Thursday 26 September 2013

BCO On the Wing, the Art of the Aerial Photos

Often in the BC Oceanfront office, business and pleasure go hand in hand. Case in point - taking aerial photos. When dealing with remote properties, large acreages, private islands, or residential developments, aerial photos can convey a great deal of information about a property and the surrounding location. So whenever the opportunity arises Ed, and sometimes Shelley, get up in the air.
Schloss Island

Ed has his own plane, so when he has a number of places to visit he will hire a pilot to fly him around while he visits properties and takes pictures. These are often long days planned in accordance with the weather forecast, to get the most out of his time in the sky.

Ed with his plane
Other times the local pilots will call the office and let Ed know they are going to be doing a flight that they have space on. If Ed or Shelley is able, they will grab their cameras and head out. The more time up in the air the more photos they can bring back to the office. Taking aerial photos is tricky, with glare, reflections and motion all adding to the challenge. Having a large selection of images helps with the final package preparation and lots of angles and different view points provide more information. Often a property will be photographed in different seasons as well, as vegetation coverage changes.
same area, first one in February 2010 second one in July 2012 

Weather (wind, rain, cloud coverage) can play a huge role in when they go flying. Ed has had to reschedule flight days many times when the weather just won't clear up enough. Shelley was out last week, and was unable to get over one of the west coast properties on her list because of wind turbulence.
Upper Campbell Lake

"The fact that this is our work, that we get to go out there and have this fantastic experience, is amazing. It's part of what makes BCO special," says Shelley.

Ed, Shelley, Kate and Louise - Your BCO Office Team!
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!

Thursday 19 September 2013

BC Coastal Hidden Gems: Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii is one of those places that people consider in mystical terms - it's a magical place somewhere off the coast of BC, the BC Archipelago. But not many people actually go there, so although its name is well known it is still considered a hidden gem here at BCO.
Haida Gwaii

You can fly into Haida Gwaii or you can take the ferry from Prince Rupert on the BC mainland coast. The two main islands, Graham Island and Moresby Island, are separated by a small strait which you cross by ferry.
on the ferry to Graham Island

The main population centres are Sandspit, Masset and Charlotte City. Other populated areas are Port Clements and Tlell. The bigger communities average 1000 people, so the islands definitely have a small town vibe, where neighbours all help each other out. It's also one of those places that attracts a wide variety of people who have chosen to live a little farther away from major cities, etc, and this variety adds colour to the region.

Haida Gwaii is known for its First Nations culture and its amazing natural beauty. The most well-known beach is North Beach, outside Masset - where you can find miles of sand dunes and beach to explore.

Fishing is another thing that Haida Gwaii is known for, and many people enjoy visiting the remote lodges in the area. No trip is complete without some time out on a boat!

Haida Gwaii is one of those places that remains in your thoughts for a long time, and is certainly worth the time to get there.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!



Thursday 12 September 2013

Accessing the BCOceanfront Coast

BC's coast is a vibrant, active place - and it is also very large with lots of water and forests. Getting access to many of the regions and properties can seem daunting, until you speak to locals and people who are in the area frequently. In the BCOceanfront office, understanding the many forms of coastal access is crucial, as so many of the properties we visit are in amazing and remote locations.

The first level of access is BC Ferries. This is the main way most people access Vancouver Island (some fly over) and certainly is the most common way to access most of the more populated islands along the eastern shore of Vancouver Island (lower Gulf Islands, Gabriola, Quadra and Cortes, Denman and Hornby, Malcolm and Cormorant, etc).

The next level is by private, paid boat. On the west coast there are larger foot passenger/cargo boats that service Nootka Sound as well as Barkley Sound. As well, most coastal communities will have water taxi service available to take you to more remote locations.

Some people prefer float plane as a quick way to access remote coastal areas. This works especially well for the mainland coast where there are no roads and boating across the strait can be time consuming. Float planes operate out of most the towns and cities along Vancouver Island.

Forest Service Roads are the backbone of island access, especially in the central and northern sections of Vancouver Island. These are roads put in for the use of the logging companies, that are open to public use. Caution is always advised when travelling on these roads, and keep in mind smaller forest service roads can be over-grown if they are no longer in service. The larger forest service roads are a major system for recreational access to many of the camping areas and lakes on the island. The most common source of mapping is the BC Backroads MapBook for Vancouver Island, and some Search and Rescue groups also sell maps of the various regions.
Watch for wildlife as well!

The need for some extra planning in accessing these areas is what adds to their beauty and appeal for most people. For those who live and play along the coast, the forest service roads and waterways are an extension of the highway system just as a subway would be to someone from a large city.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!

Thursday 5 September 2013

Coastal Hidden Gems: Tyee Spit and the Campbell River Estuary

For decades the Campbell River was used as an exchange and holding area for many logging operations. In recent years efforts have been made to repair and restore the area, transforming the shoreline back to healthy, indigenous vegetation.

The Tyee Spit itself has been transformed into a wonderful park, complete with walking paths and beach access, a great place to look out over Discovery Passage and across to Quadra Island.

The estuary and Baikie Island are still works in progress, but are quickly becoming naturalized once again thanks to hard work by a number of groups.

A great place to explore in the middle of the city.

It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!