Botanical Beach BC

This beach is a very special place with uniquely diverse tide pools and a wide variety of marine species. University biologists have been coming to this beach for marine studies since 1901. If you want to go there you should consult the Canadian Tide Tables "Port Renfrew" and ensure that you arrive for a low tide. This article is a taste of my first visit and, without a doubt, this spot is a bonanza for serious photographers! I will be back soon.

The beach is located on Vancouver Island west of Victoria BC and within the beautiful Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. For day access you can drive to Port Renfrew and hike down the approx 1 kilometer trail to the beach. Down is very easy and up a little harder but most people will have no problem. This map gives you a starting point (click for larger):

OK, lets do a photo tour from my first visit. All photos taken with a Canon 5D Mark11 and with 17-40L lense or Sigma 150mm macro usually with tripod. Processed in Lightroom and Photoshop, most as HDRs in Photomatix. Other filters used from Topaz or Avkis sketch as described in other articles.

When I hiked down to the beach early in the morning I was greeted with huge FOG. I could hardly see anything and had to carefully navigate the rocky shoreline. (Wear good gripping water resistant boots, or rubber, as this is not easy to navigate) but after about 90 minutes the fog started lifting to reveal the beach:

 Lets look at two tide pools:

BotanicalTwo Pools.jpg

Lets have a closer look (click for larger view):

The rocky structure here is also worth exploring:

Moving in closer to the details:

OK, so where is the ocean? Here it is, and beyond the dark clouds/fog in ths distance lies Olympic Peninsula which was clearly visible later in the day. (click for larger image)

These photos have just scratched the surface of what is going on here. For most people this is a great place to visit and explore! Children will love it but be safety consious and not for toddlers. One final shot: