by Amanda Kahn
So you’ve decided to come to Bamfield. You’re out here, delving into your research, working in the field, when suddenly, a craving strikes! Wouldn’t sushi be delicious right now? Then another realization strikes: there isn’t a sushi restaurant within an hour’s drive of Bamfield. Or many other restaurants, for that matter. What are you going to do?
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do. First and foremost, the people at BMSC are superbly creative, capable folks who can do science AND know how to roll sushi! Well, some must know how to make sushi. Chances are high that asking around will find you someone who has a sushi roller, someone else with sticky rice, nori, wasabi, or pickled ginger. So, evening dinner party it is!
If you can’t find anyone with yams and you really want to make some yam tempura to go along with your sushi, you’ll have to head to one of the two stores in town. On the east side of town (the same side as the marine station, and accessible by car or walking from the station) is the Tides and Trails Market. This market stocks a small selection of fruits and vegetables, dairy, dry goods like pastas, rice, and even rice noodles, themed sections with a variety of diverse foods–including soy sauce for your sushi. There is also a freezer with a few different types of meat, pizzas, raviolis, frozen veggies, juices, and sometimes ice cream. A special ice cream freezer also has treats like ice cream sandwiches and ice cream bars. There is also a candy counter and a variety of warm baked goods.
On the west side of town, accessible from the marine station only by boat, is the Bamfield General Store. The General Store has a larger selection of fruits and vegetables, dairy section, more frozen veggies and meats, tasty imported chocolates, plenty of dry goods, and an ice cream section that serves huge scoops of ice cream on waffle cones. On hot days, locals sit outside the general store with their ice cream cones.
A couple of other options for those hard-to-find or specific items: one is to ask someone when they’re driving in from town and if they can pick up some groceries for you in Port Alberni. Another is to make a big order from Safeway, which costs a bit extra but will ship in the order on the Francis Barkley, which comes into Bamfield three times a week. Finally, you could catch a ride out to Port Alberni, at the end of the logging road, to visit a sushi restaurant there.
So, in spite of being at a remote field station, there are ways–many ways!–to enjoy sushi or whatever else strikes your fancy. Doing so just requires a bit of creativity and ingenuity.