The Quinsam’s climate cost

How we get here

As a new Gabriola resident, i’m noticing things about my new home — like the marked weather difference between here and Tofino, my previous digs.

Another striking first impression for the visitor or new arrival is the Quinsam, and its central place in island life, and how dealing with the ferry — the oddball departure times; the godsend Ferry Cam; the line-up, with its stringent etiquette and elaborate positioning strategies; the pastimes whiling away the long waits — are all part of island life and lore.

Pretty much everything and everyone on the island come across on that ferry — every coffee cup and bean, every bag of chips, every litre of propane, band-aid and e-bike, along with every customer in every shop. The Quinsam is absolutely intrinsic to island life and economy. Continue reading “The Quinsam’s climate cost”

Hello, Gabe

Well, the die is cast: my “temporary” summer stay at my sweetie’s place on Gabriola Island (a 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo) has become my permanent residence, as of a couple of weeks ago, when i made the decision not to return to Tofino in September.

My reasons are many, but here’s the main one: After a year and a half doing the long-distance relationship, with Leah driving up to Tuff or me bussing down to Gabe every couple of weeks, it was time to get together and stay together. The regular change of scenery was stimulating, i’ll admit, but the travel was wearing. I don’t know how couples can do it long-term. Continue reading “Hello, Gabe”

Innovation: a response

Why our little town seems stuck

8 min read

Apres Surf sign 2017-05-04

Tofino council (of which i am a member) received a heartfelt email a while ago, one i thought deserved a thoughtful response. It turned into more of an essay than i expected. First, here’s the email (abridged):

Dear Council,

I am writing to you today in hopes of receiving some answers to a few questions that have been keeping me awake at night. I am … unsettled by some of the changes happening within our beautiful, albeit endangered town. Continue reading “Innovation: a response”

Toxic travel

I just returned from a sudden family visit to St. Catharines. Pleasant enough couple of weeks, and i do enjoy southern Ontario’s summer heat (until the humidex tops 35 degrees). But as with previous visits, i noticed again that whenever i go, i almost instantly compromise almost all the principles i live by, back home in BC. Continue reading “Toxic travel”

Destination of Dreams

You can see a lot of words scribed into the West Coast beaches — we-were-here names, declarations of love, silly brags, indecipherable scrawls … and some, like the one below, proof that Tofino is the endpoint (or starting point) of a lot of big dreams from a lot of people in this world. It’s a privilege to live here, and a joy to be occasionally reminded of our hometown’s iconic status.

Tonquin Beach graffiti 2015-05-17--1000x563