Sunshine Coast Exploring

Adventures above and below the sea

August 24th, 2009, 2:38 am
Tags: camping freediving knitting

My sister and I spent a weekend exploring the Sunshine Coast. We began by driving up to Horseshoe Bay, then took the ferry to Gibsons to visit Molly's Reach, where the Beachcombers was filmed, and to go to the Gibson's Fibre Arts Festival.


At Molly's Reach, the setting of The Beachcombers



Dead Slow....



Ami goofs around at Molly's Reach


We then travelled further up the coast, and took a brief sojourn into Porpoise Bay Provincial Park to do some birdwatching.


We think these were least sandpipers.



They were quite tame.



Starfish for lunch!



Ami scouts out the birds



We found a peculiar object on our way to Porpoise Bay. Someone had stuck a dead tree upside down by the side of the road.


Next we took the ferry from Earl's Cove to Saltery Bay.

Enjoying the view



Taking some snapshots of the surrounding islands.



This ferry ride was gorgeous. That's my car down there, the obnoxiously blue wagon.



Ami tried some fishing once we reach the campsite in the evening, but no luck.


Saltery Bay is a diver's paradise, with a campsite a mere 200m from a sheltered dive site. Freshwater (albeit COLD) showers and a wheelchair accessible ramp into the water make this an ideal location to camp and dive. Mermaid Cove, the shoreline dive site at Saltery Bay, is so named for the mermaid statue submerged in 60 feet of water. Although there is a buoy to mark its general location, the visibility wasn't great out that deep so we weren't able to find the statue by freediving (it's hard to look around when you are holding your breath under 15m of water!).


On Saturday morning, we were visited by BumbleShrew. He ran hither-thither around our campsite, including right beside my leg. I don't think he could see very well.



Another fuzzy visitor.



The evening light filtering through the trees in the campground.



On our way back on Sunday we hiked to Skookumchuck Rapids, where huge tide changes rush through a very narrow inlet.


The visibility at Saltery Bay (with the exception of out near the statue) was amazing. It was warm and clear, with lots of interesting life to explore. The only downside was having to watch out for some Lion's Mane jellyfish.



Ami checks out the awesome visibility



Plumose anemones



Plumose anemones



Fish...



Camofish



...and more fish



Ornery crab in the weeds



Sea star



Heading down the line to look for the mermaid



I was pleased to find a healthy bed of eelgrass, home to lots of creatures like this kelp crab.



Sea star in the eelgrass



Another type of sea star



We came across this one-clawed fella a few times



The warm sun filtered through the water, lighting up the undersea world.



Kelp crab with a sea star









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