You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.Rumi
The prelude to a west coast winter storm builds like improvisational jazz: those first haunting blue notes of whistling wind, the percussive Pacific backbeat as ocean rewrites shoreline, that elusive frisson of electricity as you catch its cadence. There is a unique quality to the winter light here with the kaleidoscopic sky shaded from tangerine to indigo as a child’s kite soars above the beach, its fabric snapping like a riff. A pod of neoprene-armored surfers leapfrog waves just offshore, paddling out to play amidst the action, alongside SUPs and surf kayaks.
West coast winter paradise is the protected cove of MacKenzie Beach where the dramatic panorama of the Pacific is as ever-changing as its diurnal tides: from zero and even negative tides stretching the beach out to tidal pools in rocky outcroppings, to king tides racing back onshore, inviting wave play.
All only steps from your oceanfront suite at Indigenous-owned Tin Wis Resort in Tofino, BC, perched high above the dunes — the perfect vantage point for storm watching up close or from the comfort of your cozy suite.
Rain sashays in like a soft jazz brush across drums, releasing a petrichor potpourri: Cedar and Sitka rainforest, salty kelp, and freshwater rivulets. A wave of silvery sanderlings chases syncopated surf.
Further downshore, a family in colour-coordinated raingear splashes delightedly through puddles swinging their matching yellow and bright pink pails and shovels.
Tin Wis means “calm waters” in the Tla-o-qui-aht language and is the true name for this place. Once an ancestral village site, this long-stewarded oasis offers everything you need to reconnect with nature and breathe in rhythm with the ocean.
His-shuk-nish-tsa-waak. Everything is one. Everything is interconnected.
When winter skies clear, a rainbow arcs above the resort against the snow-capped Insular Mountain range in the distance.
You can choose both comfort and adventure, especially when you have the benefit of local knowledge. Tin Wis Resort’s staff can give you directions to Tofino’s best beach cruiser rentals (Tofino Bike Co), best Hot Chocolate Elixir (Chocolate Tofino) and favourite takeout options, while the homegrown pros at Tofino Paddle Surf onsite offer gear and guidance mere steps away from “Mack Beach” action. Or simply bundle up with a good book and curl up in a bright red Adirondack chair to watch the show.
Après storm or après surf, the resort’s hot tub offers a ringside seat for glowing winter sunsets and to reconnect with your own circadian rhythm. Extend your beach-time with a bonfire under the amphitheatre of the sky as sunset time-lapses into a zillion stars and a supermoon casts its milky wash across the sand while a barred owl calls from the rainforest.
Next morning, warm mist blankets the beach as a distant foghorn solos, spring teasing its melody.
Tin Wis Resort is within Tla-o-qui-aht Tribal Parks which includes nearby co-managed Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Let its epic beaches and rainforest trails renew your sense of wonder and respect within this place the Nuu-chah-nulth call home.
Learn more about the history of Tin Wis: https://tinwis.ca/rough-seas-calming-tin-wis-past-present-and-future/
-Erin Linn McMullan