It is no secret that Tofino’s spacious shores are full of treasures from the edge of the water to the edge of the surrounding forests and cliff faces. Beach combing is popular in the summer months with various tidepools and remote islands often being explored during low tide for trinkets, crustaceans and other types of intertidal wildlife. The best time for beach combing however, is undoubtedly after one of Tofino’s famous winter storms from the months of October to March.
Romantics, friends and naturalists alike enjoy perusing the shores and exploring the various types of findings that they may come across. Sea shells, starfish and vibrant sea anemones are always popular but you can find almost anything on any given day when combing over Tofino shores. For many beachcombers bringing a knowledgeable biologist can help to identify many of the unknown sea life that so often reaches the sand.
In 2009 on Chesterman Beach, dozens of Humboldt squid which usually stick to an ocean depth of 200-700 meters were washed ashore probably due to a change in the weather and wind patterns. Many of the squids that came ashore shot out their black ink across the tide line giving Chesterman beach a new and interesting look it was not accustomed to. Strong onshore winds coupled with large waves during the Spring a few years ago created the opportunity for swarms of Velella Velella also known as “sail jellyfish” to wash ashore many of Tofino’s local beaches. The translucent jellyfish let everyone know that they were decomposing as their smell began to fill the open Tofino ocean air.
Of all the treasures and critters that can be spotted or found on Tofino shores, there is one treasure that is considered to be the “white whale” of all beach findings. The Japanese glass float is rare and can usually only be found after great storms have passed through that would allow for such things to be picked up off of the great depth of the ocean floor. For Tofitians, the Japanese glass float is the most coveted item that a beachcomber could ever hope to find. Of course there are other items that are rare and diverse in their own way, but the Japanese glass float is at the top of the list.
Beach combing in Tofino is a perfect activity for families as children and most parents love to explore and check out the shores, tidepools and caverns. Beach combing is relaxing and fun and it can also quickly become a new favorite hobby. Beach combing in Tofino is quickly climbing its way up to the top of the “Things to do in Tofino” chart because it is an activity that goes hand-in-hand with the tranquil, relaxing environment that is Tofino.