Bamfield featured tonight on CBC’s Still Standing

by Amanda Kahn

Jeff Harris in Bamfield

Jonny Harris showcased Bamfield, B.C. in an episode of Still Standing, airing tonight at 9:30 PM PST. Image linked from the website of Still Standing.

In 30 minutes, the town of Bamfield will be featured on CBC’s comedy show Still Standing.  Jonny Harris visited Bamfield and met its wonderful residents, plus got a tour of the marine station.  You can watch the show online here.

Still Standing

Dr. Louis Druehl is one of many Bamfielders featured in Still Standing. Image from the Still Standing Facebook page.

Bamfield Inn: Then and Now

by Amanda Kahn

The Bamfield Inn is a beautiful inn, also called the Willow Inn, that closed its doors in 2002 to undergo renovations under new ownership.  There is a lot of local back-story regarding the owner of the inn, why it fell into disrepair, how the locals feel about it, etc. that I am not going to talk about.  It is not my place–I am not a resident and I was not present while that took place.  An internet search, however, provides a just view into what the Inn looked like in 1993, compared to how it appears in August 2013.

The Inn, pictured here in 1993. Credit: halflions blog

Bamfield Inn 2013

The Bamfield Inn today. Credit: A. Kahn 2013

The inn is not currently open for business, as the broken windows reveal.  However, the building itself is beautiful and some of the changes since 1993 have brought in some of the unique characteristics of Bamfield.  I love the front fence built from driftwood, the mossy roof that divulges that Bamfield is a temperate rain forest, the covered patio where you can enjoy a view of the inlet even on cold days, and the still-unchanged sign for the inn, complete with a brightly painted fish.  It is wonderful to look from BMSC toward the inn across the inlet and imagine its greatness when it inevitably re-opens someday in the future.  Several other inns are open for business in Bamfield and are also spectacular and unique–I just don’t have pictures of them–so keep on the lookout for them and the iconic Bamfield Inn if you’re planning to have family or friends visit you while you’re doing work/taking classes in BMSC.

Grad student intro Part I: Bamfield Businesses

by Nicole Webster and Kat Anderson

Credit: N Webster

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.

This is also a permanent link under resources for long-term use. With that in mind, if you have ANY suggestions, updates, or corrections, please let us know!

Bamfield Bussinesses

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 (, 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.

East Bamfield locations. Warning, many locations listed in Google maps are incorrect. Edited from Google maps

The West SideBoat 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.

View of the west side from BMSC Credit: N Webster


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.

If you made it this far, a quick reminder that we would appreciate your info to add to this, and further updates in the series. Thanks!

Intertidal golf

by Susan Anthony

What is it? Well, golf in the intertidal!

Also, it’s a Bamfield Volunteer Fire Department fundraiser that occurs on a low low tide every year in the summer. Costumes are a must, and prizes given out for the best team costume. Check out the creative costumes in the photos below.

Lest you think it was all wet and grey, the sun came out (you can almost see it). Now the only obstacles are the massive amounts of Fucus. Credit: N Webster

Last year’s ball, now a loving limpet home. Credit: N Webster

Everyone meets at the Bamfield Inlet mudflats and gets a wedge (no drivers and putters necessary); then the whacking commences. The whole course is one big mud, water, and sand trap.  With additional obstacles such as rocks, trees, clams, algae, etc., this course requires you to  hone some skills that you wouldn’t require on any other course.

It’s not a rare occurrence to see someone whacking away at a ball while standing ankle deep in water, nor to hear someone shouting “FORE!” as a ball goes way off course towards another team.

Just adding to the fun, mud, mud, and mud. Especially around the “hole”. This means that even the most seasoned professional golfer has a challenge. Kind of levels the playing field. Credit: L. Palmer

Thermal image of hands. Credit: N Webster

It’s all for fun, and the money raised by the event goes to the Bamfield Volunteer Fire Department for new equipment.  This year, the money raised allowed them to purchase a thermal camera, which uses infrared to detect left-over hot spots from a fire.

Once you’re done batting around fruitlessly, racking up strokes, you hand in your score card (doctored or not) for comparison with others, and maybe buy a burger at the beached skiff starting area.  Erica won the ‘most honest’ award, for the second time in a row, while BVFD experts won with the fewest strokes. Best costume went to the Demons – Siobhan, Sara, Dane, Ross, Caroline.

Three Demons hiding in the woods! Credit: P. Demontigny

The day doesn’t end there, your intertidal golf ticket also gets you entrance to a delicious salmon BBQ for dinner: fresh local salmon cooked with three different sauces – Thai, herbs, and BBQ.

Finally, to round out the day, a performance by Chumbucket (featuring graduate student Greg McCullagh). They rocked until 1am, and are always a great time!  SO great in fact, we have no photos of the event.  Sorry.

Can’t wait for next year! Start dreaming up costume ideas that go well with gum boots!

Leys Lab (and friends) dressed up like a temperate rainforest. L-R Jasmine (thimbleberry), Pam (log), Brian (eagle), Nelson (ferns), Danielle (banana slug), and Sally (ferns) crouched in front. Credit: L. Palmer

The Palmer Lab. Dressed as Rich Palmer. L-R Suz (Rich Palmer), Nicole (Rich Palmer), Rich (Rich Palmer), and Jared (Rich Palmer). Jared is also sporting the lovely hat that comes with admission. Credit: L. Palmer