U = Ucluelet, Canada

We’re into the final stretch of the A-Z Challenge and it’s been a difficult one trying to juggle these daily posts, problems with internet access at home, and general life obligations.  I have a growing backlog of things to catch-up on and I’m looking forward to the end of the month with some relief.

Without an abundance of *U* destinations to choose from, I settled on the tiny port town of Ucluelet on Vancouver Island in British Columbia.

We discovered this little community on a family whirlwind tour of the west coast in 2000.  The picture quality is poor, but the memories are crisp.

U = Ucluelet, BC

Our hotel included this docked boat which housed the restaurant.  As long as we remembered to duck our heads and lift our feet through the ship doors, the day was going to be a smooth one.

The harbour was buzzing with fishermen – including many tourists who have flown in for several days of deep-sea fishing.

U = Ucluelet, BC 2

Our reason for being in Ucluelet was to go whale watching.  Quite frankly the ride on the Zodiac boat was an experience in itself, but the whales didn’t disappoint.

They were generous that day in giving these tourists a little flick of their tail and it was enough to make us happy.

U = Ucluelet, BC 3

All photos were taken by Gilles.



  1. I am an American who was lucky enough to work on Vancouver Island for almost 3 years. I made it out to Ucluelet and Tofino a hand full of times. I’ve yet to find another place that captivates me like the west coast of the island.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, Joanne, I love the tail of the whale making its dip into the deep waters here. I love deep sea fishing boats and even old fashioned barges. The photos look so beautiful and I bet the experience was wonderful, Joanne. We saw manatees in the Gulf Bay by a restaurant pier once while my kids were growing up. There were some porpoises making their rounds when I went fishing on the Atlantic side with my fisherman boyfriend about three years ago. I love being around the sea, lakes and large bodies of water. 🙂
    My good guy friend and I went to see the Sault Ste Marie locks. We call them the “Sue” locks as a joke. Neither of us learned much French. I was lucky after 8 years of Spanish to take French in college from a Creole Professor from New Orleans, she loved my Spanish-French manglings and I still got an A! ha ha!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is so funny!! Since Gilles is French-Canadian, our sons were brought up bilingual. Our oldest son thought that Spanish would be an easy high school credit given his French background. He discovered it was a LOT harder than he thought!!


  3. I like that you pointed out the photo quality is poor then throw Gilles under the bus by stating all photos were taken by him! 😉

    This looks like a beautiful area. I hope to visit British Columbia some day!


  4. Oh, I love this part of Canada. if I had known about Vancouver Island long ago I would have moved there. It is so beautiful and the Pacific Rim side even more so. We had a day there in 2005 and I fell so much in love with it that in 2010 when we returned to Vancouver I decided that this is where I wanted to spend my birthday, Well, actually we stayed in Tofino which I also love, but Ucluelet is just as good. https://smallbluegreenwords.wordpress.com/2013/07/11/on-the-wild-side/
    (and I know what you mean about the challenge).


  5. No plans for X Y or Z yet? Yikes! I figured you had it all planned out before diving in. You are a brave – and well-traveled – woman. I wish I could help you out and share the road sign directing drivers to the town of Zzyzx (I kid you not). It’s an unincorporated community in San Bernardino County, California. One of these days, I’m going to take the turnoff and see what’s there!


    • I’ve heard about this town!
      I think of all the *Z* places I had planned to go to – like Zurich and Zanzibar, but never made it. There is only so much you can squeeze into a trip!
      I’m ok with not having posts for the final three. Getting the first 23 is a pretty good record 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. My friends in Vancouver always stay in the same lovely cottage in Ukie when they go surfing on the Island, and I was lucky to get to join them once time, despite my dismal inability to surf. I love it there, and I loved your recapping of your time there. I have yet to be out there and see a whale though!


    • I’m starting to feel very lucky. I’m 2 for 2 in the whale spotting department.
      Sadly though, capturing them in a photo is considerably harder. We’ve seen MANY whales … but this is the only photographic evidence 🙂


  7. Joanne I have admired your endurance in this challenge. I think my eyeball might by now be exploding out my head! In the late 80’s we had a family stop here. So quaint and less touristy than it’s more famous neighbour Tofino. Not that I don’t love Tofino. 🙂


    • Oh Sue – this happens every year. I start with wild enthusiasm, then mid-month start to wonder what I was thinking. Now I’m just crawling to the finish.

      In hindsight, I don’t know whatever prompted us to go Ucluelet rather than Tofino.
      We did venture up the road and visited Tofino, but you’re right, there was something very quaint about its unassuming neighbour few people have ever heard of 🙂


  8. “The picture quality is poor, but the memories are crisp.” In fact even when the pictures are good, the memories are always crisper – and that’s the way it should be 😀
    I’ve been out to Vancouver a number of times but have yet to visit the island, time to rectify that situation methinks; hopefully soon.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Wow, there can’t have been many place names beginning with U so kudos for finding one you’d actually been to! As someone who gets seasick in the bath, I like the docked boat restaurant!


  10. I’m sure you have nice memories of that trip. Must have been so wonderful to see those whales.

    Last night on TV, there was something called Canada over the Edge [an aerial show on Smithsonian channel], and to see those Blue Whales … it was fabulous!


  11. Ucluelet…wow, never heard of it for sure and still puzzled as to how to pronounce it. Guess it qualifies though…and that’s what matters. I wonder, after reading all these posts of travel destinations, how you looks back on the pictures and know which ones are for which cities!


  12. Pretty. I’ve never been out Vancouver way. I have friends there, so I remain hopeful. The first time I saw a professional photograph of Vancouver, I didn’t even think it was real!
    How do you say it? You-clue-let?


  13. So impressed that you’ve made it all the way though to U. I had to take a lesson from Kenny rogers and know when to fold ’em. My family went to Ucluelet a few years ago and had a wonderful time there. Great memories! Love your post and Gilles’ film photos.


  14. This post reminded me of our zodiac trip to see whales. It was in the early 80’s, before digital photography. We returned home, had our film developed and had 24 great pictures of water – no whales or whale tails. Thanks for the memory and a moment of gratitude for digital equipment.


    • haha! This was taken with film.
      We did another whale-watching tour last summer in Iceland … this time with me armed with a digital camera. All I got were photos of water :/

      What a difference 15 years makes though. In Ucluelet, I loved the Zodiac ride … it was almost the highlight of the trip. In Iceland, my much older body wasn’t quite as forgiving 😉


  15. I think I would love that flick of a tail, too. We have been whale watching a number of times (in Hawaii) and it’s so special when the whales don’t mind us intruding on their territory and grace us with those tail flicks! Of course, I usually don’t have my camera ready to catch it!


    • I know the feeling. When it was me behind the camera in Iceland, not. a. single. whale. photo!
      There are just some experiences – like this – which are so fleeting in nature, you just have to put the camera down and enjoy it as it happens 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Great whale tail photo! I’ve been on whale sighting tours a few times in the mouth of the St. Lawrence, Newfoundland and B.C. And have yet to actually sight any…glad your experience was more successful!


    • oh – that’s really disappointing! I’ve been twice now – BC and Iceland – and was fortunate to see whales both times. In Iceland, we even managed to see puffins in spite of being told they had already migrated for the season.
      Although I know there are no guarantees of sightings, I think I would have been very disappointed to go home without one.

      Liked by 1 person

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