Vicarious (non-)storm watching

[This was originally posted on August 25, 2011, but had to be “reconstructed” following the crash of a MySQL server at my Web hosting service.]

In the run-up to last Saturday’s entry — “in the sight of… this company” and the Webcam — I went from wondering what those white buckets were on the beach in front of the Long Beach Lodge Resort (Cox Bay, Tofino, BC) to realizing it was preparatory to a wedding, and finally to capturing stills from the Webcam for a potential blog post. But if you had told me that that brief impulse would lead to more than 400 views of the post over the next three days, I would have been incredulous. In fact, I pretty much still am, since this is a very small-potatoes blog. But in this case, the traffic was driven by a couple of postings by Perry Schmunk, General Manager of the Lodge, one on Twitter (@PerrySchmunk) and the other on Facebook.

Any worries I had about accusations of voyeurism were allayed by these comments:

● on my blog, Lacie said, “My fiance and I are planning to be married next april at the longbeach lodge and I think this is amazing! Its a great way to allow others who cannot be there view the event and I would definitly not mind others watching either.” OK, so Lacie will perhaps send some advance emails to absent family and friends, and wouldn’t mind if there were a few opportunistic visitors (as I was last weekend), but that perspective pales in comparison to this open-arms invitation to the world….

● on Facebook, Dave said simply “4 PM this Saturday, watch for us!” Well, Dave, let’s see. The Lodge’s Facebook page has been liked by roughly 12,000 people. If just 1% of them take you up on the offer, you should be thankful that they will be attending virtually rather than physically. Otherwise, the bar tab will go up substantially, and Cakes of Tofino had better get cracking.

● on both my blog and Facebook, Sandy was actually hopeful that her early August wedding had been captured. Who knew? “Please join Jack and Jill on Saturday, August 29, at 1:00 PM PDT at” Yes, “webbings.” There is definitely an unfilled business niche here, if only more Webcams were high-def. Cisco/WebEx, are you reading this?

As I hinted in my original post, however, the draw for me to the WCVI Aquatic Management Board’s Webcam, graciously hosted and maintained by the Long Beach Lodge Resort, is not weddings. Rather, it is the chance to enjoy the beauty and energy of the Pacific Ocean on my screen. A year ago, I distilled the essence of it in my post on storm watching as “walking on the beach, reading, and soaking in the view — being that bench, as it were.” If I can’t be there myself, then the next best thing is sharing the view with those who can, walkers and dogs, surfers and wedding guests.

Herewith a modest sampler from July-August 2011, while I await my first season of vicarious storm watching. Click on each image for a large version in a new window.

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