Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Friends by the Light

We had the most wonderful weekend with our friends, Tony and Lucinda, at the Lighthouse that he keeps off the coast of Tofino.

Tony and I met at work and became fast friends, spending most of our shifts together talking about what we would do if we weren't doing that job.  We talked about writing and painting and how great it would be to make a living at something we love to do.

Eventually I took a relief position  in another department ,and Tony did the same, and we weren't able to share those long 10 hour shifts together any more.  Which made the job just a little more mundane.

One summer, Tony was hiking the West Coast Trail on Vancouver Island and decided to stop by the Lighthouse there and talk to the Keeper.  He was told that they may be looking for people to act as relief Keepers, to cover for holidays and such, on the few light houses that dot our coastline here.

He applied.  I think it took a lot of guts to even consider giving up a secure, well paying job for something so different.  At the same time I was very envious and curious, not even being able to imagine a life away from the dependence of the dreaded "day job"......

He stood at the edge of the cliff....discussed it with the wife.....thought long and hard.... and jumped.

He is now the principal Keeper at the Lennard Island Lighthouse.
Lucinda is able to spend three months a year there and between his vacation and hers, they are able to spend quite a lot of time together and have found a way to make it all work.

They picked us up in a Zodiac at the pier in Tofino on Friday afternoon.

They showed us the way to the crew house where we would be staying.  The main buildings are all joined together by these elevated concrete walkways.  The handrails are all painted in glossy, red, marine paint.

This is the little house that we got to stay in.  It was exactly like my Grandmother's house when I was growing up.  It felt like being thrown into a 1950's time-warp.  Very tidy, very simple, too cool.

This is the view from the bathroom window.  Lucinda laughed when I mentioned it.  She said, it seemed like ,  every light house they had been to, the best view was always from the can.

We were treated to pizza that evening, pick-up from Tofino.  They give the pizzas to Tony assembled in the pan, to be baked at home.  The best pizza!  He brings the pans back when he returns to town.  We sat around and talked about what it is like to live and work here....the adjustments, the isolation.....what a unique life this must be.

Saturday morning brought us to the beach to look for shells.

Followed by a hike through the trails that circle the 22 acre island.  We had two dog-friends with us which made me really miss having a pooch to share a walk with.  They make it so much better.


                                                                   .....and Molly..
There was a little pocket-pooch with us too but Frodo preferred to stay home and hold the fort.

We then went to climb up into the Lighthouse.  The boyfriend really enjoyed this....I don't like heights and chose to stay on solid ground.....chicken.

Tony and the boyfriend at the top of the Light.

A quick trip in the Zodiac to see if there were any crabs in the traps...but all we got were two very large starfish.  Despite the bust, we went on to share a feast of perfectly barbecued filets, a bounty of crab that Tony and Lucinda had , asparagus....potatoes....
Perfect company, lots of laughs, we had the most enjoyable weekend.

Thank's for sharing your piece of paradise with us.  It will take days for the effects to wear off.
It is a weekend we will always remember.


  1. Ahh, Carm. This is a beautiful blog entry. It was our pleasure to have you visit. And the thing about lighthouse living is the value one places on good company and good food. We had it all when you and "the boyfriend" visited. Cheers!

  2. It was wonderful! Thanks again Loo Bell.