We arrived in Sechelt by ferry via Vancouver, The ferry ride took the better part of an hour and took us along some amazing coastline. We got some amazing shots as the sun provided some great light. We also froze to death on the bow from the headwind. The massive BC ferries ply their trade along the coastline ceaselessly. The size of these boats dwarf any ferry in Australia, except for the ferry link between Melbourne and Tasmania.
Sechelt itself is situated on a rugged and wild piece of coastline north of Vancouver. Littered with inlets, passages and clusters of island, the small area is known as the Sunshine Coast. This region is also one of the warmer regions in Canada, consequently, they get very little snow. Winter temperatures hover around the single digits, mostly above freezing.
On the Sunshine Coast we rented a AirBnB house north of Sechelt. We settled in and hung around with some relatives of ours, Colin and his wife Sonja, as well as their children. Our relation is connected though Colin’s grandmother, who is our great-grandmother’s sister. Somehow my dad keeps in contact with all his relations quite well.
We celebrated Christmas with our hangers on as well as Colin’s family and a few relatives. The days around Christmas day were a blur of food and alcohol, mixed with lack of sleep.
We got out and about on a few occasions, the first being an adventure through the nearby forest. The area around where we stayed is littered with walking trails and treks. Right amongst houses and housing estates. Kids runs through the woods, mountain bikers as well as dogs and their owners. I could easily live in a place where walking trails are so close to home and provide the residents with a healthy dose of nature, rather than the concrete and “developed” lifestyles that so often inhabit our lives and our environments.
Teeny had been constantly talking about going ice skating and we finally got our chance once the local arena opened on the 27th. The majority of us laced up our boots and hit the ice. Some of us “hit” it better than others.
The next day we were invited on a boat ride with some of Colin’s friends. We had visited their house on Christmas Eve and they were extremely kind and generous people. We drove along the coastline to a “Buccaneers Marina”. Named after the regions history of pirates and smugglers. The vessel was a 40-foot power boat of multiple levels. I remember Teeny’s face when we walked into the massive shed in which it was housed.
We cruised along the coastline for the entire day, circumnavigating a small island dotted with holiday cabins built atop cliffs. We stopped a handful of times to try our hands at local fishing. Andy, Dad and I caught some cod but threw them back as it is illegal to keep them during this time of year.
Seals poked their heads above the surface of the calm water and scouted us from the distance, curious and cautious as to what we were doing in their element. Colin and Sonja say people often catch them accidentally while fishing, they said seals are a pest in the area for a variety of reasons. The seals little faces resembled cats stalking their prey. Every now and then their bodies would float up behind them as their inhale and their lungs fill with air. Then they would quickly dive down and disappear.
Once back at the marina we docked and tried to finish of some left over beer. We traded tales and gawked at the scenery until an Otter jumped onto a wharf nearby, everyone erupted into amazement and quickly scared the little creature back into the water. I tried to get a shot but could not get close enough to see it clearly. They defecate all over the marina and cause some real annoyances to boat owners and workers alike, they also smell horrible. They are rare and damn cute though.
That night we bid farewell to the majority of the Sechelt friends. The next day, Colin and Sonja dropped us off at the ferry to Vancouver and we began our long journey back into the mountains, and to Sarah and Thomas. The town of Golden our destination with the plan to ski and celebrate.