejuvenating. We felt like the little girl versions of ourselves, and it was magical.

On the way back to our cottage, we stopped at Fishfull Thinking and bought fresh, island caught wild salmon. Kaitlyn prepared the fish using her father’s recipe of sriracha mayo, and capers, and put it on the grill. The taste was exquisite! The salmon was rich and melted in our mouths. As I am sitting here writing this now on the other side of the world, I am craving that taste. All salmon, and for that matter, all fish should be wild and hand caught. The island struggles to keep out farm fisheries, which are highly destructive to the environment and native fish populations.

Between the hours spent walking the beaches and forests of Ucluelet, eating the freshest seafood, and relaxing at the end of the day in the hot tub, we slept deeply and woke both mornings feeling on top of the world. This place has a kind of special power. We were sad to leave Reef Point, but totally revived and ready to continue our adventure. We packed up the car, gave the left over salmon (washed off, of course) to one of the Reef Point kitties that visited us the night before, and headed off with the windows down and the music up to Tofino.

Song of the trip: Lose Your Mind by So many Wizards.

Thank you so very much for having us at your adorable cottages Reef Point Cottages!

Photos by: Kaitlyn Shea

Writing and Photo #9 by: Jenn Parker