Thursday 31 May 2018

3rd Annual Royal LePage Campbell River Salmon Derby

Saturday, June 9 is the Royal LePage Salmon Derby. This spectacular event is a celebration of Campbell River and the fishing culture that is embedded in our community. The BC Oceanfront Team is proud to be a sponsor of this event.

All the fishing details can be found at the Derby website. In addition to the excitement of the catches coming in, there will be a silent auction, food trucks, live entertainment and a kids zone at the Robert Ostler Park (downtown foreshore). This really is a day for the whole family to enjoy!

There are some BIG prizes to be won, including a boat, cash and fishing packages. The leader board will be at the weigh-in station in the park and will be live updated as the fish come in.

Ticket sales close at 10pm Friday, June 8th. All proceeds from this amazing event go to charity. What a great way to celebrate Campbell River and the role sport fishing plays in our community.

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

Thursday 24 May 2018

BCO Coastal Gems: Gold River

Tucked in to the mountains on the central west coast of Vancouver Island is the village of Gold River. In its heyday Gold River was a resource and mill town; it was the first town in Canada to have all wiring underground and was known for its excellent community facilities. In 1998/99 when the mill shut down the village reinvented itself into a gateway to the tourism and fishing sectors on the west coast.

Gold River is the jumping off point for fishing in Nootka Sound, as well as for kayakers and hikers heading over to the Nootka Island trail. 90km west of Campbell River on Hwy 28, it is the end of the paved road before heading out to Tahsis on logging roads. Outdoor enthusiasts come for the mountain climbing (the Golden Hinde is Vancouver Island's tallest mountain), the hiking (Elk Lake trail)and even cave exploring (Upana Caves). The road itself draws motorcycle enthusiasts to Gold River, as it is considered an excellent riding experience.

Gold River provides an easy access to the beautiful and wild west coast of Vancouver Island, as well as a nice place to stop for a while.

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

Thursday 17 May 2018

Water Access Communities

Of the myriad of islands off the central and northern coast of Vancouver Island, only a handful of them have ferry service. From Campbell River you can take a ferry to Quadra and Cortes Islands, while from Port McNeill you can take a ferry to Malcolm Island (Sointula) and Cormorant Island (Alert Bay).
There are many other communities on the smaller islands as well as on the BC mainland coast in this stretch of water, as well as on the west coast. We call these water access communities, and they are reached by either private boat, float plane or in some cases helicopter.

 Two examples of water access communities that are quite well-developed are Quatsino on the north-west coast of Vancouver Island and the Owens Bay development on Sonora Island and smaller Busby Island.
Although Quatsino is actually on Vancouver Island, the forestry roads do not quite reach it and so a boat is generally used to access the community. Most people put in at Coal Harbour, although you could also put in at Port Alice or Winter Harbour. From Coal Harbour it is a 20 minute boat ride through the Sound to Quatsino. Being on Vancouver Island has made it easier for this community to hook into services and so there is both BC Hydro electricity and Telus landline telephone available. There is also excellent cell service and access to high-speed internet. A 9km road runs along the properties. People barge over materials and vehicles to have at their properties.

The Owens Bay development is in the heart of the Discovery Islands, and is on Sonora Island as well as Busby Island. This development does not have services, but does have a road running through the development from the Government Dock that allows vehicles or ATVs access, making it easier for property owners to bring belongings back and forth. This area has regular water taxi service in the summer.
Water taxi and float plane services are available out of Campbell River and other northern towns on Vancouver Island. Both Quatsino and Owens Bay have a handful of year-round residents, and they use the waterways as a highway for when services and amenities are required.

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

Thursday 10 May 2018

Exploring Strathcona Park

As the oldest provincial park in BC, Strathcona Park is considered one of the jewels of the provincial park system. It is 250,000 hectares and encompasses mountain ranges, valleys, lakes and waterfalls at the centre of Vancouver Island.

This park has many entry points and there are a variety of experiences one can have to enjoy it and explore. Numerous hiking trails provide for either short day hikes or experienced multi-day hikes that take you high up into the mountains. Buttle Lake provides boating and fishing opportunities, and there are two large campgrounds in the park - Buttle Lake and Ralph River.
Buttle Lake

 Without needing to hike up you can access the alpine meadows of the park through Paradise Meadows and Mount Washington (the ski resort sits on the edge of the park) where you can do gentle short walks through the meadows or more challenging 1-2 day hikes to some of the surrounding peaks.

Paradise Meadows boardwalk

Waterfall hunters won't be disappointed, as there are a number of large falls in the park. Most of them are accessible by a short hike, while some are more of a day hike. Della Falls, one of the highest waterfalls in Canada, is a more serious trek that starts with a boat ride.

Lower Myra Falls

Lady Falls

While there are the easier, car-accessible recreation opportunities on Buttle Lake and at Paradise Meadows, the majority of the park is wilderness and still untouched in some places.

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

Thursday 3 May 2018

Where Does the Waste Go?

One of the many things that need to be considered when looking at a remote or recreational property outside of municipal boundaries is how septic waste disposal happens. There are many options, and each has its own merits.

Indoor plumbing is generally an option, but it can be costly. All properties are supposed to have a permitted system, which means installation and inspection by a professional. In our region this is covered by the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA). You can find more information about regulations for septic systems here:

A lot of the systems available still require pumping and disposal of the waste from a holding tank. These can be great options for those living on larger islands where pumping services are available (such as Quadra, Cortes or Gabriola); however not such a great option for many recreational and more remote properties. There are also filtration systems and outflow systems, all of which direct the waste somewhere else (such as gravel fields or in some cases directly out to bodies of water).

For most people when they think of cabins and remote properties, the traditional outhouse comes to mind. These are still very popular and common, and once established require little more than routine maintenance. Outhouses can be fun to decorate and they can range from incredibly rustic to quite fancy.

There are three waterless options that property owners can consider. These can be inside a cabin or in an outhouse-style building.

*Composting Toilets. These are toilets that use aerobic processing through composting. This is a controlled composting system that protects the surrounding environment. These are popular systems and readily available in many countries. Here is some more explanation on how they work:

*Incinerating Toilets. As the name implies these toilets burn the waste. This can be done in a few ways depending on the system's design but generally the waste is reduced to an ash in a holding tank and then can be safely disposed of. This is an information sheet from 1999 created by the EPA in the US, all about incinerating toilets:

*Evaporating Toilets. These systems actually dry-out the waste and create a sterile, compact waste that can be safely disposed of in the trash system. There are both passive systems that require no outside electricity and systems that do require some energy input. Evaporating toilets are very low maintenance.

There are solutions for every budget and every lifestyle!

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