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Beach Grit

Vancouver BC ain’t just for bears!

Michael Ciaramella

by Michael Ciaramella

Raph is the man we should all strive to be!

Have you ever considered just… leaving? Of quitting your job, selling the suburban home, gathering your family and most valued possessions and getting lost in nature’s deepest catacombs? Then this short film, Bruhwiler Country, might be for you!

A little background.

Some forty-odd years ago, a young man named Bruhwiler entered Maple Leaf territory by way of Switzerland. He leveraged his knowledge of the land and manual skills to create a life on Vancouver Island, complete with a wife, beautiful home and gaggle of children all of whom adored their natural playground. One of those kids was named Raph, and he became Canada’s first professional surfer.

Now pushing forty (I think?) and having surfed the world over, Raph loves nothing more than kicking it around his hometown of Tofino and spending time with family. Raph is adamant that his kids are raised in a similar fashion to his rootsy upbringing — living off the land, learning how to survive in the wilderness and of course, surfing. After all, the Vancouver archipelago is home to many a nook and cranny, oftentimes delivering an abundance of slabbing tunnels for a crowd of one, maybe two.

Personally, I don’t think I’d fare so well going “off the grid”. While I appreciate the utilitarian and metaphysical benefits of living in a natural state, such as learning manual skills and being freed from the shackles of commerce, mainstream media and political hysteria, I’m also a very big pussy. Not much of a handyman, a major opponent to being cold and wet, and genuinely addicted to the pseudo-sphere of social media.

There are many bears in Vancouver BC but also plenty of room for twunks!

There are many bears in Vancouver BC but also plenty of room for twunks!

But what of you? Could Beach Grit readers bear the wet and cold and humble lifestyle of the Canadian island-forest? If not for tubes, then for family, for health?