SUP – Davis Bay

What a summer. Today was the last day of July and not a single drop of rain all month long. Nothing but sunshine and perfect temperatures to be outside on the ocean. Today I took advantage of one of my favourite summer programs: WOW – (Wednesdays on Water) coordinated by my friends at Alpha Adventures.

SUP Davis Bay 10

Really, this picture says it all. Can you picture a better way to spend a summer evening? What a sunset! (Big thanks to Sarah for sharing the photos! I’m not brave enough to paddle with my camera.)

Having fun

Having fun

I’ve paddled in a number of places on the Sunshine Coast, but I really enjoy the WOW SUP program. Every Wednesday evening a group paddle goes out of either Davis Bay or Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. I love the social aspect. It is always a different group of people at different levels of experience. The conversation is always different and interesting. Tonight there were 4 of us along with our high-energy leader, Sarah. A teenager and his dad, a very mature 12 year old boy, and myself. The others were new paddlers, but Sarah had them confidently stand up paddling in the bay in no time.

SUP at the Davis Bay Pier

SUP at the Davis Bay Pier

I always enjoy paddling in Davis Bay. It faces west, so great sunset views and Vancouver Island is off in the distance. Cruise ships bound for Alaska sail past every evening, and we got to watch 2 of them tonight while we paddled. Davis Bay opens to the Salish Sea, a.k.a. Georgia Strait. A heron landed on the edge of the wood pilings shown above. It was so still, I thought it was a statue but soon enough it took off in flight skimming just above the water. Beautiful! Davis Bay is an active area where people come to swim, walk the long seawall, fish off the pier, or just watch the sunset. Tonight there were a group of about 10 who were jumping off the pier into the warm ocean. It wasn’t quite high tide yet, so they were jumping a good 10-15 feet into the water.  Definitely braver than me, but fun to watch while I paddled.

Let’s hope August is just as nice and provides many more days of fun on the ocean.

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

Canada Day – July 1, 2012

Happy Canada Day!  This afternoon turned out to be a wonderful sunny Canada Day.  We enjoyed taking some time off to enjoy the day with our friends and neighbours in Gibsons Landing.  One of the special activities was the Gibsons Paddling Club giving trial paddle experiences to anyone who wanted to give it a try.  Two outrigger boats spent most of the afternoon taking adults and children alike for a short trip around Gibsons Harbour.

Gibsons Paddling Club – Gibsons Landing

The main attraction was live music in the amphitheater in Winegarden Park.  The Song Butchers…complete with white butcher coats…were the headline act and did a great job with 2 hours of Canadian music covers.  Live music, farmers market, family & friends, Rotary hot dogs and the Mayor and Council serving up birthday cake…small town fun to celebrate the nation’s birthday.

Winegarden Park

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


Music in the Landing – July 17, 2010

Aaahhhh, Music in the Landing – one of the true joys of Gibsons BC in the summer. The town and a special donor sponsor free music concerts featuring local musicians just about every weekend in July and August.

Saturday nights are my favourite…a chance to sit back and relax to great music and great views after busy Fridays and Saturdays with guests and participating at the Fiddlehead Farmers Market.

This week was Lynne Dickson and friends. Normally, Lynne & Patrice (pictured here) partner with Wendy to be Definitely Divas…sweet jazz and standards. Tonight the joined with a couple of great guys for some fun music including Gord0n Lightfoot.

Picture yourself taking in a lovely summer evening with this as your view. Yes, all these picks were taken from my comfy lawn chair….all in sight while children play in the grass.

You can also find Music in the Landing on Friday evenings at 7pm in the Gibsons Gazebo, Saturday afternoons in Pioneer Park by the Visitor Information Centre, and Sunday afternoons at the Holland Park Market. Great music…good times…and a chance to meet up with old friends.

Summer at its best!

Thanks so much to Linda & Graham who organize and host Music in the Landing every single week! What would we do without you?

Gibsons Sailing School – July 13, 2010

Today was one of those gorgeous summer days…perfect temperatures, sunshine, and absolutely necessary to get out of the house and enjoy.

I had the opportunity to go sailing today with Greig & Gillie from Gibsons Sailing School. Both are certified sailing instructors with the Canadian Yachting Association and both are comfortable and easy to talk to.

After a few minutes of introduction and safety instruction, we were off into Gibsons Harbour. I was aboard the “Sailing Still”, a Catalina 36′. These photos are of the “Django”, a 28′ Grampian.

After a bit of instruction, I was allowed to take the helm. I must say, this was a pretty cool experience. Greig did all the hard work working the ropes and managing the sails. I learned to tack and come about, and now I know the difference between the main sail and the jib.

Greig specializes in 4, 5, & 6 day courses designed to teach you to sail, read charts, and receive various levels of CYA certifications. You eat & sleep on the boat…plenty of room in the cabin. Sail across the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and the Gulf Islands.

Gillie specializes in a 3 hour “Introduction to Sailing course. This is designed to help educate a person in the basics of sailing, gain some basic terminology, and have a wonderful experience on the water. She loves to take women out for “Ladies Day-Sailing”, a chance for women to learn and enjoy a very different and empowering experience.

For more information on Gibsons Sailing School, visit

Gibsons Landing with part of Mount Elphinstone in the background.

All of this amazing scenery…only 5km from Arcturus Retreat B&B. What an amazing place to live and to visit.

BC Bike Race – July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!
In true Canadian spirit, we went out and supported the 500 riders competing in the BC Bike Race. This is a 7 day mountain bike trek from Vancouver to Vancouver Island across to the Sunshine Coast and over to Squamish & Whistler.
This is the 4th year for the race. Best part for me is that it literally races down our street! There is a trailhead at the end of our street that I have always enjoyed hiking. This trail connects into Sprockids Mountain Bike Park and over the mountain to the reputable Roberts Creek trails.
Thus, the last segment of the day’s ride is the decent down our trail and onto our street for a mad dash to the ferry and the finish line.
Riders cover a very wide spectrum. We’ve had Olympians and world champions. We have riders from many countries. We have men & women of all ages. There is a 60+ riding this year and there is a 15 yr old. It is hard to tell in this photo, but the guy in the center is a unicyclist! Can you imagine riding mountain bike trails…40km/day…on a unicycle?

They were muddy and wet today after a bit of rain last night…but the riders loved it. “Best trails I’ve ever ridden,” said one of the racers we talked to. The heart of the group took 5 hours to ride today’s course….and this was his quote.

I have a lot of respect for the race organizers. They have traffic control, trail markings, a bike shower, food at the finish line, first aid stations along the route, camping tent city every night, 24 hour repair crews to keep the bikes in top shape, and on-site massage teams to keep the riders in shape.
Very cool. Can’t wait to see you again next year! For more information on great Sunshine Coast mountain biking, visit or

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.

Wildlife Up Close – August 6, 2009

This was the view from my window when I first woke up this morning. Deer have been visiting regularly as the plums have ripened, but this morning was a special treet. A doe and her fawn were enjoying plums and leaves for breakfast. If you look closely, you can see the white spots on the fawn. I just had time to admire and find the camera before they were on their way. Luckily one of our guests was up early enough to see the show as well.

We had picked a handful of plums before today…just enough for a quick snack and to make the first plum-blueberry cobbler of the season. YUM! With deer arriving daily to snack and wanting to avoid the black bear, we started picking for real tonight. Over 50 lbs of yellow plums are now in and that is only the beginning. We didn’t even have the ladder out except for about 5 minutes. I will definitely be at the Fiddlehead Farmers Market on Saturday with fresh plums, plum muffins, and maybe plum galettes.

Commotion by the Ocean – August 1, 2009

Monday is BC Day so we celebrated the long weekend by making a trip to Gambier Island for Commotion by the Ocean. Gambier is the island I see out my window every day, but in 3 years I had never visited.

Commotion by the Ocean is an annual event with food, family fun and great music to raise money for community activites on Gambier Island. The weather was absolutely wonderful today and they had a great turnout. Burgers and beer on a summer evening with fabulous local bands surrounded by the forest. What could be better? This picture is looking back from Gambier Island to our home at the base of Mt Elphinstone. Note the 7km/h speed limit….ahhhh island life.

Sibling Rivals was fantastic, and boy can this gal play tenor sax. The crowd was up dancing the entire time for both sets. Nearly Neil is a great cover band with terrific energy. Bobby Bruce can totally do Neil Diamond…it’s amazing. I could have listened to these groups all night. Unfortunately, the official gig wraps up at 9pm so that all of us mainlanders can catch the last ferry off the island. However, I am sure that the locals are still going strong even now. We thank them for starting mid-afternoon so that we can enjoy many hours of great music.

I am looking forward to a return trip next year.