Best Coast Living: Surf. Bike. Home by Dinner.

Video by Zyoji Jackson, Middle School Teacher, Senior Houseparent
Music: Dirt (Jahzzar) / CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the great advantages to living in Victoria is the close proximity of so many outdoor pursuits without having to sacrifice city living. Outdoor Education day trips offer opportunities to explore the waves and trails that our city is famous for and have you home by dinner.


Surfing, Surf Kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboarding

The ride to Jordan River, a short drive down-island from Victoria, was as enjoyable as it was rainy. The rain did not stop but slowly backed off as we got closer to the river. Taking Mr. Jackson’s truck sure beat riding in the toaster bus or the cargo vans and we visited his private surf shack, arguably the best place on earth. Some of the materials were scavenged from SMUS renovations and most of the walls are made of the old SMUS wooden utility tables, gum included.

We arrived at the beach and snagged a parking spot right next to the path, suited up and prepared ourselves for the not-cold-for-November water. The hearty water-bourne folk included lots of students, two Mr. Jacksons, Mr. Shaw and Mr. McLeod. Speaking of Mr. McLeod, many people (myself included) thought that shaving his walrus whiskers (in support of Cops for Cancer) may have rid him of his most distinguishing feature. It was very hard to find him at school the next week — it was like playing “Where is Waldo” without the stripes, glasses and dark hair. Anyway, he proved that hair is just hair; if the proof is in the pudding then that mustachioed maniac was back to shredding sweet waves in the ‘yak even without his full grown Mo.

Back to the subject at hand…

The serenity of the river and the stillness was incredible. The waves pushed us along instead of making a big frothy monster to smash the newbies. But the swell was nice and it picked up later in the day along with the crowds. The Launch Zone at the river mouth is so narrow that anyone in your way will throw you off the wave.

Our small group bore witness to the awesomeness of a good surf day. Those waves don’t put a curl in your hair, that hair puts a curl in those waves! Mr. McLeod’s Mo is back and so are the waves, so catch some rides dudes and dudettes! COWABUNGA!

Mountain Biking

Last Friday, a mixed group of Grade 6, 7, and 8 Middle School students went to Hartland Mountain biking park, on the outskirts of town at Mt. Work. It was a fun way for us to get to know one another away from the classroom and out in the wilderness. Everyone in the group was a different skill level but we rode together and everyone had a fun time.

In past rides, I’ve had broken chains, snapped an axle and had a spoke puncture the tire. This trip’s mechanical issue occured when a bolt loosened off and Lucas’s rear wheel came off while he was riding through a technical section. Although he didn’t fall down, the group had to stop and wait as Mr. Jackson and Mr. Ko made a trail-side repair. As the rain started to come down and the light faded, we headed back to the parking lot and that concluded our journey. For me, it is important to get out and enjoy the heart-pounding thrills that the woods bring and I know that the others felt it too.


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