Storm Watching – Witness the Power of Nature

During the Fall and Winter months, powerful storms barrel across the Pacific Ocean, making the communities in the West Coast of Vancouver Island the perfect place to storm watch. Beginning in October, a vast, persistent low-pressure system establishes itself in the Gulf of Alaska and begins to deepen. The turbulent frontal zone between the arctic and sub-tropic air masses shift southward towards Vancouver Island, unleashing its wrath against the shore.

The Pacific Marine Circle Route is a storm watchers dream – the circle route is 255- kilometer loop from Victoria to Port Renfrew, through some of the most untraveled roads to the Cowichan Valley and back to Victoria. From Victoria you can travel to East Sooke Park, with over 3,500 acres and 50 kms of trails offering many sheltered coves that are perfect for exploring. Further up the highway, are a number of provincial and regional parks which provide an easy walk to pounding surf and driftwood strewn beaches such as French Beach, China Beach, Juan de Fuca and Sombrio Beach which offer many opportunities to view the ocean writhe back and forth as waves hurtle toward the shore.

Image Courtesy of Destination BC

Storm watching can evoke a sense of wonder from children and adults alike, whether staying toasty by the fire watching the squall rage outside your window. Or, gain a greater respect for Mother Natures power by donning rain gear and venturing out into the elements.

Practice Safe Storm Watching

  • Dress in layers. Think sturdy gumboots, a waterproof jacket and even rain pants.
  • Check the local weather forecast and surf conditions before you go.
  • Observe the conditions closely before you step out onto the beach
  • Stay off of the drift logs if the tide or swell is high.
  • If you are on a coastline trail, stick to the trail and stay off the rocks.

The laid-back community of Sooke is an ideal home base for storm-watching.  You’ll find easy access to an abundance of storm watching sites as well as great food, great locals, and great accommodation. Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina, features 6 room types offering a unique variety of fully equipped vacation rentals, friendly-staff, and an excellent overall experience. Why not spend your day enjoying moody skies and frenzied waves before hopping in for a soak in the Resort’s hot tub? Book your stay today!