Discovering Sechelt Inlet – a highway of rich history for the shíshálh Nation

the totems of Sechelt

The shíshálh have lived on the Sunshine Coast for millennia, benefiting from the rich resources of the sea and the rain-forest, while enhancing their wealth through strategic marriages to foster peace, goodwill and trade.  With a population exceeding 25,000, their vast territory extended from Princess Louisa Inlet through the waters of Sechelt Inlet to their present community chálich (outside waters)

First Nations -  Pulling Together

First Nations – Pulling Together

The shíshálh were semi-nomadic, travelling between their summer and winter camps, in large canoes much larger than the war canoe pictured above. A journey of over 100 miles would involve many days of hard paddling. During the winter months the clans would gather at chálich where they would celebrate large potlatches, often lasting several weeks and sometimes months, as a means of enhancing their strategic relationships.

Talaysay Cultural Tour

Talaysay Tours and Sunshine Coast Tours, have joined together to offer the Sechelt Inlet Cultural Tour, providing visitors with an wonderful opportunity to learn more about the shíshálh culture and to explore this ancient waterway.  Our tour began with a traditional song of ?imash (welcome) sung in a rich baritone voice by drummer Andy Johnson.

Poise Island - buriel ground

Shortly after leaving the Government Dock in Porpoise Bay, we passed by a small island, a site of significant religious significance to the shíshálh which our guide, Candace Campo, was able to share further with us.

Sechelt Inlet

We soon passed out of the settled areas of Sechelt, enjoying the immense beauty of Sechelt Inlet. We stopped again and were treated to another song, the story of a young warrior, inspired by a vision of a two-headed eagle, singing to the elders as they paddled their canoes toward chálich.

Sechelt Inlet

Candace shared stories of her own childhood, growing up on the shores of Sechelt Inlet, saying “when the tide is out, the table is set,” a reference to the rich marine life available for their food supply. She described how as a child she would be sent out with potato sacks to gather shell fish for the evening meal. As she and her brothers passed other families, they would share which areas had just been harvested to ensure that the habitat was properly managed.

ancient petroglyph

With a keen eye for location, we were treated to a rare sighting of ancient pictographs, like this one, which is actually just around the corner from where I live. I’ve paddled past this cliff face more times than I can remember, without noticing this rock painting which has been there for centuries.

sechelt pictograph

And here’s another one, much more intricate, and hidden to all, except those who know just where to look.

Sechelt Inlet Tour

 

The shíshálh are currently collaborating with  the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the University of Toronto to unearth the long-term history of their land.  To date, the earliest artifacts recovered date from between 8,000-11,000 years with well over 600 archaeological sites to be carefully unearthed.

It is obvious that will be many more chapters to be told in this rich cultural history and the Sechelt Inlet Cultural Tour is a good place to begin. The tour is offered daily 2:30-4:30 and leaves from the Porpoise Bay Government Dock.

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Writers’ Festival coming up soon – August 13 – 16

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Any festival that’s been happening year after year for over 30 years has obviously found the right formula for success.   The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts  has been described as “Canada’s longest running summer gathering of Canadian writers and readers.

This year is the 32nd anniversary and another full slate of outstanding Canadian writing talent will be here to talk about their books. If you like reading, then the festival is a great place to hear about new work from your favourite authors, but it’s also a great introduction to others whose names are less familiar and a few about whom you know absolutely nothing.

In fact, in previous years’ festivals some of the new names have often been the best presenters and “in some instances, the hands down biggest hit of the Festival.”

The Festival takes place this summer over a four-day weekend, August 13-16. Jane Urquhart and Camilla Gibb are featured speakers this year and you can check out the full program at  http://www.writersfestival.ca/

Follow this link to return to our website.

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15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

Does this incredible weather have you thinking about summer plans? Whether it’s a weekend getaway, or a full week of sheer bliss, there’s something on the Sunshine Coast for everyone, and every day. Here’s 15 great ideas to help with your summer planning and five more if you read through to the end of this blog.
15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

There’s over 100 km of coastline, including Georgia Strait, Sechelt Inlet, and its two inlets. The views are great, they never end, and the water is waiting to be explored.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

It’s easy to get out on the water with a guided boat tour. Mermaid Tours offers daily tours of Sechelt Inlet and can pick you up right at our dock.

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Sechelt Inlet has it all – fantastic scenery with lots of wildlife, both in the water and on the shoreline, and kayaking is a great way to see it all. If you’ve never tried kayaking before, the protected waters of Sechelt Inlet inlet are the perfect place to get started. Pedals & Paddles have been doing this for over 15 years. They’ll set up with a dryland lesson and all the necessary safety gear, before you even get into the water. Give it a try!!

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

If armchair kayaking is more your style, and you want a good walk in the woods, then pay a visit to Skookumchuck Rapids. It’s rated one of the fastest tidal currents in the world and that’s an irresistible magnet to white water paddlers. The courage and skill of these kamikaze kayakers, as they try to stay atop the perfect wave, is pretty impressive.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

The sand castle competition at Davis Bay produces some incredible sand creations every summer.   But you don’t have to wait for this once a year event. Every day, when the tide goes out, a huge canvas of sand is waiting to channel your inner Michelangelo.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

The Sunshine Coast is truely one of the most beautiful places on earth, with vast forested areas, networked with an endless choice of interesting trails, just waiting to be explored. Here’s a list of our favourites.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

If you like chasing after a little white ball, on a well manicured grassland, you have a choice of three well established courses surrounded by beautiful forested areas.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

Summer offers a great line-up of Music festivals. There’s nothing finer than listening to a jazz quartet playing in front of a scenic ocean back-drop. The Gibsons Jazz Festival is coming up soon.15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast

 

If you’re looking to de-stress or just want to treat yourself, perhaps a spa day is just what you need. Book a massage or pedicure at the Painted Boat Spa and luxuriate in the therapeutic waters and heat therapies of their outdoor Spa Garden. 15 things to do on the sunshine coast

 

The Sunshine Coast has a well deserved reputation for nurturing health and well being. Compliment your getaway with a morning yoga class, and then choose either an invigorating hike on one of our fabulous rain forest trails, or a relaxing stroll along the beach.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts is the longest running summer gathering of Canadian authors and readers. The Festival brings together established literary stars and exciting, new voices, in a the beautiful outdoor venue, providing opportunities for writers and readers to mingle and share ideas.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer The Festival of the Rolling Arts, also known as the Sleepy Hollow Rod Run and Show’n Shine is an all weekend event where we get an opportunity to walk down memory lane, remembering the cars we owned and those cars we once dreamed of owning.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

The Roberts Creek Mandala Project is an amazing undertaking. It first started when five friends came together one weekend to paint over some negative graffiti. Fifteen years later it has become a week long community event, bringing together over 500 painters, who come to paint a signature image in the mandala

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

Persephone’s 11-acre farm-based brewery not only prides itself on fresh beer, but in a short time has also won several awards, putting it on everyone’s list of craft beers to try. My favourite is the Golden Goddess.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

The Sechelt Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market  is the largest on the Sunshine Coast, taking place every Saturday morning, and it’s a very popular venue for locals and visitors alike. It’s always inspiring to find locally grown ingredients, picked that morning, to plan  your evening meal.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

It doesn’t get much better than this – dining on the deck on a beautiful sunny day at the Lighthouse Marine Pub. It’s one of my favourite places to go and I readily recommend my guests enjoy at least one meal on this gorgeous patio.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

Photographers often speak of a magic light that happens just after the sun goes down. With the large expanses of water on the Sunshine Coast, we enjoy a big, wide-open sky, and never tire of the magic.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

here’s an extra bonus –  5 more things to do if you’re staying at Coracle Cove. We’ve noticed that a lot of our guests don’t want to leave once they’ve arrived. It’s relaxing, the view is pretty awesome, and you get very comfortable.  So, if you’re staying at Coracle Cove here’s five more things you might enjoy this summer on the Sunshine Coast5 more things to do this summer

Facing south, we enjoy the sun first thing in the morning and all through the day. The covered deck is a great place to start the day, especially with your favourite morning beverage.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

There’s a second, larger deck that literally hangs over the water, providing a great place to do some relaxing summer reading, just as long as you don’t mind the occasional interruption of a passing boat or three.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

There’s lots of marine life under our dock, so you’re usually guaranteed to get a nibble or two. It’s a great experience for kids to catch their first fish… now who’s going to put that worm on the hook?

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

Choosing between Adirondak chairs on the dock and the hot tub on the waterside deck may be the toughest decision you’ll make all day.

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

Then again, who says you have to decide – you can do both!!

15 things to do on the Sunshine Coast this summer

Summer will be here soon, so start dreaming about your magical moments on the Sunshine Coast.

Watch this video and then come back to our website for more ideas and available dates at Coracle Cove www.coraclecove.com

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Sunshine Coast Day 5 – Things to do in Pender Harbour

If you’re driving up the Coast to Pender Harbour you may have a bit of trouble finding it.  It’s actually a collection of small communities, who happen to share a  body of water, called Pender Harbour. Still confused… this map may help.

That’s Garden Bay near the top of the map and Madeira Park directly below. But there’s much more to Pender Harbour than these two “urban centres.” Communities came to be known by their pioneer families, like Irvine’s Landing, Duncan’s Cove and Dusenbury Island  Even Madeira Park was named after the homeland of Portuguese Joe, one of the major players during the early pioneering years. There’s a rich history here waiting to be told and we were looking forward to hearing some of these stories.

Pender Harbour

Our first stop is Portuguese’s Joe’s home town, Madeira Park. It was quite the busy place a hundred years ago, and still is… relatively speaking. But it’s not that big and right behind the old community hall you’ll find the best burger on the Coast, and if you time it right, you’ll be able to try one.   It doesn’t look like much, but trust me, I’ve eaten there a few times myself, and always find lots of excuses to go back. Order the Sunshine Coast Burger – fried onions & mushrooms, real cheddar cheese, melted and a hand made, all-beef patty, grilled just perfectly – like burgers used to be before McDonald’s turned them into something else.

best burgers on the coast

Newcomers to the Coast often joke about how slow things are on the Sunshine Coast. We actually call it coastal time… but folks from the Harbour have taken it to a new level. So get like the locals and slow down, relax and enjoy your burger.

Madeira Park

Next stop is the Government Dock where the SloCat is moored. We recently went out on one of their tours and it was great. Captain Mark had a lot of stories to share about the area, and he’s pretty entertaining to boot. SloCat offers three scheduled tours a day – 11:00, 1:00 & 3:00, as well as a sunset tour during the summer. So pick a time and then build your burger fix  around it.

SloCat Tours

Back in the day, before the roads were built, it was much easier to get where you wanted to go by boat, and that’s why Pender Harbour is often referred to as “Venice of the North.” Captain Mark shared with us the early, early history of the area, when over 5000 of the shishalh Nation occupied the area as one of their winter camps.

Whiskey Slough

The Europeans didn’t arrive in numbers until about 1880, attracted by fishing and logging. The fishermen built their shelters as close to their boats as possible, often up on stilts, and hanging precariously over the water. More fishermen were drawn to the area, encouraged by the bounty of the sea and returning to port with a boat full of fish was cause for celebration. Whiskey was the choice of many and soon the area came to be known as Whiskey Slough for all of the empty bottles floating in the small bay.

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waterfront homes in Pender Harbour

Today, many of these shelters have been fixed up and converted into beautiful homes. Perched just over the water they are the ultimate waterfront home.

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That’s Mount Daniel in the background and it’s a moderate hike to the top where you’ll see the most amazing view. Mount Daniel was an important location for the shishalh, who stationed lookouts on top to guard their territory. It was also a spiritual place where young maidens would be cloistered for puberty rituals and there is still evidence of moonstone circles.

boardwalk

There was a boardwalk over on Garden Bay, used by locals to get to the hospital which was built in 1930. Later the the Hospital was moved to Sechelt, but the original building still stands and is a gallery with one of the largest collections of Sunshine Coast artists.

Sundowner Inn

washed up boat

Along with derelict boardwalks, there are many other images of the past… an old tug boat abandoned and washed up on the shore.

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We did a complete circle around the Harbour, going right outside the entrance. We could see Texada Island as well as Vancouver Island in the distant background.

90 minutes on the water for only $35 is a real bargain, especially when you throw in the entertainment.  Captain Mark has a background in radio, he’s an active musician and a great story teller. He kept us well entertained with his stories – a healthy mix of interesting information about the area, together with lots of juicy gossip about some of the personalities, both past and present.

Copper Sky Gallery

Once back on shore, we made a final stop before heading home. The Copper Sky Cafe and Gallery is another option for lunch, where you can enjoy a hearty bowl of soup, a good selection of paninis,  or a pastry to go with your cappuccino. Having just had my burger fix, I was looking for the latter and passed on the pastry. But for me, there’s always another day to visit the Harbour so it wasn’t such a hardship. And while you’re waiting for your order, be sure to visit the gallery, which always features a good selection of art from some of the local artists.

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Where can I find great fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast ??

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Finding a good plate of fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast is relatively easy, but I’m searching for something great and that narrows the options.  So how do I define great?

The quality of the cooked fish and fries are obvious, but the ambience of the location, and then the price should be considered when choosing where to satisfy that elusive craving.

Molly's Reach

Lower Gibsons, originally a fishing settlement, has three places worthy of consideration. Molly’s Reach, the iconic cafe of Beachcomber’s fame, has the show piece location, together with outside tables offering a great view looking over Gibsons  Harbour.

Molly's Reach

$14 gets you a 1-piece halibut and chips with a small side of coleslaw and tartar sauce. They are also licensed, offering a good selection of brews and beverages to accompany your meal.

smitty's outside plank table

Smitty’s Oyster House is just down a flight of metal stairs from Molly’s. Outdoor seating is communal on a long wooden plank table that is literally just a few feet from the salty brine, scoring greatness for the location factor.

fish and chips on the sunshine coast

For $17 you get a definite step up on your plate – tempura battered halibut pieces with a malt vinegar reduction and yam frites… yumm!! They’re also licensed, offering a selection of craft brews and wine. The added bonus is their menu of other seafood dishes and as somebody said to me “why just limit yourself to fish and chips?”  

the codfather

Codfather’s is just around the corner, along a busy little street with several small cafes and gift shops. Fish & chips have been served at this location for 58 years.  Codfather’s has a loyal following and are always busy, with seating limited to a few tables set out on the sidewalk.

Codfathers

$14.95 gets you a plate filled with more fries than you can eat and a meaty piece of ling cod. The dish came with a freshly prepared cole slaw and a most interesting tartar aoli.

Sharkey's

Locals in the know have long headed to Sharkey’s for their favourite dish. Tucked away in upper Roberts Creek, it can be hard to find. If you’re coming from Gibsons, turn right at the traffic light and watch for this small sign on your left. It’s take-out only so the location factor suffers. However, there are two wondrous waterfront locations within a short five minute drive – Roberts Creek beach and the Davis Bay Seawall.  Bring your own beverage of choice,  find a big, bleached log to sit on, and enjoy your meal. It’s the most splendid location ever.

Sharkey'sJust $6 will get you all this – 4 oz of chipped cod, lightly battered and cooked to perfection, plus the piece de resistance, a side of chips, “twice cooked,” as they were meant to be.  The cole slaw is fresh and the tartar sauce, tangy. These are the greatest of the great.

Lighthouse at Davis Bay

Further down the highway, at Davis Bay, where the road runs along beside the ocean, is the latest entry into the competition. Lighthouse on Location has re-appeared under new management. This location, along the popular seawall is absolutely outstanding, especially at low tide which exposes a large sand bar.

Lighthouse at Davis Bay

$8 gets you a small plate of fish and chips, strait-up with no cole slaw or tartar. They’ve just opened up so I’d give them a few weeks to work out their menu. They do offer other choices, so if you’re already at the beach, you may want to give them a try.

Lighthouse

The Lighthouse Pub in Sechelt gets top location marks for its large outdoor deck and amazing views looking up Sechelt Inlet. You’ll be entertained by the parade of colourful boats and float planes coming and going in the busy little marina.

Lighthouse

$13.75 gets you a delectable plate of craft beer battered halibut, galley fries and a generous serving of slaw.  It’s a licensed pub so you also get a full choice of beverages, including a few tasty local craft beers.

I live in Sechelt, so the Lighthouse is my #1 choice, especially if I want to have a couple of pints. But if I’m in Gibsons, I’ll choose Smitty’s for their unique presentation. Then again, if I’m on the road and I’m not too fussy about location, then it’s Sharkey’s, hands down!!

I’m sure I’ve left out other favourites so please feel free to add your comments and let’s get a dialogue happening. The whole purpose of this blog is to give visitors and locals a bit of insider information on where to find great fish & chips on the Sunshine Coast.

Follow this link to return to Coracle Cove Waterfront Suite

Dwellable

 

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Walking Holidays on the Sunshine Coast – #15 – searching for gnomes in Davis Bay

 

Brookman Park, Sechelt

It had been several years since I last walked the Brookman Park trails, but I had a little extra time on my hands and what better way to get some exercise and take a few pictures. Besides, I wanted to see if I could spot any of the hidden gnomes I’d heard about.

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If you’re coming from Sechelt, the trail is accessed just past the big sandy beach at Davis Bay, and just before the bridge. It follows along beside Chapman Creek.

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You’re never too far from the creek and soon after I had started, the sounds of traffic were replaced by flowing water and the plaintiff call of a Swainsons Thrush hiding somewhere in the brush.

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The trail is well maintained with this footbridge recently built over a perennial wet spot in the trail.

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I was on the look-out for gnomes and was soon rewarded with this pair carved into the aged stump of an old growth cedar.

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…and then, just as quickly, another appeared right in front of me. These stately faces were carved several years ago by Terry Chapman, using a chainsaw. Terry started carving at a very young age, making boats and figures from bark found along the riverbanks of the Fraser River. He now lives in Ladysmith where he has his own gallery.

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I had heard that there were several gnomes along the trail, as many as seventeen. Some are quite obvious and others… well, they’re gnomes so you have to keep your eyes open… and sure enough I was rewarded with another pair, hidden a little further off the trail.

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My time was running out and finally I had to turn back. I’d had a great walk through the woods, took a few pictures and had spotted a few gnomes. All in all, not a bad outing. My gnome count for the day – six, but I’ll be heading back to see if I can spot a few more.

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Where to eat in Sechelt? The Lighthouse is a great waterfront option

 

Lighthouse in Sechelt

It doesn’t get much better than this – dining on the deck on a beautiful sunny day at the Lighthouse. It’s one of my favourite places to go and I definitely speak from experience when I recommend my guests to have at least one meal at the Lighthouse.

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It’s casual dining, and the place to be is on the deck, where you can watch all of the action.  Porpoise Bay is a busy waterway with small work boats coming and going and float planes landing and taking off throughout the day.

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…there’s all sorts of things passing in and out of this amazing vista. The view is constantly changing, keeping you entertained while relaxing on the waterfront deck

Lighthouse in Sechelt

Even when it’s a cloudy, misty day, your table is protectively tucked under the retractable roof and you’re still able to enjoy the ever-changing view. And if it’s one of those “rare” west coast rainy days you can move inside and sit beside the warm fireplace.

Lighthouse in Sechelt

The Lighthouse is all about enjoying one of the most amazing views on the Sunshine Coast and their expansive outside deck has plenty of seating.

Lighthouse in Sechelt

They’ve got a good selection of brews on tap, including some great craft beers. My favourite… Total Eclipse of the Hop, a strong IPA brewed with six varieties of hops, produced by nearby Howe Sound Brewing. If you like a beer with some character, then I would recommend giving this one a try.

Lighthouse in Sechelt

Yesterday’s special was the Warm Seafood Salad and as you can see the serving was extremely generous, with fresh prawns, mussels, salmon and whitefish served over a bed of mixed greens. The seafood was cooked perfectly and the dressed mixed greens were fresh and crisp.

Lighthouse in Sechelt

Some of my other recommended choices: Seafood Curry Hotpot, Baha Fish Tacos, Braised Lamb Shank, anything with Mussels, and of course their Fish & Chips… and if you’re feeling a bit more carnivorous I’ve heard their Pile Driver is pretty unbelievable.

Follow this link to learn more about Coracle Cove Waterfront Suite and more of our Insider Tips for the Sunshine Coast.

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The Upper Deck Cafe – fine dining in a floating restaurant in Secret Cove

You can’t get any closer to waterside-dining at the Upper Deck Cafe because you’re actually floating on it.  Located in Secret Cove Marina in Halfmoon Bay, they have a well deserved reputation among boaters, many of whom plan their trips around a scheduled overnight mooring in order to sample their fare.

Secret Cove is just a short 25-minute drive from Coracle Cove and we regularly recommend this small intimate restaurant to our guests who are looking for a special dining experience. They were recently reviewed in Flare Magazine’s “Five most romantic little getaways in the world.”

This seasonal restaurant, open from May to September, has been managed for the past few years by a family who alternate their seasons between Secret Cove and Melaque in Mexico where they operate their own restaurant during the winter season. Mother is the genius in the kitchen while her affable son most capably manages the floor.

They offer a limited menu with a fresh sheet for daily specials which allows them to extend a variety of choices over their short season.  The tantalizing choices will definitely keep you focussed as you struggle to narrow down your selection. My wife is a self-admitted scallop junky and when we were last here she ordered the sambuca-orange scallops with wild rice and barley.

Fortunately, scallops were on the menu again, this time prepared in a ginger, basil, coconut sauce. Cooking delicate scallops demands impeccable timing to keep them moist and to maintain their briny flavours. They were cooked perfectly and accompanied with julienned pepper, red onion and zucchini sticks, together with Thai curry rice cakes that were just spicy enough to add a counter balancing zing to the palate.

Upper Deck in Secret Cove

We were on our way home from a Skookumchuk hike where we had watched a group of crazy kayakers surfing in a 15+ knot tidal current. Normally I’m a bit of a carnivore, as evidenced from this image from my previous review: a coffee-crusted tenderloin. It was tender, with a bit of spicy heat and the coffee crust and balsamic reduction a lovely counterpoint.

It was late into the evening, however, so I wanted something a little lighter.  The Proscuitto wrapped halibut came with a  lemon-caper beurre blanc sauce that was absolutely succulent. Like the scallops, the halibut was cooked perfectly, moist throughout with fresh ocean flavours. As you can see the serving was most generous, coming with a side of mixed greens and a wonderful mushroom risotto, with lovely, little oyster mushrooms.

Upper Deck in Secret Cove

The food was marvellous, the service efficient and friendly, and the bill quite reasonable – $90 including a generous pouring of wine for each, plus tip. In addition to this fine dining experience we were entertained by boats of all sizes passing by our outside table on the upper deck. Dessert wasn’t necessary, but the colourful sunset was a wonderful finish.

Follow this link to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

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Walking Holidays on the Sunshine Coast – #14 – Skookumchuk Rapids

The Skookumchuk Rapids could easily be considered the Eighth Wonder of the World.  Twice a day, over 200 billion gallons of water flow through the narrow and constricted opening of the Skookumchuk Narrows, creating a tidal current that is rated as one of the world’s fastest and most dangerous.

Skookumchuk

Experienced boaters will carefully consult their tide tables, often checking a second and even third source, before entering the Narrows. They are waiting for “slack tide,” that precise moment when the tidal flow changes direction, from flood to ebb and the current subsides. However, it’s those extreme currents which can sometimes approach 16 knots,  that attract a daredevil group of white water kayakers, .

Skookumchuk Rapids

During a Flood Tide, the water flows through Skookumchuk Narrows at a far greater volume than the narrow and constricted opening can handle. As the waters back up they create a series of standing waves and it’s these waves, that attract the kayakers, who attempt to surf in their small vulnerable craft. (check out this YouTube video)

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It’s an incredible experience to witness the raw power of Nature and this is what makes the Skookumchuk such a great experience.  At the end of your hike there are two viewing areas to choose from. If it’s a flood tide you’ll want to carry on to Roland Point, while if the tide is ebbing, North Point is the preferred site to see the large whirl pools.

Ebb Tide occurs when the tide is flowing out of Sechelt Inlet and that’s when the large whirlpools are created. They’re strong enough to suck down a large log and send it popping into the air as it frees itself from the swirling vortex. It was an ebb tide that was responsible for the tragic accident that took the lives of two Auxiliary Coast Guard members in 2012, as they attempted to travel through the waters during a practice session.

You need to time your hike to see the tidal surge at its strongest and you can use this tide table link to determine the best time for this.  The hike itself takes about 40-50 minutes along a wide and well maintained trail, that is easy for most abilities. If you arrive early you can watch the current building up.

Skookumchuk Rapids

From early June to mid-September, the little bakery is open at the trail head where you can pick up panninis or sticky buns to munch on while you’re watching the show.  Once you arrive, take your seat and watch the Skookum Lady strut her stuff.

We hope you enjoyed this. If you’d like to learn more about other Sunshine Coast attractions and our award winning Vacation Rental follow this link http://www.coraclecove.com

 

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Walking Holidays on the Sunshine Coast #13 – Kinnikinnick’s newest trail

 

Kinnikinnick Park

A new multi-purpose trail  project was officially opened at Kinnikinnick Park last week. Brown Sugar with 1.8 km of twists and turns was completed over the course of 5 years by successive classes from Capilano University’s Mountain Bike Operations Program.

Brown Sugar Trail at Kinnikinick Park

Kinnikinick is already one of my favourite walking areas so it seemed like a good excuse for a Saturday afternoon hike. One of the hallmarks of this trail system is excellent signage with approximate distances allowing you to choose just how far you want to walk that day.

Kinnikinnik Park

The student expertise that went into the building of Brown Sugar was evident with a few of these raised bridges for those wanting more of a technical challenge. This new trail also had banked corners for an easy ride, graded areas to keep the trail from washing away, and strategically placed obstacles to keep you from wandering off  the trail.  But the trail wasn’t built just for mountain bikers and I had it completely to myself as I explored on foot.

Eagles Nest Trail in Kinnikinnick

With a few stops for photography, it took me about a half-hour to explore this new addition and I followed Eagles Nest for my return route. This trail is aptly named as I could hear a pair of eagles overhead calling back and forth to each other.  At other times along the trail I could also hear the occasional tapping of woodpeckers and a healthy chorus of frogs.

Kinnickinnick Park

When the trails were first created a decade or more ago, they worked hard to leave the park in a very natural state and I think they succeeded. Today you can see the forest slowly reclaiming its territory. Fallen logs have taken on a verdant green coating with  small shoots of new vegetative growth poking through the moss.

Kinnikinnick ParkTall conifers, 10 feet or more in circumference, stretch upwards toward the sky, while the massive stumps of  trees from a bygone past stand silently, allowing us to imagine what this forest once was.

Kinnickinnick Park

As I walked through the park, passing over conveniently placed footbridges, the  sun shone through the trees, dappling the trail with patches of light and everything was as it should be. Life is good on the Sunshine Coast.

foot bridge - Kinnickinnick Park

A hearty thank you to the students of Capilano University’s Mountain biking Operations Program and to the original stewards of Kinnikinnick Park for creating such a wonderful set of trails. We are indeed very fortunate to live in such a beautiful place as the Sunshine Coast.

Follow this link to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

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