My perfect morning Om!!

Today I’m writing about two of my favourite activities – yoga and food – and they came together yesterday morning like a perfectly pitched Om. Thursday mornings I have a class at Yoga by the Sea and I’m really enjoying the Energizing Flow sessions which provide a good mix of both physical and mental activity.

Yoga by the Sea is located in downtown Roberts Creek and as the class was ending around 11:30, my thoughts gently drifted toward  lunch… and that’s when the second part of the perfectly pitched Om chimed in.

We wandered over to the Gumboot Restaurant just as it was beginning to fill with a lively lunch crowd. I started off with an Americano, well pulled with a nice,thick crema floating on top. Then I ordered the Buddda Bowl… it seemed appropriate for the morning, and I wasn’t disappointed. A large mounded plate arrived, piled high with steamed greens, shredded raw carrots and beets, baked tofu slices, and brown rice with a rich and flavourful peanut sauce. There was way more than I could eat so I got to take home a doggy bag –  next time I’ll remember to order a half-bowl.

My yoga buddy ordered the Tostada Breakfast, which was equally large-proportioned – a couple of eggs, over easy, laid on top of a corn tortilla with smokey pinto beans and a tangy/spicey chipotle mayo… mmm good!

The Gumboot menu is not large but with a couple of choices like this, you can’t go wrong. They’re open all day – breakfast, lunch & dinner.

The bottom line:  Definitely two thumbs up!!

click here to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

 

Posted in Favourite Places to Eat on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on My perfect morning Om!!

Spring is here – a little bird told me

It may not feel quite like spring but the birds are on to something. The other day I heard the sweet singing of a Song Sparrow. While personally, I’d like it to warm up a bit more, I’ll put my trust with these feathered weather forecasters – after all they’ve been doing this for eons.

Ornithologists have learned as days lengthen in the Spring, the longer hours of light trigger the release of hormones in birds, and these hormones prompt the male birds to sing. Male birds – like this Song Sparrow use their melodious song to attract mates and fulfill nature’s imperative to engender new life. Spring… song... romance.  Have you heard this song – listen now 

Posted in Bird Watching on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Spring is here – a little bird told me

Romance is in the water at Coracle Cove

I love this time of the year. The days are getting longer, and old friends are returning to Coracle Cove…like these Goldeneyes with their beautiful markings and a most interesting courtship ritual.

Barrow's Goldeneye at Coracle Cove

 

Coracle Cove is located at Four Mile Point on Sechelt Inlet,  a beautiful, pristine environment, and this is the time of the year when wildlife begins to return, with new sightings waiting to be seen almost every day.

This trio were very interested in what was below the water, diving repeatedly to break off the mussels that had attached themselves to the bottom of our dock. This is a handsome male who’s attracted two female companions.

goldeneye mating ritual

 

But it was his behaviour that really got my attention, as I had just read about it earlier that morning. The image above (courtesy of Bird Note) is his signature courting move. He thrusts his iridescent green-black head forward for a moment, then whips it back so that his nape touches his rump and his bill points skyward. Finally, he slings his head forward and makes a high buzzy call while splashing water outward with his feet.

Apparently it’s a genuine turn-on for female goldeneyes.  But he’s a rambler. After she lays their eggs, the goldeneye male abandons his mate and parental duties. It’s common conduct among ducks

It was a real privilege to have witnessed this courtship ritual and I’ll be watching more carefully to see it again, usually just around dusk.

click here to return to our website www.coraclecove.com

Posted in Bird Watching on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on Romance is in the water at Coracle Cove

What’s this blog all about?

Four years ago I launched Insider TipsIt was a logical next step to the ten-years of monthly e-letters that I’d been sending out to my former guests who had stayed at Coracle Cove.  I enjoy sharing my beautiful community, particularly with people who are thinking of visiting for the first time. Blogging enables me to respond quickly to what’s happening, and I think there’s an audience that’s interested in timely, insider information on the Sunshine Coast.

Cliff Gilker Waterfall

In this blog I provide information about the  Sunshine Coast – my favourite places for an afternoon hike, new restaurants and old – where we’ve really eaten and will actually go back;  upcoming festivals and events – when & where to get tickets… all that good stuff that will help you have a better experience when you next visit the Sunshine Coast.  That’s what I’ve been doing since we first opened Coracle Cove to visitors to the Sunshine Coast and it’s one of the appreciative comments I keep hearing from my guests.

Fine Dining at Chasters

Fine Dining at Chasters

But I have a bit of a confession – it’s really just a labour of love. In order to write meaningfully about all of these great Sunshine Coast experiences, I need to research and experience all those experiences myself.  My wife and I moved to the coast in 1974  and this blog is a great excuse for us to continue experiencing all the great things that this beautiful place has to offer. And now that we’re retired, we have a more time to do just that.

I also love the challenge of taking better and better pictures and there’s lots of great opportunities for that on the Sunshine Coast – a picture is worth a thousand words – so for all you speed readers, I’ll include a few pictures of this great place we get to call home. Like this one, taken early one morning. about this time of the year, from the seawall in front of Sechelt – one of my favourite places for a quick walk.

I hope you’ll find these postings helpful and I invite you to return for more timely information on Insider Tips   http://www.coraclecove.com

And for the speed readers, you can find more of my images on Instagram (@coraclecove) and on our Coracle Cove Facebook page.

Posted in More about our waterfront suite at Coracle Cove | Tagged , , , , , , | Comments Off on What’s this blog all about?

Bird Watching Holidays on the Sunshine Coast – what are these birds trying to tell us?

The weather’s been crazy lately – freezing temperatures, wild wind storms… oh, and did I mention the rain? Will will it ever end?  Well, there’s a few signals out there, that better weather may be on the horizon.  Nature is pretty good at reading and sending out its own signals. It’s had a lot of practice.  We’re surrounded by quite a few of nature’s creatures at Coracle Cove and when we slow down long enough to watch and listen, we pick up on those signals.

Barrow's Goldeneye at Coracle Cove

Birds migrate over great distances in search of a steady source of food. They have an amazing ability to know just when to start moving on to greener pastures. Like these Goldeneyes who showed up  a couple of weeks ago. There’s just a small flock of maybe a dozen or so, and they like to feed on the mussels under our dock.  They usually hang around for a month before heading further north to begin their breeding cycle.

Surf Scoter at Coracle Cove

This Surf Scoter showed up a couple of days ago. It was a new sighting for me and it wasn’t until I got the binoculars on its colourful beak that I was able to verify its ID.

Hooded Merganzer at Coracle Cove

Mergansers are relatively common throughout our winter months, easily identified by their crested head. My favourite, however, is this Hooded Merganser with a large white crest which he fluffs out to attract a mate. Hooded Mergansers are a sure sign of the approach of Spring and breeding season.

Eagle at Coracle Cove

Although not a migratory bird, Eagles also travel in search of food and salmon is at the top of their shopping list. Our resident family of Eagles return each year after feasting elsewhere on spawning salmon. Their call is easily identifiable and we first started hearing it a few weeks ago. This year’s family seems to be made up of at least one or two adolescents who still have their brown head feathers and this handsome fellow who is the dominant Partiarch of the family.

Oystercatcher at Mission Point

Oystercatchers search along the shoreline for small mollusks and use their long bills to pry the shells open. Like the others in this blog, they return to our area at this time of the year and when I heard that they had arrived I immediately set out with my camera to take some pictures.

Birds are like old friends who have left our lives and then return. In this case, we’re doubly happy to see them because we know that the warmer days of Spring are not too far away.

Follow this link to return to the Coracle Cove website.

Posted in Bird Watching on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bird Watching Holidays on the Sunshine Coast – what are these birds trying to tell us?

Favourite Fall Memories at Coracle Cove

Fall Colours at Coracle Cove

I’m celebrating my 100th blog with a look back at some of my Favourite Fall Memories. I call September the “endless summer month.”  Maybe it’s because I’m retired that I have the time to really enjoy and appreciate the blue sunny skies and warm temperatures, but it still seems like a bonus.

September at Coracle Cove

The hot days of August are behind us so there’s less thermal wind during the day. The morning water is flat, creating beautiful reflections.

Fall sunrise 2012 - Version 2

As each day passes, the sun rises and sets a little further south and is lower in the sky. This can result in the most amazing sunrises that make you want to jump out of bed and grab your camera.

IMG_1917

Sometimes there’s a little mist in the morning, hanging gently over the calm, flat water.

Image

And then at the end of the day, the low setting sun repeats its amazing colourful display over our western shoreline.

I’ve put together a video of some of my favourite Fall Memories – I hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

Posted in Festivals on the Sunshine Coast, More about our waterfront suite at Coracle Cove | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Favourite Fall Memories at Coracle Cove

Sunshine Coast Annual Art Crawl 2015 – it just keeps getting better

How often do you get to visit an internationally acclaimed artist in their own studio and watch them working at their craft? I’ve got my own dance card filled in for this much anticipated weekend of creativity and I’ll be updating this blog on my Facebook page as the weekend progresses. Follow me as I visit an amazing array of creative talent.

Sunshine Coast ART CRAWL

 This is a great weekend getaway where you can take a scenic coastal tour of 135+ galleries, artist studios and more. You’ll have a chance to meet the artists in their studios and experience the vibrant arts and culture community on the Sunshine Coast. There’s no pressure to buy, just a weekend for you to see some new art, talk with the artists and most of all, to enjoy the experience.

Last year there were several opening night receptions taking place up and down the Coast. Goldmoss Studio in Roberts Creek was definitely “the place to be”

Artist: Brett Varney

Artworks in Sechelt celebrated with more food and music and a demonstration by contemporary artist Donna Swain. It was a magical experience watching this image emerge on her canvas.

 

Saturday morning broke with unexpected sunny skies and I was really looking forward to visiting my “best of the best” list of Arts Crawl participants in the Roberts Creek area.

This is it. Design, a glassworks studio, is tucked away deep in the woods of Upper Roberts Creek, and this modernistic studio, filled with treats both inside and out, is now on my official visitors’ must see list.

Further up the road, as I drove deeper into the forest I found yet another hidden jewel, just down a roadway behind this interesting street marker.

Andrew Dunkerton came to the Coast in 1975 and has lovingly crafted his beautiful post and beam studio from the trees on his small acreage. Andrew’s love of wood carries on into the studio where he has created beautiful Northwest Coast style masks and bentwood boxes.

 

My next stop was filled with more surprises. Goldmoss Gallery, with polished concrete floors, high ceilings and large windows offering magestic ocean vistas beyond would not be out of place in an urbane setting were it not for the majestic tall cedars surrounding the gallery. Goldmoss, which opened in 2010 provides a mix of work by local artists Bon and Lee Roberts as well as others from afar, and their goal is “to provide original fine art to established and emerging collectors.”

Artist: Sally Michener

 

 

Sunday brought forth another sunny morning. It was going to be a perfect day for a drive up the Coast to visit a special studio in Halfmoon Bay. But first I wanted to re-visit the studio of Laurie Rolland. Laurie’s small tidy studio in Davis Bay belies her status as an artist whose pottery has been displayed internationally and held in both corporate and public collections (as well as my own)

Sunshine Coast ART CRAWL

 

George Pratt’s studio was the last on my list and I was looking forward to my visit.  Like many artists that I had met this weekend, George was drawn to the Coast as much by its lifestyle as its beauty.  His work is widely collected in North America by private individuals and corporations and several large works have been commissioned for public display in Canada. Some also  have been presentation works for foreign dignitaries including Prince Phillip and Bill Clinton. I was greeted by several of his creations as I walked up the driveway.

His home based studio, set on five acres of rock and trees offers inspiring panoramic views of Welcome Passage and Thormanby Island. More recently, this talented artist has turned to painting and coming inside his studio of vibrant colours was like a fine dessert to end this wonderful weekend.

I’m really looking forward to this year’s Art Crawl. The studio guide has just been published and I know that I’ll be in for a very full  weekend.

Follow this link to return to my website at www.coraclecove.com or to read some of my other recommendations for the Sunshine Coast.

 

Posted in Festivals on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Sunshine Coast Annual Art Crawl 2015 – it just keeps getting better

The Roberts Creek Mandala – an amazing undertaking

The Roberts Creek Mandala Project is an amazing undertaking having evolved from a humble creation of five friends who came together one weekend to paint over some negative graffiti. Eighteen years later it has become a week long community event, bringing together over 500 painters.

The overall design is laid down in white latex paint by the mandala’s crew of organizers and then the community gathers to paint a specific “canvas” and share their artistic vision.

Paint, brushes, and all other necessary implements are supplied and creativity is encouraged in this sacred space of focused intention. Children of all ages bring the Mandala back to life each summer.

There was definitely a festive mood when I visited the mandala a few years back. It was the final day of painting and the sun was shining brightly, music filled the air and several vendors had set up booths. Later that day there would be a celebration with more music and dancing.

You can find the mandala at the foot of Roberts Creek Road, at Chak Chak Point overlooking the gentle waters of Roberts Creek as they flow into the beautiful Salish Sea.

Follow this link to return to www.coraclecove.com

Posted in Festivals on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The Roberts Creek Mandala – an amazing undertaking

Festival of the Rolling Arts getting ready to roll out the memories – August 7, 8 & 9

Most of us remember our first car – mine was a ’51 Chev, which I bought for a hundred hard-earned bucks. I worked part time pumping gas and the mechanics in the back were always pretty good about helping me to keep it running. I learned a lot about fixing cars.

1951 Pontiac Chiefton - not much difference between Pontiacs and Chevs back in the day

1951 Pontiac Chiefton – not much difference between Pontiacs and Chevs back in the day

A few years later, after working all summer in a remote fishing cannery, I came home with enough money in my pocket to pay for my next year of university, and became the proud owner of a 1961 Chev Impala Hardtop. It was sky blue and I’ve got lots of great memories of driving around in that beautiful car.

1961 Chev Impala  lots of memories in this baby

1961 Chev Impala
lots of memories in this baby

The Festival of the Rolling Arts, also known as the Sleepy Hollow Rod Run and Show’n Shine is coming up soon. It’s an all weekend event where we get an opportunity to walk down memory lane, remembering the cars we owned and those we once dreamed of owning.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 1.30.53 PM

Old classic cars usually start showing up in our community during the week, and on Friday the Rod Run rolls out at 6:15pm. Last year’s run had 416 classic cars winding their way for 30km, through 3-4000 spectators, lining the highway on both sides from Sechelt to Halfmoon Bay and then along Redrooffs Road.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 11.21.09 AM

The drivers are always amazed at their warm welcome from the enthusiastic cheering crowds. They make signs, dress in costumes and place couches/ lawn chairs in their driveways, with a number of barbecues and house parties in full swing. I’ll be gathering on Redrooffs Road, just before the Halfmoon Bay Fire Hall, where I’ll watch and party with my my son’s in-law’s. One year my two sons from Vancouver jumped in at the head of the parade in their old vintage motorcycles.

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 2.51.36 PM

Next morning, in downtown Sechelt, the main street is blocked off and lined with cars parked on both sides, stretching for several blocks. This is definitely a walk down memory lane, where you get a chance to have a closer look at these beautifully restored cars.  Check out this great video by local blogger Duane Burnett

Screen Shot 2014-08-11 at 12.17.20 PM

and here’s a sampling of some of our local entries:

1929 Model A Ford

1929 Model A Ford

 

1932 Ford Phaeton

1932 Ford Phaeton

1930 Model A Sport Coup

1930 Model A Sport Coup

1947 Plymouth

1947 Plymouth

1967 GTO - one of the first muscle-cars

1967 GTO – one of the first muscle-cars

If you haven’t seen this show then you’re in for a real treat, and if you can’t make it this year be sure to mark your calendar for next year’s event – it’s always the second weekend in August – and that’s always a great time to visit the Sunshine Coast.

Follow this link to return to Coracle Cove Waterfront Suite

Posted in Festivals on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off on Festival of the Rolling Arts getting ready to roll out the memories – August 7, 8 & 9

Writers’ Festival coming up soon – August 13 – 16

Screen Shot 2013-05-16 at 10.58.40 AM

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.

Posted in Festivals on the Sunshine Coast | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Writers’ Festival coming up soon – August 13 – 16