Porpoise Bay Provincial Park near Sechelt, BC

Plus running errands in and around Gibsons, BC

You gotta work before you play so Vlog #11 starts with me doing our recycling and making a drop-off at green waste in Gibsons. When that’s done, I go check out Porpoise Bay Provincial Park near Sechelt.

Recycling on the Sunshine Coast, BC

Recycling is a chore that we do maybe once a month, and most of the time we more or less have our stuff separated at home before we take it to Gibsons Recycling Depot. All the drop-off bins at the depot have illustrations and lists of what is and isn’t allowed in that specific bin (ex – you need to separate the non-crinkly plastic bags that stretch from the crinkly plastic bags that don't stretch). Unfortunately, you won’t know all this until you’ve made a few trips to Gibsons Recycling Depot. So the first few times you drop off recycling, you’ll find yourself wandering around, wondering what do to with each item. Everybody goes through it until they familiarize themselves with the process.

Once I get things half-sorted, I load all my bins in the car and then head to the recycling depot on Venture Way here in Gibsons.

There's another recycling depot in Pender Harbour and in Sechelt and they all take different things, and not necessarily everything so make sure you check before you haul it to the recycling depot. Depending on where you live on the Sunshine Coast, there may or may not be curbside recycling pickup but there is curbside garbage pickup for regular waste and also curbside organic pickup.

Sunshine Coast recycling centres

Gibsons Green Yard Waste Drop Off Depot

Gibsons has a separate drop off point for your yard and garden waste. Don’t put it in your regular garbage or your compost; bring it here instead. The depot is free to use but the hours are not great. Ideally, the town would extend those hours because the depot closes pretty early. Check the schedule before you make the trip.

Town of Gibsons Green Yard Waste Depot - https://gibsons.ca/services/waste-management/green-waste/

Five random facts about the Sunshine Coast, BC

1. Grass is greener in the winter
In the summer, our grass is usually brown and yellow. A lot of people just let their grass die in the summer as we don’t get much rain. A lack of rain leads to water restrictions so we (hopefully) can avoid a water shortage or water outage. Our grass is actually really nice and green in the fall and winter but in the summer? Not so much.

2. Waterfalls are smaller in the summer
Along those lines, our waterfalls are much bigger in the fall and winter during our rainy season. In the summer, waterfalls are often reduced to just a trickle. If you see an amazing waterfall photo and decide to visit the Sunshine Coast to see it person during the summer, you might be disappointed. Unless we get a big mid-summer rainfall, June, July, and August aren’t the best times to see a big, beautiful waterfall that thrums with the power of rushing water!

3. The ocean is a big mirror
The third random fact is probably common knowledge to people born and raised near the ocean but it was news to me. I didn't realize that the ocean will reflect the colour of the sky. This means that on grey days when the sky is cloudy or grey or white, then the ocean will look really flat and bleh because it’s mirroring those same colours. But on blue sky days, the ocean is just so blue that pictures of it look fake. It’s kind of neat and makes sense when you think about it. I definitely love blue sky days and my blue ocean!

4. It’s hard to find staff
Less fun but still important to know is that here of the Sunshine Coast, coffee shops and restaurants may be closed when you’d expect them to be open. You’ll visit in the summer and the streets will be full of tourists but when you go for a meal, you’re surprised to discover that the restaurant is closed or operates on a reduced schedule.

This might be because they're short-staffed and either can’t get enough staff to open or they’re giving their staff some time off so they don’t get worked to death. Employers do their best to pay staff well but the reality is that it’s so expensive to live on the Sunshine Coast that it’s really hard to pay a livable wage which makes it a challenge to attract workers.

If you’re visiting the Sunshine Coast and want to go for a meal or a coffee, check that business’ social media before you head out the door. Coffee shops and restaurants will post if they're open or closed for the day. That’ll help you avoid going out for food only to find that the door is locked and the restaurant is closed.

We typically think of air ambulances operating in and around major cities but it’s nice to know that in an emergency, the British Columbia Ambulance Service can land in multiple spots along the Sunshine Coast. BCEHS critical care team on the helicopter pad by James Heilman is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

5. Helicopters landing in town
I found it interesting to learn that in case of an emergency, air ambulances will land pretty much anywhere that’s handy. There are different fields in different areas along the Sunshine Coast that act as makeshift helicopter landing pads during an emergency.

Sometimes BC Ferries’ Langdale ferry terminal is used as a spot, as are Shirley Macey Park, and Elphinstone Secondary in Gibsons. I’ve even seen a helicopter land in Dougall Park.

Not long after we moved here, I heard a helicopter hovering and making noise for what seemed like forever. When I looked into it, it was because they had landed at the high school here in Gibsons. Hearing a helicopter land in town isn’t typically good news but it’s comforting to know that if you ever need to be air-lifted away, chances are you’ll be well looked after.

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park is a short, 5-minute drive up Sechelt Inlet Road near Sechelt, BC. This is a great park to hang out with the family, whether it's just for the day or camping overnight. There are camping spots that you can reserve in advance as well as some drop-in camping spots.

The other big draw is the beach! There's a lot of it here! Sechelt Inlet follows the tide and goes up and down as it’s connected to the ocean. Depending on where the tide is at, there can be a sandy beach, which is a bit of a novelty on the Sunshine Coast. The afternoon we visited, the tide was low and the beach seemed to go on forever!

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park also has a kids' play area, and a few trails in the trees. There's a lot of stuff to do and it’s a very nice spot to spend some time.

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park - https://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/porpoise/

Gospel Rock in Gibsons

Looking towards Gibsons, BC from Gospel Rock. That’s the Bluff on the left, Keats Island is on the right, Gambier Island is behind Keats, and in the distance are the North Shore Mountains.
Looking towards Gibsons, BC from Gospel Rock. That’s the Bluff on the left, Keats Island is on the right, Gambier Island is behind Keats, and in the distance are the North Shore Mountains.

Paul and I went to Gospel Rock because we wanted to fly the drone, but it was just a little bit too windy and we were too chicken to put it in the air. Paul said that it was one of those times that if he flew the drone and something happened, he’d be mad at himself afterwards for flying when he knew better. So no drone flying to finish this update.

Even with the wind, Gospel Rock is a nice spot for hanging out. We were there in the early evening so the North Shore Mountains were nicely lit up from the setting sun. The ocean was blue and there were kayakers and sailboats in the distance. Paradise!

We also saw a deer spying on us but Paul said he was hoping to see sealife like some seals or even an Orca. While we didn’t see any killer whales, I did see (and eat!) some wild Saskatoon berries and as far as I’m concerned, that’s almost as good!

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