Posted by: cherylyoung | March 10, 2012

THE SUNSHINE COAST AND SCEHELT, PART 1

Named after the original First Nations people of the

region, the shishalh, the community is sustained by

self-government, a communal lifestyle and wisdom of

the elders.

Sechelt is a small community sitting on a sandbar,

the narrow Sechelt isthmus separating Sechelt Inlet

from the Strait of Georgia.

If it weren’t for this small neck of land less than a half

mile wide, a large portion of the peninsula north of

Sechelt would be an island, cut off from the mainland.

This wedge of sand backs ocean water, which flows from

the northwestern entrance to the inlet near Egmont,

into three inlets: Sechelt Inlet (the largest), and the

Salmon and Narrows Inlets, which branch east from

Sechelt Inlet.

The word “Sechelt” means land between two waters.

Indian Legend has it that the creator gods were sent by

the Divine Spirit to form the world.

They carved out valleys leaving a beach along the inlet

at Porpoise Bay.

Later, the transformers, a male raven and a female mink,

changed details by carving trees and forming pools

of water.

The raven is an integral part of the Sechelt Indian Band’s

culture and is often seen in their carvings.

A magnificent sweep of beautifully cobbled beach

combines wave polished granite ramparts with driftwood

& many-coloured pebbles.

Treed mountains, cascading creeks and waterfalls create

the spectacular coastline of Sechelt making the community

a photographer’s delight year-round.

Sechelt’s central location on the southern peninsula of

the Sunshine Coast makes it a natural hub for business,

culture and tourism.

The thriving village is surrounded by beautiful mountain

scenery and a natural seaside beauty that lends a special

charm to the attractions and amenities of the Heart

of the Sunshine Coast.

The Sechelt area climate is characterized by mild, moist

winters and warm dry summers.

Temperatures on the Coast range from freezing in winter

to highs of 30C (90F) in summer.

The annual rainfall is approximately 100cm (40in.)

The Sunshine Coast is sheltered from the open Pacific,

and the milder weather patterns result in very light

snowfalls in the region.

The Sunshine Coast is split into two portions on either

side of Jervis Inlet.

Roughly speaking, the southern half between the ferry

slips at Langdale and Earls Cove occupies the Sechelt

Peninsula, while the northern half between the ferry s

lip at Saltery Bay and Lund sits on the Malaspina

Peninsula.

Population: 8,488

Location: Sechelt is located on Highway 101 on the

Sunshine Coast,

which is accessible from the rest of the Lower Mainland

only by boat or airplane.

Travellers aboard BC Ferries leave Horseshoe Bay in

West Vancouver for the 9.5-mile (15.5-km) ride to Langdale

on the Sechelt Peninsula (45 minutes).

Highway 101 links Langdale with Sechelt, 9 miles

(15 km) to the north.

Approaching from the north, BC Ferries also connects

Comox on the east side of central Vancouver Island with

Powell River on the Malaspina Peninsula.

On the southern coast of the Malaspina Peninsula,

the ferry terminal at Saltery Bay connects with Earls

Cove on the northern Sechelt Peninsula and

Highway 101.

Coach Lines operate daily to connect the Sunshine Coast

with Vancouver, and a bus service between Sechelt

and the ferry terminal at Langdale is provided by

BC Transit and local bus services.

Air services include scheduled flights from Sechelt to

Victoria, and a daily float plane air service from

Sechelt to Vancouver and Nanaimo.

View Map of the Sunshine Coast

Don’t miss the impressiveHouse of Hewhiwus

(House of Chiefs), the Sechelt band government offices

and home to the Sechelt Nation’s cultural centre,

which houses a museum, an art centre, a gift shop and

the Raven’s Cry theatre.

  • Visit historic Rockwood Lodge, a Union Steamship

  • resort built as a boarding house in 1935, a time when

  • all visitors to the Sunshine Coast arrived by boat at a

  • wharf in Trail Bay.

  • Top Canadian authors gather at Rockwood Lodge

  • inmid August for the annual Festival of the

  • Written Arts.

  • Listen to your favourite authors who enjoy talking

  • with their readers, and share a glass of wine with

  • fellow travellers who appreciate story telling.

  • Sechelt’s summer celebration of Canadian writers

  • and writing is very popular, so book early.

  • Twelve Coast Salish totem poles look out over

  • Trail Bay – they recount the history of the Sechelt

  • Indian Band, the first in Canada to gain self-

  • government in 1986.

  • The Sunshine Coast Arts Centre, located within

  • walking distance of downtown, offers continuous

  • showings for local artists and continues to expand

  • with exciting and innovative programs.

  • Raven’s Cry Theatre seats 274 guests and is the

  • perfect venue for concerts, live theatre & musicals

  • and weekly first-run movies.

  • Learn about the life cycle of the salmon at the

  • Sechelt Hatchery, near Porpoise Bay Prov.Park.

  • The Chapman Creek Fish Hatchery on Field Road

  • has an education centre detailing the life cycle of

  • salmon, and offering scheduled tours for schools

  • and groups.

  • Visitors can see the tiny fingerlings ready for

  • release  into Chapman Creek.

  • The community of Wilson Creek south of Sechelt is

  • a large rural and residential area, and the location

  • of the regional airport and the Wilson Creek

  • Campground.

  • This community was named after James Wilson,

  • a blacksmith employed by the Burns and Jackson’s

  • Brothers Logging Camp in 1898.

  • Steamboats such as the All Red Line’s S.S. Selma

  • provided the transportation needed to establish a

  • settlement within the community.

  • The Union Steamship Company purchased the

  • property and cabins in 1917 in today’s Selma Park,

  • and expanded on the resort theme.

  • Today Selma Park exists as a quiet residential

  • neighbourhood that stretches along Highway 101.

  • Davis Bay, less than 3km south of Sechelt, is one of

  • sandiest and most accessible beaches on the

  • Sunshine Coast.

  • Just pull off beside Hwy 101 at a likely looking spot

  • and let the picnicking begin.

  • The sweeping views here across the Strait of

  • Georgia to Vancouver Island are unbroken by any

  • offshore  islands, and are a rarity along the otherwise

  • sheltered coastline.

  • A pier juts a long way out from the beach, a good

  • indication of how shallow the water is.

  • In summer,when the tide rises over the beach

  • exposed to the warmth of the summer sun, the ocean

  • warms up as it absorbs all that solar energy and

  • provides swimmers with a Mediterranean-like

  • setting.

  • Purple-hued sand dollars add to the ambience;

  • their shells fade to a bleached white when their

  • life cycle is complete.

  • The sandy beach may yield clams, but your best

  • bet is casting from the pier here for salmon.

  • The community of West Sechelt is situated on a large

  • plateau, offering one of the few suitable locations for

  • agriculture in the municipality

  • . In 1915, farms were established by pioneers such

  • as W. J. Wakefield and Abe Mason, today West Sechel

  • has the second largest population within the

  • District, and is the location of substantial new

  • residential developments.

  • around Sechelt include public ramps at Chapman

  • Creek, Sechelt, and Cooper’s Green Regional Park in

  • Halfmoon Bay, and private ramps at Halfmoon Bay and

  • Secret Cove.

  • CHERYL C YOUNG

  • SAANICH PENINSULA REALTY

  • SIDNEY, B.C  www.cherylyoung.ca

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