top of page
  • Writer's pictureRuth Mcbride

Not such a charming day....

I’m running out of time to get ready for our 8:30pm dinner at the renowned ‘1909 Kitchen’ in Tofino! Paul Moran, the chef at 1909 Kitchen won the 2019 ‘Top Chef Canada’. The restaurant is named after the year Tofino’s first post office opened, and the oceanfront restaurant serves an ingredient-driven menu, sourced and foraged from Tofino’s oceans, shoreline and forests. If you bring your day’s catch in, the chef will prepare and cook it for you in their 1000 degree wood fired Mugnaini oven. We are really looking forward to tonight’s dinner.

Outside 1909 Kitchen, Tofino.

Inside 1909 Kitchen, Tofino. We were originally going to go to 1909 tomorrow for my 60th birthday, but we were advised that we would have a nicer view at Long-beach Lodge Resort. So we are going to Long-beach tomorrow and 1909 tonight!

We had horrible weather today! As good as the weather turned out yesterday, it was as bad as it could be today. It definitely was not a charming day in Tofino today!! Lots of rain, wind, and cool 4C weather to contend with. We had wanted to walk a few beaches, but the rain was pelting our faces and it was more like torture, than enjoyable, so we snapped a few pictures from different beaches and went back to the condo for lunch.

While we were driving out to our first beach this morning we did stop at an interesting spot called Radar Hill.

View...or lack thereof from Radar Hill.

Radar Hill was established in WW2 and used throughout the Cold War as part of a line of radar installations across the U.S. and Canada watching for threats of long-range bombers. On a clear day the views are spectacular over the Pacific Ocean, Clayoquot Sound, Tofino Inlet and the majestic northern mountains. Today the view was not so great, as you can see from the photo.

At the top of Radar Hill there is a memorial called the Kap’Yong Memorial in honour of the 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry which served during the Korean War.

After leaving Radar Hill we drove over to Wickaninnish Beach. It looked like the sun was trying to come out, so we thought we would go for a hike on the beach.

Richard losing his hat at Wickaninnish Beach. The waves were even too big for surfers today as this is one of the most popular beaches for surfing. The surf alert on the beach today was EXTREME and that’s why no one was surfing today!

Not having any fun at all!

Wikaninnish Beach, Tofino

Waves crashing on the beach at Wikaninnish Beach, Tofino.

After visiting Wikaninnish Beach we headed over to Florencia Bay, as the map we were using said the bay was more sheltered from storms.

Florencia Bay.

In January 1861 the brigantine Florencia was homeward bound for Peru with lumber from Victoria. The weather became unmanageable and the Florencia drifted helplessly to the Nootka area where H.M.S. Forward finally took her in tow. Forward developed engine trouble and the luckless Florencia was cut adrift and shattered on the Islet in the bay. Until 1930 Florencia Bay was known as Wreck Bay. The locals still call it ‘Wreck Bay’.

Florencia Bay. What a stormy day! We started down the path to the Bay and said ”What are we doing?, let’s go home for lunch and dry out by the fire!”

We had massages booked for this afternoon so after lunch and bit of down time at our condo, we had very enjoyable massages at the Sacred Stone spa in Tofino. Ah...namaste!

I had an amazing massage therapist who worked extensively on my lower body including my right leg and hip. What a caring individual who really understood the extent of my injury.

After our massages I stopped at a little store in Tofino called Tofino Fishing & Trading. Tofino Inlet received its European name in 1792 by Spanish Captains Galiano and Valdez who were exploring Vancouver Island. The inlet was named in honour of Vincente Tofino, a Spanish hydrographer who taught Captain Galiano cartography during their expedition. However, the current townsite of Tofino didnt appear until a century later when a scattered group of homesteads appeared on the Esowista Peninsula, across the way from a fur trading post on Stubbs Island. Now here is where the little store I stopped into comes into play. In 1901, a frontier store called Tofino Fishing & Trading opened to serve the Tofino area. During this period, the majority of early settlers- most of whom were Norwegian, Scottish and English - in this isolated, maritime trading town, were involved in agriculture, mining and fishing. Tofino’s long, rainy and tempestuous winters had earned it the nickname “Tough City”, yet it still attracted occasional, adventurous travellers who would arrive on steamships transporting miners, fur traders and their equipment up the coast from Victoria. Travellers and labourers alike were greeted by a town characterized by wooden, cedar plank boardwalks where activity revolved around the waterfront. The original Tofino Fishing & Trading general store was accessed by a boardwalk. Freight deliveries were made by the CPR coastal steamer, Princess Maquinna, named for the daughter of the famous Nootka Indian Chief Maquinna. The general store had a pot belly stove and everything was behind the counter. Like most general stores, it sold what was in demand at the time including staples, such as sugar, which was sold in lumps due to the effects of the damp climate.. The business name Tofino Fishing & Trading ceased activity sometime in the 1960’s when young people and surfers were just beginning to discover Tofino’s famous beaches. Luckily in April 1997, permission was received from previous owners and the frontier store was revived. The current owners have worked hard to recreate the rustic appearance of the original general store to honour the rich, historical, maritime tradition of Clayoquot Sound. Hand planed cedar floors and custom cedar shelving display historical curiousities among the modern, outdoor gear.

I found Richard a great Smartwool long sleeve shirt in this store, and got myself a beautiful warm sweater, and some funky warm fingerless gloves. What a great shop and I didn’t even know the history of the shop until after I’d already shopped there!

We got home and it was time to relax before our dinner. Just as I started to write the blog in my window seat overlooking the harbour, I saw that a rainbow had formed and I had to jump up over to the balcony to snap a photo of the rainbow.

I took this shot with my long lens and realized after I took it that I still had rain drops on the lens from earlier in the day. (see the right corner). What a drag! The rainbow was fading away and I hadn’t gotten the best shot. I came back to my window seat to continue writing the blog and just then the skies cleared up, the rainbow came back and I switched lens and took this shot, which ended up much better.

A much better shot, taken with the 35mm prime lens. I love the reflection of the rainbow in the ocean!

We headed over to 1909 for our dinner at 8:30pm, and we were definitely not disappointed!

First time I’ve worn a dress since before we left home last year!

Pails of B.C. Pinot Gris!

My pizza from the wood fired pizza oven.

Lingcod with mussels, prawns, chorizo on fregola. What is fregola you ask? Fregola is a type of past from Sardinia. It is made with semolina dough that has been rolled into balls and toasted in an oven. Richard really enjoyed his dinner and so did I!

Tomorrow is the big day! Finally...60! Wow! Hard to believe.....and tomorrow is our special whale watching trip! Let’s hope we see lots of whales and the seas are kind to both of us, we are charmed, and we don’t end up seasick!!!

58 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page