Wild At Heart: Tying the Knot in the Wilderness
With each volume of the Sounder, we shed light on the private side of a chosen staffer. In this issue, we introduce two personalities. The men at the helm of two favourite pastimes - the undertaking of adventure, and the consumption of wine. The adventure guy, Dickson Coatsworth, just finished his third full season with us. The wine guy, Ron Gibson, just completed lap one of what we hope will be a long run.
Dickson was a man-about-town disk jock before he came to Clayoquot Sound in 2000. If you hail from Guelph, Ontario, you might have heard him making waves on Magic 106.1 FM radio. For a taste of Dickson's silky smooth talking ways, simply call the resorts 250.726.8235 number off-hours and be crooned to. Dickson spends plenty of time in the office, spelling John, Adele and Courtney, fielding questions and solving problems. But to most guests, Dickson's the guy that comes around mid-meal in the evening, clipboard in-hand, to weigh all manner of wilderness possibilities. And, before you know it, you're signed up for a morning with "Cosy" the whale whisperer (sorry John, you've been residing at the Outpost all summer), who will pull out all stops to find "Two Dot Star" or another of a handful of resident 35-ton greys. Or maybe a morning on the chuck with "Chuck" is more to your liking. Whatever the case, come morning, Dickson will be there on the deck, along with your gear - smiling, waiting, smiling, smiling. Did I say smiling? Dickson does a lot of that, and he means it. He's found his Shangri-La here in Quait Bay. Far, far away from the static of the biz and the city.
I couldn't get him to give up his age (a dozen years either side of 30) or anything much else for that matter. He'd just smile and sashay his way around the questions. I have a feeling Dickson is sitting on some pretty good material.
New to the resorts this year is our wine guy, Ron Gibson. Unlike most staffers, Ron didn't travel far to get here. A mere four-hour drive north from Victoria was all it took to land one of the country's most knowledgeable gourmands of the grape. Ron's story is an interesting one. To put it mildly, he's morphed a bit since he landed here for an interview that sunny day in the spring. It's only fair to point out that he ran in different circles before gearing down to Tofino time. Ron was a wine consultant to Vancouver Island's topshelf restaurants and boutique purveyors, so it didn't seem odd to him to arrive at Quait Bay all spiffed up in suit and tie with brogues a'polished. And there, at the top of the ramp was Dickson, smiling - no smirking. And so began Ron's journey from slicker to sailor - one that has taught him to drive a boat, load hay, wear "jeans", like to wear jeans, sleep in a tent (albeit a luxurious one), weather a storm, and share a beach with a bear. Old habits die hard though; if you're up early enough, you can still find Ron in the laundry room - ironing his denim shirt.
Unlike most creative souls, Ron can access and function at optimum speed, using the other side of his brain as well. Lucky for us and for guests, he's a tech whiz. And, on those days when the high-speed satellite internet throws a shoe, Ron's worth his weight in icewine.