Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sunshine Coast a Year-Round Outdoor Haven with Plenty of 'Beachcombers' Nods

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Sunshine Coast a Year-Round Outdoor Haven with Plenty of 'Beachcombers' Nods

Article excerpt

Sunshine Coast a year-round outdoor haven

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GIBSONS, B.C. - Howe Sound is glass-still on the voyage from Gibsons Landing to Keats Island, save for the odd motorboat wake jostling the kayak.

The peace is also broken momentarily as a seal bursts out of the water, letting out a hearty snort before it dives back beneath the surface.

Gibsons is a quaint and colourful town at the southern end of British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, a 180-kilometre stretch of picturesque oceanside communities and jagged coastline along the Strait of Georgia.

Many visitors to Gibsons get a kick out of the numerous nods to the long-running Canadian sitcom "The Beachcombers," which was filmed in the town and ran from 1972 to 1990.

The Persephone, the tug piloted in the show by log salvager Nick Adonidas (played by Bruno Gerussi), sits on a prominent street corner in the centre of town, right by Molly's Reach, the cafe where much of the action took place.

"Someone gets their picture taken every day in front of Molly's Reach," says bed-and-breakfast owner Celia Robben, who heads up Sunshine Coast Tourism.

"To a specific demographic, it's definitely a draw... If you're under 30, you don't have a clue."

Most visitors arrive at the Sunshine Coast via ferry from Vancouver's Horseshoe Bay. The northern part of the Sunshine Coast can also be accessed by ferry from Comox, on Vancouver Island.

Robben estimates up to half a million visitors come to the region every year, though the summer is by far the busiest time. The permanent population is only about a tenth of that.

"We're very much a cottage country for Vancouver and the Lower Mainland," she says.

Robben and her husband moved to Gibsons about a decade ago from Houston to open their B&B, Arcturus Retreats. She recalls making the decision while on a ski vacation in Whistler.

"As we were driving up the Sea-to-Sky (Highway), we were looking over at the Sunshine Coast, seeing our future home at a distance," she says. …

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