The month of January has been the wettest one that we have experienced in a very long time. After living in the north for the last 10 years (14 years for Rob), I’m used to having very, very cold and dry winters! This year off for us was completely the opposite from what we are used too. We never had a day below 0°C and only had snow for a week in early December but we’ve had enough rain for this last month to make up for the wonderful sunny summer we had while sailing the BC coast. And with the rain, came fog and very little winds or what Environment Canada likes to call variable winds… one day it was windy and the next we could not see across the dock with the fog settling in all around us. In the end we did not go out sailing this January but to tell you the truth who would want to go sailing when it is pouring down and cold and foggy!! Ok, so we’re not hard-core sailors… yet!
Instead of staying on the boat and moping around watching re-runs on our computer and watching the weather for a break in the weather, we decided to get off the boat for a few days and explore the Sooke area based on a recommendation by a friend.
Sooke is located approximately 45 minutes from the city of Victoria on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. We visited the Sooke Potholes Regional Park, the Whiffin (Whiffen?) Spit Park and even walked part of the Juan de Fuca Marine trail along Mystic beach!
The Sooke Potholes is known for the rocky pools and canyon-like features that many people swim in during the summer. However we were only able to see some of the rocky pools as most of them were filled from overflow and rain. We did discover some ‘ruins’ by the potholes and later found out that the ‘ruins’ were part of future resort and conference centre development that stalled due to financial issues and were eventually acquired by the Land Conservancy in 2004/2005.
We stayed at the Sooke Harbour House overlooking the ocean and the Olympic Mountains. The hotel is also right near the Whiffin Spit Park making it a great way to go for walks in the morning. The hotel’s restaurant is also world-renowned and we enjoyed a very fancy 7-course meal on one of the nights we stayed there!
On our walks on Whiffin Spit we got to see some wonderful waterfowl and even an Anna’s Hummingbird. In the end we only stayed two nights and it was a wonderful treat for an early Valentine’s getaway! ~ Sophia & Rob