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Travel Advisories

How will storm watching season change you?

When we stand safely along the trails and platforms in a winter storm, well wrapped against the wind, why are we so drawn to chaos? Could it simply be the power of the storm, like the visceral force of standing in front of the speakers at a live show or at the edge of a Formula One racetrack? Or is it that we feel our own strength as we steady ourselves against the gale, the energy rising through our feet, restoring us as we stand our ground?

It could be the endless motion: the trees swaying steadily, the sea erupting like a geyser or a Vegas fountain, explosions of saltwater fireworks, each wave showing off its best moves over the rocks like kids in a skate park. In time, though, the rhythm becomes clear: it isn’t chaos at all. Like everything in life, the uproar will rise and fall with each season, and however fierce, in time be nearly forgotten. Like the rocks and the seagulls, we will get through it and be ready when it comes again.

And after some time watching the wind and waves at work, you will feel it reshape you, too: stress washed away, stale thoughts blown out to sea, new room made for fresh ideas. All that energy and rhythm and sound gradually, but inevitably, will restore you. Want proof? Science says the steady crash of waves will leave you awash in negative ions and pink noise, bringing you calm, restoring your creativity, even inducing a calm meditative state. You can look it up online, but please don’t. Stormwatching is the antidote for screen time. Forget about the status of your batteries: it’s time for your soul to be recharged.

Before you head our way and into the wind and rain, be sure to book a place to rest your head, curl up next to cozy fire and reserve your well-earned meals. Everything tastes better, and everyone sleeps better after storm watching: part of the fun is planning your rewards.

Storm watching is the ocean’s chance to show its rhythmic and raw power, but it can be unpredictable and no friend to the careless. We want you to have positive memories, so please stay on the paths, viewing platforms and off the rocks. By all means, admire the waves hurling against the lighthouse, but do it from a safe distance — you never want to find yourself caught between the waves and the lighthouse. If you’re out for a stroll on the beach, go at a low tide, watching for potential waves and loose debris moving around.  Log jumping is not an activity we encourage.

Finally, even though it doesn’t typically snow in Ucluelet, the road conditions can change suddenly because of the high elevation at this time of year. Avoid surprises by checking Highway 4 conditions on DriveBC before leaving home.

West coast storm watching

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