Bamfield, BC - Carley Wall
Growing up, I spent many of my summer days down at White Rock beach with my Nana. She has always enjoyed walking along the sand and in tide pools, looking for all sorts of critters. However, I absolutely HATED the beach, tropical or temperate! I didn’t like the smell or taste of saltwater, I didn’t like how squishy the sand felt, and I absolutely detested seaweed.
This general distaste for the ocean continued even into high school, until my Grade 11 science co-op. Through this program, our class was able to partake in a variety of scientific experience, including a five-day trip to the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, located on the West side of Vancouver Island. In this small (and I mean small) town of approximately 150 people is where I fell in love with the ocean. We spent our days there out on the water learning about tides, marine mammals, fish and invertebrates, and even my ex-arch nemesis seaweed! I can’t explain what happened, but suddenly, something clicked and I knew that this was my true path in life. My parents couldn’t believe it when I came home, that I had undergone such a drastic change in only five days.
Since then, I have received my Bachelor degree from UVic in marine biology and I became a PADI certified diver. Now, I can enjoy all the ocean has to offer up close, with the knowledge needed to understand and respect it. My time at UVic allowed me to return to Bamfield for my studies, and now I am returning once again in order to do research for my Master’s degree. I am so grateful to this little slice of oceanic heaven, which was able to change my life forever.