Day 19 Oyster Farm and Black Rabbits

The weather forecast improved just as it was time for us to leave Tofino and move on to the East side of Victoria Island. We had set up a stop along the way to tour an oyster farm and we were very excited to get going but I noticed that the airspeed indicator was showing 10 MPH when we were sitting still.  I had flown through a lot of rain and thought some must have gotten into the small tube that runs from the wing down to the indicator. I opened up the tube connections and blew it all out. Julie used the time to catch up on some correspondence. We took off to the West over Long Beach and then turned North along the shoreline to tour over the Tofino peninsula, fog was laying around the shoreline and it was gorgeous from the air. We then headed down to the southeast and in to Effingham fjord. It was an amazing place and it was so much fun to land next to the oyster farm. (Here is a You Tube of it

The young manager came out in a boat and we followed him over into the protected floating bunkhouse area.

He was very happy to give us a tour.  He said it was a great break from sorting, cleaning and bagging oysters all day. We first were shown where the oyster start as little grains of sand, in the first receiving bin he said there were 5 million tiny oysters. As they grow the workers use larger and larger screens to sort out the ones big enough to be moved into the next bin and they work their way up in size until they are put in big baskets and dropped down deep on ropes into the fjord. One of the unique things about their oysters is that they occasionally pull them up and run them through a tumbler that chips off the edges and causes them to make a deeper cup that is a higher culinary quality product. They sort the oysters by size and then give them a big wash down to clean them up so they look more attractive. He shucked up some fresh oysters for Julie and I even had one. (here is a You Tube of our tour )

Julie bought a couple dozen at wholesale. Then he took us back over to the plane where we had lunch under the wing. He also showed us their “pet oyster” he said it is 40 years old! We then flew down to the mouth of the fjord because we were told that the salmon were biting down there. When we landed a small powerboat came out from a logging operation to check on us and when we said we were looking to fish he offered up the dock that they have anchored out from their operation. It was really fun too tie up and fish off the dock in the shade of the wing. We caught and released some salmon and rock fish. We then flew up the Port Alberni Inlet that almost goes all the way through to the East side of the island. It was amazing to see all the big bundles of logs tied up along the way waiting to go into the mills. We landed on Sproat Lake just to rinse the salt off of the plane and it was beautiful, lots of blue-green sandy shore lines and unfortunately tons of boats and jet skis to avoid. And we flew over the two Martin Mars Planes they are  the largest flying boat ever flown, with a wingspan a little wider than a 747, they can scoop up 7,200 gallons of water in 32 seconds and then dump it on a forest fire.

We then continued up over, Comox Lake and landed at Courtenay. Our hotel was great and we had a fabulous dinner at a place called Local’s restaurant. The strangest thing was that every patch of green grass around (and there were many) had the cutesiest black bunnies grazing wild!