Roberts Creek Provincial Park

Today was one of those perfect October days. Clear blue skies…short sleeve shirt temperatures…orange & yellow leaves falling everywhere…a perfect day to be outside. I knew I was enjoying one of those last perfect weather days of the year…but I didn’t realize just how special it was until I saw the news tonight and saw 20cm of snow in Calgary. Yes, I LOVE living on the edge of the Pacific Ocean!

Roberts Creek Provincial Park Picnic

Luckily, I attended an event in Roberts Creek this afternoon which got me out of the house and all the potential garden chores that I could have been focused on for the day. I made a special point of stopping by Roberts Creek Provincial Park on my way home. This is a lovely picnic area with ocean view tables and plenty of grassy area for kids to run and play.  I discovered it a few years ago in winter. The best part, is quick and easy access to the beach. This afternoon I had it all to myself. Seated on a huge piece of driftwood, jacket off & sunglasses on….this was my view to the left…

RC Beach 537

and to the right (see what I mean about huge pieces of driftwood)….RC Beach 539

and nothing but the waves of the Pacific rolling in straight ahead.  My spot was facing west into the sun, so I couldn’t get any good photos of Vancouver Island in the distance. Such a welcome change after a week of mostly fog that has kept the sun hidden.

RC Beach 538

I only wish I had brought a book along….I might have stayed for an hour. It felt so good to soak up some sun and listen to the waves crash. The water is so clear here…you could literally see inside the wave to the rocks below as they rolled in. Yes, this was the end of October on a Canadian beach….pretty darn special. A perfect afternoon on the Sunshine Coast.



SUP in Davis Bay – July 4, 2012

The sun returned and it was finally warm enough to really get outside.  I took advantage of the blue skies and celebrated some WOW – Wednesdays on Water with my friend and guide Sarah at Alpha Adventures.  This was my first time out on the water this year…it finally felt warm enough.

It was high tide and the water was so smooth.  Hard to believe this is the ocean, sometimes.  A quick reminder of some basics from Sarah and I was off.  This was only my 3rd time paddle boarding and the first time out since last fall.  Yes, just like riding a bike, it all comes back.  In no time I was up on the board and cruising down the beach.

Davis Bay w/ Vancouver Island in the background

WOW takes place every Wednesday.  It’s a social paddle…anyone can join and its about practicing skills, making friends and having fun.  My fellow WOW group members were all from out of town. John is visiting from the other Sunshine Coast in Australia. He chose the wet suit because we don’t have the tropical waters from Down Under, but he was sweating up a storm after the good workout that paddling provides. I was happy to not have ‘taken a swim’…a.k.a. falling in. Every once in a while a wave would run across the top of my board and my feet and remind me that the water is still cool. Two sisters from Canmore Alberta were in town for BC Bike Race (more about that tomorrow) and decided to have a little ocean adventure.

So much fun.  You know how the sun shines and creates a trail over the water as it gets lower in the sky?  I just let myself line up with that trail and paddled along.  Not a care in the world…just me and the ocean.  It’s a real sense of freedom.  When I looked back toward the beach, I couldn’t believe how far from shore I had gone.

These shots are from the beach after a good workout.  I can really feel my abs tonight!  A couple days of rest and then I hope to be back on the water for Sunday’s 2nd annual SUP Festival in Porpoise Bay.  Come out and try paddle boarding for yourself!

2 kayaks – 2 Alaskan cruise ships
smooth water with Vancouver Island in the distance

Oak Street Trail – May 25, 2012

Today was absolutely beautiful with full sunshine.  Summer weather has arrived.  After dinner, we decided to take a stroll along the beach and watch the sunset.  Bonniebrook Beach is just outside of Gibsons and is a wonderful place for watching sunsets over Vancouver Island in the distance.  Ocean Beach Esplanade is 2-3km long and only local traffic, so there are more walkers and bikers than cars most of the time.  We had just started walking when I noticed a new trail sign, so we took a detour and look what we found.
Oak Street Trail – look at the size of that stump!
 What an entrance!  Imagine how tall that tree was to leave a stump that big.  I had no idea there was a hiking trail here…I’ve always just walked along the beach.  It isn’t even on the SCRD’s trail maps yet.  We decided to explore and see where it led.  What a great trail for an evening hike!  The whole trail couldn’t have taken more than 10-15 minutes and connects to the end of a neighborhood road.  If you follow the trail up the road, you end up in Whispering Firs Park along the Sunshine Coast Highway.
Birds and frogs were singing and large ferns covered the forest floor.  Rushing water from a creek could be heard in the distance.  There were other trees as large as the entrance stump that had fallen and were creating a hotbed of regrowth.  The first part of the trail is a bit steep.  You are hiking up the bank from the ocean, afterall.  Not terribly difficult, but not accessible to everyone.
Educational display & map of the area
 As you come back down the path, there are glimpses of the ocean in the distance.  You can hear the pounding waves more than you can see them from the forest.  As we came out to the clearing, we imagined what is was like for pioneers and explorers to cut through think forest only to find the Pacific Ocean before them.  Absolutely incredible.  We finished the evening with a stroll along the beach to watch the sunset.  So simple, yet so special.
Bonniebrook Beach


New Year’s Day – Jan 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012! It is a beautiful day to start the year. After a delicious breakfast of blueberry crepes, we headed down for the annual Gibsons Polar Boar Swim.

Fresh snow on the North Shore Mountains makes for a great view. As you can see from the waves, it was quite windy on Howe Sound today. It really wasn’t that cold, but the wind made it feel cold.
Unfortunately the Polar Boars conflicted with high tide, so there wasn’t room along the beach for everyone to line up at the same time.

Instead it was a quick dart down the old stairs and into the water. A few brave souls were out today…but not near as many as last year when the weather was just gorgeous.
I love this New Year’s tradition. Start the year off with a BLAST. Take up the challenge. I love to cheer on those who put themselves out there.
Maybe one day I’ll do it too. But for now, I’ll raise a glass and salute those who put it all out there, including one very brave little girl who received the most cheers for her efforts.

Here’s to a great 2012!

Hopkins Landing – December 20, 2011

So what do you do for fun the week of Christmas? Go to the beach, of course! I couldn’t resist today when the sun made a grand appearance. I postponed the baking and the paperwork and headed outside.

The closest beach to Arcturus Retreat is Hopkins Landing. I love this trip as a quick 1 hour workout. It is a lovely walk, and the scenery is amazing. There is even a bench on which to rest for a mid-trek break. Check out the snow-capped Mount Elphinstone which received another 5″ yesterday. Even the seagulls were basking in the sun.

Looking forward to many more sunny winter days on the beach.

Davis Bay Sandcastles – July 30, 2011

It was a super sunny day for today’s annual Davis Bay Sandcastle Competition. This is an annual event put on by our local Rotary organizations. Boy, did they pick the day for a long very low tide!

Some very creative minds went to work this morning designing all elements of creatures. Here are a few of our favourites:

Amazing likeness!

Love those toenails! Purple clam shells

Seaweed for the thong.

Mr Tortoise soaking up some sun


Day at the Beach – September 5, 2010

Today was a beautiful sunny day. One of those last days of summer where the sun is shining but there is a cool nip in the air that lets you know that fall is just around the corner. I decided to take advantage of a quiet afternoon to venture out to a nearby beach…Roberts Creek Provincial Park.

I’ve posted pics from here before, but in winter. Summer is usually lively here with picnic tables and plenty of room for kids to run, play catch, or just have fun.

Today, I had the beach to myself. What a special time to have complete peace with the waves softly crashing into the shore. I found a spot on a large log (about 1 meter in diameter) and soaked in the moment. It was high tide, so there was only about 5 meters between me and the water. You can see Vancouver Island in the distance looking both west and south.

There were a few boats out today, but all in the distance so all the sounds were of birds and waves. A perfectly peaceful afternoon!

This is a tree that has washed up on the shore. The rootball is at least 4-5 meters high. It’s not as clear in the picture, but the roots are all curled up and gnarly. Shells and rocks have been lodged in some of the openings. The wood on the trunk is smooth…sanded down by the waves.

This is the open beach to the north….not a sole to be seen.

And the same to the south. Just me and the birds today. I was hoping to see our grey whale that has been spotted in the area for the last 2 months. I kept watching the horizon, but no luck today. Oh well, another time. Today was for relaxing, slowing down and enjoying the moment. Have to remember to do this more often.

Davis Bay – June 30, 2010

Summer! It has been a while since I took a little time for me, so with the sun shining and B&B guests welcomed and settled I got outside today.

Davis Bay one of the largest stretches of beach easily accessible by the highway. There is a long seawall that is very popular for walking with wonderful views of the Georgia Strait and Vancouver Island. The water is warm, school is out and kids are enjoying the ocean on a sunny afternoon.

Plenty of room for everyone…even the geese are out for a swim. Grey whales have been seen in the area a few days this week, but no such luck during my visit today. I have heard that they have been very close to shore and quite a sight.

One of my favourite things to do in Davis Bay is frequent Feastro the Rolling Bistro. Yes, the odd looking purple taco truck has the most delicious food! Seafood tacos, West Coast bbq, mussels and more. Fresh fruit smoothies & real lemonade. Locally grown organic greens for salads and taco toppings. Yum Yum! Paul and crew do a great job and add a bit of flare to a walk in the fresh air.

Hello summer! So glad you’re back.

Snickett Park – Jan 18, 2010

So, it’s the middle of January…the heart of Canadian winter. Well as you can see from these photos, there are only the smallest patches of snow remaining at the very top of the mountains. Look closely…it is still there…only at 1,000 meters or more.
Here along the beach of the Georgia Straight on the Pacific Ocean, temperatures are about 12C (54F) and every couple of days we get this gorgeous sunshine.
Overnight, we had just had huge storms with gale force winds and heavy rain. This coupled with high tides created lots of debris along the shore, though you can’t really see it here. Most of the rural areas were without power for hours as crews repaired the lines and removed fallen tree branches.
Meanwhile, many people were out to celebrate the sun, the warm temperatures and one of those many picture perfect days here on the Sunshine Coast. Maybe the storm was nature’s way of reminding us to get away from the computer and the office and to get outside to appreciate her.

These pictures are from Snickett Park which is a popular seaside trail in downtown Sechelt. Dog walking is an extremely popular activity here. Others finish off the walk with a friendly conversation on the many park benches taking in the spectacular view.

Here is to more days spent outside…at least for part of the day.