by Nicole Webster and Kat Anderson
This is the first of a multi-part series intended to help new graduate students (or anyone) know what’s what in Bamfield so they can be better prepared. Here we discuss the businesses of Bamfield, and some of their quirks.
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While Bamfield is remote, it is by no means the most isolated field station one might find themselves at. The town has many basic amenities, particularly if you are here during the right season. You just have to know where to look.
The East Side– “car accessible”
A) Bamfield Builders Supply/Hardware – Also known as Bob’s – 250 728 3419 – Sells most general hardware items, and will order in anything you like to arrive on the next boat.
B) Breaker’s Marine – Sells marine equipment, boats, fishing gear, camping gear, and will fix your inevitable flat tire. (We have both personally been there to get a flat fixed, they were awesome.)
C) Tides and Trails Market & Cafe – 250-728-2000 –otherwise known as T&T or the east store. Sells both dried and fresh goods, as well as alcohol, and has the best wine selection. A restaurant is attached, with variable hours, and only serves dinner during the peak season. Availability of items is patchy, check expiry dates, and expect a Bamfield markup. There is an ATM here- no bank machines in Bamfield.
D) Hawk’s Nest Pub – 250-728-3422 – The only pub in Bamfield, open most nights during the high season (July-Aug), and sporadically otherwise. They have free pool, darts, and Foosball tables, and serve some food and of course alcohol. They also have an ATM and a gorgeous fireplace. At the moment they are open nightly, but you never know when that might change.
E) Bamfield Health Center – A nurse is available for non-emergency medical services and basic prescriptions here. This is also where you can book an appointment with the fly-in Doctor who comes in irregularly. For more serious concerns, the nearest hospital is in Port Alberni. Please contact the safety officer (email@example.com, 250 728 3301 ext 222) to report any injuries or sicknesses while at the BMSC and for further information about health care and emergency resources in Bamfield.
The West Side – Boat Access ONLY
F) Bamfield General Store – Good supply of dried and fresh foods, excellent beer selection, generally the favorite grocery store among graduate students and researchers. They will give cash back. Availability of items is patchy and expect a Bamfield markup. During the summer they also have amazing ice cream cones!
G) Post office – Patchy hours, most of your mailing needs can be dealt through Shirley in the main office.
H) Boardwalk Bistro – 250-728-3419 – South end of the boardwalk – open mid afternoon on weekends during peak season, serves burgers and drinks. Coffee shop style “open mics” are often held there on Sundays; Do you play an instrument? Cash Only.
Docks – There are three docks visible across the inlet from Bamfield.
- Coast guard dock – no parking!
- Government Dock – Free day parking if there’s space, pull canoes and kayaks out of the water.
- Store dock – the outer white region is for store trips only. The red painted region is private reserved parking.
Gas – The nearest gas station is in Anacla, the neighboring Huu-ay-aht First Nations Town
Water Taxis – Two taxi services: $5/crossing, available mostly anytime – both will take you to other locations around Bamfield and Barkley Sound.
- Paradise Taxi (small yellow boat)
- Bamfield Express Water Taxi (250-728-3001)
Accommodation – There are several bed and breakfast places – on both sides of the inlet, as well as the Hawk’s Nest Motel. There is also a campground at Pachena, and several sport fishing lodges. All depends on what you are looking for.
Special note- Phone numbers:
- Local: Although they are listed here in their entirety, you will often only get a 4 digit number. All Bamfield numbers start with 250-728-xxxx.
- BMSC: The BMSC phone system is internal, and so there are 3 digit extensions, when called from a BMSC phone – only the extension is required, otherwise you dial (250) 728-3301 then enter the extension.
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