Winter Storms Pound Local Beaches

On Florencia Bay, Tofino, driftwood is strewn across the upper beach
Recent strong winds across the region canceled 75 ferry sailings, knocked power out, and gave spectacular displays of tree-tossing turmoil on local beaches.

Florencia Bay, Tofino
Often giant pieces and whole trees were high on the beach, seemingly beyond the water's reach. When I first started visiting the west coast of Vancouver Island, I marveled at the tumble of drift logs on most beaches.

Having visited only in the summer time, I wondered how the logs could get so far from the placid water. When I moved here I witnessed coastal winter storms for myself, and discovered the awesome power of wind, water, and waves. Any drift wood caught in such a storm doesn't stand a chance.

Huge white-foamy waves cover wilderness beaches and toss old growth drift trees like rubber ducks in a turbulent tub. Logs bob in the surf and are driven up against the beach, eventually coming to rest along the edge of the rain forest.

Big waves toss big logs over the beach on Ross Bay in Victoria, BC during a recent storm
In the city, waves drive logs over concrete embattlements and into the street. After strong south-easterly storms, heavy equipment must be brought it to clear large chunks of drift wood debris.

Summers on the coast are nice with calm weather and stretches of drought, but to witness the full fury and power of the Pacific, you have to do some winter storm watching.

Watch out for rogue waves. 

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