Thursday 30 January 2014

BC Coastal Gems: Nootka Sound and Surrounding West Coast

This region of the West Coast of Vancouver Island is known for its rugged and remote landscapes, dramatic outer reefs, long expanses of pristine beaches and wide variety of indigenous wildlife.  Marine wildlife in this area includes killer whales (Orca), gray whales, seals, porpoises and sea otters as well as an abundance of black bear, cougar, deer and other land dwelling species.  The stunning scenery, attracting anglers, kayakers, divers, campers and outdoor adventure enthusiasts to the wilderness area, enhances this isolation.

The fishing, kayaking and other recreational adventure in this region is outstanding.  Sheltered bays and protected coves in and amongst the islets provide for hours of exploration and relaxed quiet tranquility as your kayak glides effortlessly through the stilled waters. The waters themselves offer an abundance of large Chinook salmon as well as some of the smaller salmon species and an impressive variety of bottom and deep-sea fish from Halibut, Red Snapper and Ling Cod to Black Sea Bass, Skate, Prawns and salt-water varieties of crab.
Access to these remote locations is by floatplane or by boat from the towns of Tahsis and Zeballos, which offer some local services and amenities, or from the remote adventure camps scattered throughout the region. The small community of Tahsis is located 2 ½ hours drive west of Campbell River on Vancouver Island and is approximately 20 miles by boat from these pristine properties. These areas are abundant with the beautiful and unequalled scenery of the wilderness beauty that this region is world renowned for.

The MV Uchuck III provides year-round freight and passenger service for west coast communities in Nootka Sound, Friendly Cove, Tahsis and Kyuquot including Esperanza Inlet and the Nuchatlitz Inlet region. The route travels through Nootka Sound, up Tahsis Inlet and out from the Esperanza Inlet, rich in native culture and history, to the ocean. Arrangements can be made with the Uchuck III for you to be dropped off and picked up at points along the route.

Thursday 23 January 2014

The Different Coasts of Vancouver Island

Most people don't think of islands as being very different from one side to the other. But Vancouver Island is a bigger island than many people realize and it differs greatly from one coast to the other.

Vancouver Island is approximately 460km long, 80km across at its widest, and has an area of just over 32,000km. It is the biggest island on the coast of North America. The defining feature of the island is the Vancouver Island Mountain Range which runs up the centre of the island. These mountains are home to Comox Glacier, Della Falls (Canada's largest waterfall) and the Golden Hinde, the highest peak on the island at 2,195 metres.
 Vancouver Island Mountains
The west coast of Vancouver Island is open to the Pacific Ocean. The constant wave action and storms of the open ocean have shaped this coast, which is famous for its deep bays with sandy beaches and windswept rocky coastline in between. There are fewer people living on the rugged west coast, and road access is limited to a few points of access from the east side of the island. The west coast constantly attracts outdoor enthusiasts for its rugged beauty, amazing open water fishing and stunning landscapes.

Rugged Point
Raft Cove
The east coast of the island, facing out to the Strait of Georgia (and Strait of Juan de Fuca on the south end) is a much calmer coast. Typified by sandstone, cobblestone and smooth rock shorelines with pockets of sand beaches (notably in Parksville and between Courtenay and Campbell River) the east coast is more protected for the most part and less rugged. While winter storms still hit on the east coast, they are not as aggressive in wave action as on the west coast of the island.
Campbell River
The east coast also provides access to the mainland of BC through the ferry service from both Nanaimo and Victoria. The main highway system runs along the east side of the island, and most towns and cities have been built from the water inwards. While there are still more remote areas on the east coast of the island, most of them are towards the north after Campbell River.

Discovery Passage, north of Campbell River
Thanks to its size and geography, Vancouver Island offers an array of outdoor experiences, from calm ocean kayaking among small islands in the Strait of Georgia to wild and wet storm watching on the west coast. Both sides of the island offer amazing beauty and incredible regions to explore, vacation in or call home.
West Coast Vancouver Island
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!

Thursday 16 January 2014

Marine Parks in British Columbia

The coast of BC is fortunate to have over 40 designated marine parks. These are parks that include both water and land areas but are accessible by float plane or boat only. Many of them allow wilderness camping but only a few offer even basic services (an outhouse, water, campsites).
Rebecca Spit Marine Park
These marine parks run along the entire coast including the islands. They are an attraction for boaters, kayakers, hikers and many others. The largest marine park on the coast is the Broughton Archipelago Marine Park, 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 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 at BC Oceanfront 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
Marine parks are an important part of the BC Parks portfolio, they protect some of the most beautiful and remote areas on our large coast, keeping them safe for future generations to enjoy.

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

Thursday 9 January 2014

Lakes on Vancouver Island

While most of the focus on Vancouver Island is on the ocean water surrounding it, and rightly so, there are also an amazing number of lakes - over 9,000 - both big and small, local and remote, on the island.
 Upper Campbell Lake
On the southern end of the island Shawnigan Lake and Lake Cowichan are the two best known lakes. These are heavily residential lakes, and used for many recreational purposes. In the summer they can be extremely busy!

As you travel further up the island, there are more and more lakes, but fewer of them have private residences. Some of the most popular are Nitnat Lake outside Duncan, Westwood Lake and Brannen Lake (both in Nanaimo), Sproat Lake near Port Alberni, Comox Lake in the Comox Valley, Upper and Lower Campbell Lakes outside of Campbell River, and Alice Lake near Port Alice.
Alice Lake

Many of the lakes are well known for recreation - Shawnigan Lake is popular with water skiers, Nitnat is world renowned for windsurfing, and Alice Lake is well known for trout fishing. Many of the lakes have wonderful camping spots on them, ranging from private campgrounds to large provincial sites and small recreation sites. The lakes in and around Strathcona Park and through the North Island are good examples. Other lakes on the island are known for canoeing, such as the Sayward Loop or Kennedy Lake.
Buttle Lake
Access to the lakes varies from paved road to gravel roads in various stages of maintenance. Most of the popular lakes have excellent day use areas but many of the other lakes have just small access spots that only locals know about.
Wokas Lake
Vancouver Island is one of those rare places that on any given day a person can wake up and think, "Do I want to hang out at the ocean or the lake today?" Both are just a short drive away.
Buttle Lake
It's a Coastal Lifestyle ... Pass It On!