living the coastal life

West Coast Living in Ahousaht, BC



Transient Orcas in Herbert Inlet

When Lennie and I find out about orcas in our area, it’s always a last minute adventure! When I stopped teaching, I pledged to take my photography more seriously. I am not sure how successful I have really been at that, But I know my whale photography has improved, purely by having more time available to go out with the whales when they are nearby.

Not only is there the benefit to myself to be on scene with whales, but for the scientific community as well. If clear ID shots of the visiting pods to our area are not obtained, we do not know which whales were here when and we can’t track their movements. Photo ID with a long telephoto lens is the least intrusive way to track a whale’s movements. I was the only photographer to get clear shot of these whales, the T49Bs and T68Cs, to confirm their identifications.

We stayed with this pod for about an hour and a half. In that time they made a kill and fed before heading up Millar Channel. They were spotted briefly by another boat just over an hour later.



Orcas at Sunset

A couple weeks ago I got to spend some time with a large mixed pod of Transient orcas in the outer waters of Clayoquot Sound. The T109s and T11s were all present and slowly working their way up the coast. We joined up with them around Cox Point and left them at Wilf Rock as the sun slipped below the Pacific horizon. There was lots of action along the way. One youngster was constantly chasing birds across the water, surprising them by lunging up from the depths below them. Others gave a sneaky sea lion a heart attack as it held onto the rocks amidst oncoming swells with all of its might while their slick fins passed by just feet away.


Some of these photos are featured in my upcoming 2019 calendar which can be found here.


How Can I not Make a Post Celebrating Last Night’s Sunset

Since my work hours have shifted and I am working until 6pm every day, I have been treated to some amazing sunsets over the waters of Clayoquot sound. I commute by boat – a 35+ minute ride between the Village of Ahousaht on Flores Island and the town of Tofino.

By the time I close up the shop, buy any odds and ends we need, and head down to the dock, the sun is just starting to cast a golden glow over the landscape and play with the mountain’s shadows.

On the ride home I often sit on the port (left) side of the boat so I can take photos along the way. My favourite shots are when the sun is just behind a cloud or island, as it adds a whole other dimension to the photo!

Macintosh Island on the north corner of Vargas Island is my favourite spot to snap a pic as there is a certain angle where the islands are all silhouetted separately against the coloured sky!

The first three shots are from last night and the rest are an assortment from recent weeks! Which is your favourite? And more importantly, where’s your favourite spot to photograph a sunset?

Catface Rocks
Flores Island
MacIntosh at Vargas Island
Vargas Island
Ahousaht Harbour
Catface Rocks
Catface Rocks looking towards Flores Island
Flores Island
My Favourite angle of the MacIntosh Islands

Shelter Inlet

Hummingbird Magic

Every day I marvel at the tiny masterpieces flitting around my porch, bickering about who gets to feed at which perch or who gets the largest flowers. Rarely do I have time to sit in the yard with my camera to document their speedy travels, however, recently I took a break from my morning routine to nestle myself in the grass and patiently wait for them to forget about me again. Within 10 minutes it paid off and 2 juvenile rufous hummingbirds were competing for the rich, ruby red bee balm blooms a short distance away. After a while, they seemed to reach some sort of settlement amongst themselves and began to tolerate each other’s presence.

I find natural flower based hummingbird photos more aesthetically pleasing than ones with a plastic feeder in them. They can be harder to plan for, but a garden with a few of their favourites will create a plethora of unique photo opportunities for you! Typically hummingbirds are attracted to bell-shaped flowers, in red if possible. Bee balm has been a successful attractant for every garden I have seen it in.

In general, the greater the variety of flowers in your garden, the more success you will have with hummingbirds, butterflies and bees! The greater the biodiversity in your yard, the healthier the ecosystem you create will be, and isn’t that something we would all love to strive for?

Coastal Bliss


I admit, I haven’t gotten out into Nature as much as I would have liked this winter season. Laziness or the weather, or business, there’s always been an excuse to stay warm and dry indoors. I think when we are surrounded by nature on such a frequent basis, it becomes the norm and we forget what an amazing gift it is. We end up taking it for granted. If we lost all of this tomorrow, how much would we regret not spending every possible moment with sand in our toes and wind in our hair?

Photography can help bring a greater appreciation of the outdoors to viewers inside the comfort of their own home. It can inspire them to get out there and see it themselves. Photography transcends boundaries. It breaks down walls and screens. There are no barriers that can keep it bound in today’s electronic world. If I need any further inspiration to get outdoors, besides the outdoors themselves, it should be to bring the outdoors in for those who haven’t seen it for themselves lately. Even those who are surrounded by it and have grown too familiar. Photography can wake you up to re-appreciate the finer details again.

And on that note, here are a few of my favourite images from the past months.


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