Thursday, 20 September 2018

Winterizing your Recreational Property

Fall begins tomorrow and with it comes the promise of rain and wind and storms on the west coast. Just like you should clean your gutters, unhook your hoses and put away the patio furniture at your residence, you should prepare your recreational and remote properties for the fall and winter seasons.

Water - if you are not going to be using your property over the winter your water supply should be properly shut down. There is nothing worse than burst pipes in the spring!

General tidy up - make sure all the loose items from summer, such as chairs, tables, planters, tools, etc are put away in a secure place. Winter weather can wreck these items, and winter storms can send them flying.

Clean up - make sure that food stuffs are either well packaged, stored somewhere else or thrown out. Mice love a winter meal! Putting linens, towels, dishcloths, etc somewhere extra dry will help keep mould from growing on damp fabrics.

Lock up - make sure the property is closed up properly. Windows and doors should be latched so wind doesn't blow them open and so that critters can't get in.

Docks - make sure the surface is "gripped" or cleaned so that if someone needs to use the docks they won't slip on the slick surface from all the winter moisture.

Trees, shrubs, etc - now is a good time to prune any dead branches or long branches that are getting too close to buildings. These can come down during winter storms doing a lot of damage with no one around to clean up. Better to deal with it now.

A small amount of time spent shutting down, cleaning up and locking up will save time and possibly money come spring. Time to get it done before the big storms come!

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 13 September 2018

Power Generation on Remote and Recreational Properties

When dealing with recreational and remote properties there are considerations that don't come up with regular residential properties. For instance - is there power and where does it come from?

Some recreational and remote properties are close enough to small communities that they can hook into existing BC Hydro power supplies. It can be surprising how many boat access communities, such as Quatsino on the NW coast of Vancouver Island, actually have power from BC Hydro. This is then just like obtaining power for any new property - lines need to be accessed and power brought into the property through coordination with BC Hydro, neighbouring properties and local communities.

For properties beyond the scope of BC Hydro, there are still options for power. Many of the older, more established remote properties will have gas generators of some sort. This involves generators and usually a battery bank to store power so that the generators aren't running all the time. This requires gas to be brought on to the property, and general upkeep on the equipment.

Solar power has become an attractive option for some, and it is not unusual to see a house or cottage with an array of solar panels on the roof, or as a stand-alone system. These supply a battery bank which stores the energy. Some larger properties have been known to use solar power but keep a gas generator on hand as an emergency back-up system.

Another option for those who have access to a running water supply is personal use hydro-power. This requires a license for the water use, and on a good, strong water source can be a great power supply. There are a variety of set-ups depending on the amount of power required.

All of the options have pros and cons when it comes to upkeep, initial cost of installation and materials, efficiency, etc. It requires some good research both on the options and the property itself. At BCO we have a good deal of information on alternative energy and are always looking out for new and innovative ideas in power for remote/recreational properties.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 6 September 2018

BCO Coastal Gems: Tahsis

The coastal village of Tahsis is situated at the head of protected Tahsis Inlet, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island near Nootka Sound. Tahsis offers access to a number of wilderness hiking trails, caving, incredible ocean kayaking, scuba diving, wind surfing, sailing and canoeing.  

 The Village of Tahsis offers a variety of accommodations, from guest houses to campgrounds and marinas. 

The area is best known for offering world-class sport fishing as massive runs of salmon migrate down the west of British Columbia to their spawning grounds in coastal streams and rivers. Anglers can also venture out to the Pacific Ocean where fishing is excellent for halibut, flounder, rockfish and lingcod. Crabs, prawns, shrimp, oysters and other seafood are also plentiful. Wildlife abounds! Black bear, wolves, cougars, Roosevelt elk and coastal black-tailed deer are frequent visitors to this area. 

Guests from around the world marvel at the eagles, sea lions, whales and other marine wildlife that is common in the nearby waters. The picturesque and versatile west coast village offers a full-service marina and a safe, friendly small town atmosphere that boasts an incredible blend of outdoor adventures and some of the most rugged and breathtaking scenery in British Columbia, Canada.

Tahsis is located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, approx 2.5 hours' drive from Campbell River along the Gold River Hwy and then past Gold River onto gravel road. It can also be reached by boat launched from Gold River or other west coast communities.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 30 August 2018

BCO Website Slideshow

Between us all in the office, we take thousands of photos a year. Not only property-specific photos, but area photos and landscape photos. We don't let these photos languish - not only do we feature them on our social media channels but we also use them for print material and for the website. If you have visited our office you may have even seen our slideshows of photos running on the big TV!

Our calendar is always a custom print made up of photos taken by the BCO Team (with a few rare exceptions). If you have received a card or magnet from our office, those were all photos taken by team members.

The place we really love to feature the photos is on the BC Oceanfront website slideshow. The home page slideshow is changed up 3-4 times a year and is a showcase of the variety of locations BCO represents as well as the natural beauty of the regions.

Vancouver Island and the surrounding islands and waterways are a natural paradise unlike any other, and we hope to convey that with the photos we share.

The BCO website slideshow was updated today - check it out!

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island has so much forest, we sometimes forget to look more closely at the amazing trees in these forests. Sight-seeing gets taken up by the amazing water features of the island, while we drive past acres and acres of forest.

Cathedral Grove, or as it's more formally known MacMillan Provincial Park, is found on Highway 4 on the way to Port Alberni. This small provincial park celebrates Vancouver Island forests, both their eco-systems and their history. In a very small space that is bisected by a busy road, one is quickly overwhelmed by the majesty of the trees.

largest tree in the park

rain forest moss

tall, tall trees

If the forest seems vaguely familiar, it is because scenes from Star Wars Return of the Jedi were filmed here. 

Cathedral Grove is worth a stop, even if you live on the island and think you know trees. It's worth the reminder that these forests of ours are something special.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Marine Parks to Explore

The coast of BC has over 40 designated marine parks. These are parks that include both water and land areas but are generally accessible by float plane or boat only (with some exceptions). Many of them allow wilderness camping but only a few offer even basic services (an outhouse, water, campsites).
Rebecca Spit Marine Park, accessible by road as well as boat on Quadra Island.
These marine parks run along the entire coast of BC and among the numerous islands that dot the coast. They are an attraction for boaters, kayakers, hikers and many others. The largest marine park on the coast is the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, off the NE coast of Vancouver Island, which consists of dozens of small islands and the waters around them. This park is very popular with kayakers and people whale watching.

Marine parks often provide a welcome refuge for people traveling along the coast, and are common meet-up spots for boaters.  Desolation Sound Marine Park, along the central mainland coast, is very popular with boaters due to its protected waters, easy access to the Discovery Islands and its beautiful beaches.
private properties within Desolation Sound Marine Park

Some of the remote and recreational properties we have listed through the BC Oceanfront office either border or are very near to marine parks. A select few are even lucky enough to be private property within a marine park - very rare.
flying over Surge Narrows Marine Park

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!

Thursday, 2 August 2018

Interactive Feature Packages

With a full team of four at the BCO office there is always someone looking at what is new and innovate. Our latest addition is the new interactive information packages, created in office by Jennifer.

BC Oceanfront has always prided itself on the information packages it assembles. These are a definite team effort, from Ed and/or Shelley talking with the clients, visiting the property and taking photos, to Kate working with them to hone the text, to Jennifer pulling together additional information such as zoning and mapping and then creating the packages. These interactive flipbooks take those packages to a new level online.

You can check out one of these flipbooks on our new listing at DL1538 Sonora. You can easily flip through the pages and there are video clips from the property as well as clickable pages which take you to more information.

Our pdf packages are still available for emailing and printing, but as more and more people are viewing properties on a mobile or tablet device these new interactive packages are easier to view and allow for more information to be accessed. You can also share the flipbooks with others!

You can see a listing's flipbook by clicking on the Interactive Information Package button on the listing page at our website.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!