Tofino Stormwatching

From October to March, the open ocean beaches are swept by the storms and seas that once made the Island’s coast notorious to sailors as the ‘Graveyard of the Pacific.’

Exposed to the full force of the Pacific’s northwest storm swells, Chesterman Beach in winter is one of the most spectacular stormwatching locations on Earth, as thirty-foot swells and fifty-knot winds whip the water into what the oldtimers called ‘Victory at Sea’ conditions.

As storms are bred in the Gulf of Alaska to the north, they track southeast to slam into the Island coast; as they set in on the outer shores, huge walls of grey water break onto the beach, sheets of rain stream down from the sky, and the wind that tears branches off trees and makes mariners fear for their lives squalls its way out to sea.

From the safety of solid ground, being in one of the storms that batter the open coast is an elemental, unforgettable and essential British Columbia experience. And it’s an experience that’s made all the better by having a warm and welcoming cottage awaiting your return.


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