Lots of people move to Campbell River, and the central/north Vancouver Island region, because of the wonderful outdoor lifestyle opportunities. Camping, boating, kayaking, hiking, atv-ing, mountain biking, skiing, hunting, fishing - the list goes on; as a home base, this region offers some of the most accessible outdoor activity area anywhere. Within 45 minutes of town one can be on a ski hill, at a beach, enjoying a lake, fishing a river, camping in a forest, or exploring the ocean and islands off shore.
With all that recreation, however, comes equipment. And if you are moving here to take advantage of the great outdoors, thinking about where you are going to keep your equipment is important.
Are you thinking of downsizing so you can spend time RVing? Then you need to have somewhere to store your RV. Coming here to fish on the ocean or lakes? Will you have a boat and if so, where will you keep it? Skis, ATVs, mountain bikes, kayaks - all need a place to sit when not in use.
Listings in this region should tell you if RV parking, extra outdoor space and good storage space is available. Most properties allow these types of outdoor items, although there are still some neighbourhoods that do not, so check if there are any covenants on the title restricting property use.
When you come to the area, come prepared to take advantage of all it offers and make sure your home allows you to easily access what you need. Whether that means a sturdy pair of walking shoes or a state-of-the-art RV beside the house is completely up to you!
Looking at the land from the water offers a different perspective. One of the things people who are out sight seeing or fishing for the first time may have questions about are some of the markings and posts you can see on apparently unoccupied land. These can appear to be art work or secret messages, but actually they are for the benefit of everyone.
There are markers for navigation and also markers for fishing regulations.
Warning navigation markers can be in place to mark rocks or hazards that may not be readily visible at all tides, sitting just under shallow water. These markers may have a light on them as well.
In a narrow channel or shallow waters, navigation markers are set up to assist boats in safely getting through the waters. These generally consist of two large, flat pieces set apart from each other, each with a vertical stripe up the centre. When boats are moving through the channel, by sighting these markers so that the vertical lines are perfectly stacked they will be in the optimal spot for moving through the channel. These are known as range markers.
When fishing in amongst the islands and just off the coast, it is the responsibility of the person fishing to know and follow the regulations set out by the Department of Fisheries. These regulations include closures, places in the water where fishing is not allowed, or is only allowed to certain sectors of the fishing community (commercial, sport, etc). These areas are marked by boundary markers visible from the water, some newer than others, some faded with time (many boundaries have been in place for years).
The markers are generally a triangle and a square, although there is no clear definition on the DFO website as to which is used when and generally the regulations will simply say "between the boundary markers at ..." Whenever you see one of these markers, search the shore opposite (often in a bay) for its mate. Line the two markers up, and the "invisible line" between the two markers is your boundary. You don't want to get caught on the wrong side of the line, as there can be hefty fines!
The waters around Vancouver Island are busy, and these signs and markers can be considered the traffic and information signs of the water highway. If you are going to be spending time on the water, knowing what these signs mean will keep you safe (and out of trouble).