living the coastal life

West Coast Living in Ahousaht, BC



Doggy Daze

Yesterday we got our new engine for our boat, the Sweet Marie! Because I wanted to be in town for the exciting occasion and it was going to take all day long, I brought my dog Leia with me for some training time in Tofino and a few adventures!

What a great time we had! First we stopped for a tea at Rhino coffeeshop. This was a new experience for her but she stayed calm while I went inside for my order and happily greeted passerbys.

Afterwards we went for a long walk at Chesterman’s Beach. She did well being on leash despite being used to running free at the beach. I think she really enjoyed all the new scents!

Next we went all the way to Ucluelet to check out the Lighthouse Loop trail. It’s such a stunning trail and we met lots of people! I tried to get a cute photo of Leia and I on a bench but she just wasn’t having it!

I did some shopping in Ucluelet. I don’t get out that way very often. Leia always surprises me with how well behaved she is when left in the car for short periods. Shes always sleeping when I return!

Our next stop was Wickaninnish Beach. We didn’t walk very far here but did a short loop of the beach and trail.

I was really excited to visit the Shorepine Bog Trail nearby. I had never been here before and it was so stunning! It was quite similar to the Cranberry bog in Ahousaht with many of the same plants! The scrubby pine trees are so cute with their stunted and twisted forms. Even though other people were on the trail (based on the cars in the the lot), we didn’t see anyone else on the 800m boardwalk!

There was a wolf scat on the path, which Leia had a good sniff at. Otherwise we didn’t see any wildlife but I imagine at the right time of day you could have some good sightings here and I’m sure it’s a good birding spot!

We briefly stopped at Combers Beach. Shortly after we arrived I got a call that one of the parts for the new engine wasnt shipped from the warehouse in Port. If we wanted the installation done today I had to drive to Port Alberni and back ASAP to get it!

We got the part, Leia hung out with Lennie for a few hours and we were back on the water with the new SeaPro 200 Mercury Engine!


Proud Momma

You know how Mommas get all chuffed about their children and brag about their accomplishments? I do that with my furbabies.

I joined a friend for a beach walk yesterday with our dogs. I brought Leia, but not Bruce or Yoda. I’m trying to work with Leia one on one more often and practice her recall and obedience skills. She still wouldn’t win any awards for her behavior but seeing her improvements makes me super proud!

Yesterday I recalled her back onto the leash twice. Once because there was another dog on the beach and I wanted her to stick closer to us and the second time because we were back in the village with cars and other dogs. I’ve never had an issue with her and other dogs but it’s just how I am working on training her when we walk in more populated areas.

The second recall took a bit longer, but it did work eventually.

I love how she always “checks in” with me as we come down the trail. She always pops back around the corner to wait for us to come into view and then takes off again.

Now what we really need to work on is her carsickness! I would love to take her on more adventures further afield but she can’t travel if there’s food or water in her tummy! The pills from the vet haven’t worked for us either.

Back to Tradition at Keltsmaht

Keltsmaht is the traditional territory and village site of Lennie’s parents. Many Ahousaht locals with family ties there return each year to camp. It is an amazing beach with views of Opitsaht, Tofino and the open ocean. The fog rolls in and out each day and you can fish right in the bay. Returning here is like going back in history and returning to the traditions that once were common.

We brought the dogs with us. Not the most responsible thing, in terms of wolves and wildlife but a necessity as a dog owner with no one to care for them at home. They slept with us in the tent and stayed close during the day. Leia and Bruce loved our new lifestyle, but Yoda had clearly had enough partway through.

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Yoda enjoying his perch on a log.

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Bruce wasn’t picky about what you threw for him to fetch… Just that you were throwing something! When the sticks ran out, we used kelp!

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Leia looked every bit a wolf as she stalked the beach.

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The traditional way of cooking salmon in Nuu-Chah-Nulth culture is called a kluupchus. The salmon is butterflied and pinched between pieces of cedar before being roasted over a fire. The smoke and open flame give it an incredibly unique flavour.

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We also harvested cedar to be used for the regalia and decorations for our wedding next summer. Each cedar tree can only be harvested once in it’s lifetime. It will bear the scar for the rest of it’s time, but will survive with just one strip of bark taken. Multiple harvestings will kill the tree. We were harvesting trees while standing in a forest of trees harvests dozens and hundreds of years ago!

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You can see the large strip falling away as it disconnects. Don’t be too close underneath as it comes down!

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The raw ‘meat’ of the wood underneath the outer bark. This will dry and scar over but you will always be able to see where this strip was taken.

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The harvested bark before being cleaned. It is rolled so you can carry it out of the forest with more ease.

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Cleaning the outer layer of bark from the usable inner layer. It’s quite a long process to clean bark and must be done while wet.

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The inner bark is rolled into smaller rolls and taken home to be dried. Once be rolled again for storage until it is used for weaving projects.

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Lennie made me a cedar rose while we were cleaning the bark ❤

Keltsmaht was a great return to tradition and nature. We spotted a wolf across the beach and watched eagles in the treetops. We tried to hike across the island to Ahous Bay but took a wrong turn and ended up on the next beach over! I can’t wait to go back…

Front Beach

I took a stroll to Front Beach this morning (Giving Lennie a chance to get started on the gate for the dog pen!). We ended up working on the gate together when I returned but the walk was so rewarding!

There are a ton of neat shells washed up on the beach, and since I am making a shell garland for our wedding next July, I was collecting like crazy!


Front Beach, Looking to “Cone Island”


Kuda, Leia and Lola rip around the beach.


The blackberries are ripening! Still sour, but they are getting there!

Low Tide Beach Stroll

On rare occasions, the tide is low enough to walk from Front Beach to First Beach without ever leaving the sand. A couple weeks ago Lennie and I managed to find a day where our schedule and the tide matched up!

We had a great time with the three dogs, strolling around the rocky outcroppings, hunting for hiishtuup (Chiton) and treasure hunting among the logs.

(Mouse over or click on the photos for captions!)

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