ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Monday, July 17, 2017

Exploring the Sunshine Coast

After my teaching finished on a Friday in Sechelt, BC, I faced a glorious day of exploration. Can you see how blue that sky was? I had noticed signs around town about the Farmers and Artisans Market on Saturday, so that is where I headed.

Everything at this market is locally grown, baked, or made by hand.

I fell in love with this beautiful pottery. Really well made dinnerware, etc. Of course it was far too heavy to take home, and I don't really "need" it, so all I got was a photo.

These neat hanging mobiles caught my eye. Everything attached to them comes from the beach: bits of driftwood, shells, sea glass, etc. Very appropriate to the atmosphere of the Sunshine Coast. Would have loved one, but again they felt kind of heavy for my suitcase. It would have been a nice momento of that beach side feeling. Instead I purchased a scone to eat and a calendar by a local photographer, and some high quality wild-caught canned salmon and tuna.

And then I was off to the beach. I decided to drive to Sergeant Bay Provincial Park near Half Moon Bay. It was recommended to me at the Visitors Centre as a place I might see those purple, west coast sea stars. The woman there told me that low tide would be at noon the next day, and that would be the best time to see them. I had witnessed them more than a decade ago on the west coast, but on my last visit two years ago, had heard they were dying out.

The first thing to attract my attention was this ... sculpture? Is sculpture the correct word for this? It almost looks like a tree trunk but it is built with horizontal pieces of drift wood. In any case, I like it a lot!

On a Saturday afternoon I almost had this beach to myself! There was just a couple of young families and a guy with his three dogs.

A sure sign I'm on the west coast, is all the washed driftwood, including tree trunks and large branches. They always provide a nice place to sit.

Someone actually built a fort from some of these pieces of wood.

Oh and then there is the green on the rocks.

I found them! A woman I encountered on the beach told me where she often sees purple sea stars. I headed in that direction, and found them in the crack between two rocks. For some reason none of my photos are very good. It was the brightest time of day so they are a bit washed out, or too dark down in the shadows. But I think you get the idea from these photos.

My accommodations for two nights were in Roberts Creek, south of Sechelt. There's a restaurant there that is highly rated called The Gumboot. Yes I ate there. Very west coast feel with locally-sourced and organic ingredients. Just outside I found this wonderful bush of hydrangeas!

My accommodations were at the Art House Suite B&B.

My private suite was in the back, and this was my little deck, facing the woods and garden. I woke to only the sound of birds each morning. It was a perfect place to rest and restore my energy for my next leg of the trip.

Yes, I sat on this turquoise chair to read.

This property is owned by a writer and an artist. Caitlin, my hostess, is a playwright, and has written many articles for magazines, and newspapers. She also released her first novel in 2015 (and is currently working on a sequel). She lent me a copy to read. After 3 chapters I was hooked. I purchased it and saved it for my flight home. The book has won several independent awards.

There is a nice beach in Roberts Creek, only a few km away from Art House. I enjoyed sitting there. Oh, we did have some clouds one day!

The next day I took a ferry back to Horseshoe Bay to catch another ferry to Vancouver Island and Victoria.


  1. Such great pictures and descriptions of your travels! Congratulations on seeking out the purple starfish (or sea stars), and I'm so glad you were rewarded for your search. I've become very interested (and I hope dedicated) to buying and eating locally grown food and appreciate your plugging it no matter where you are. I have located Caitlin Hicks' book in my local library. Thanks for the recommendation.

    1. Thank you Martha. I was so pleased to find those purple starfish. I noticed everyone there and all the literature was calling them "sea stars". Perhaps they are not truly fish so that is why? Guess I should look that up. I find it is always the places that do the "locally grown" that have the tastiest food. It is harvested at the right time, and not when it is green and shipped a far way. Places that care enough to offer local care about food, I think. Hey, I grew up on a farm so we always had locally grown.


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