Chesterman Beach in Tofino provides many large and small treasures to explore. I’ve already told you of my love for its rock pools whose abundance shows itself at low tide. And as the tides roll back in Rosie Bay (the bay next to Chesterman Beach), they expose another feature in which to wander with wonderment. Rosie Bay is home to some stunning basalt sea caves.
Hundreds or thousands of years in the making, sea caves are formed by the relentless energy of waves sweeping their way over rocks day after day, physically eroding tiny bits, till eventually cracks form and widen, pieces of rock fall off and the hollowing out process of making a cave begins. At Rosie Bay, we have the privilege of seeing the results many many years on – caverns and a long fissure – stretching back from the sea into the land.
As you walk through the caves and into the fissure, shiny black backs of mussels will flank your shoulders along with any other creatures having strong enough suckers to stay attached to their home on the walls as the sea pulls right out and down to sand level. See what else you can find while you are there.
For an extra bit of enjoyment, if you are lucky enough to be in Tofino when the moon graces the night sky at low tide, the reflective basalt cave walls will provide you a magical viewing of the caves.
Last big thing to remember is check the tide timetable carefully to be certain you are out of the cave and its recesses before the tide turns. The tide will travel in fairly quickly to give those soon-to-be-happy black mussels their next generous dose of seawater hydration and you will want to be on dry land.