Armed Forces Day Open House

Saturday, September 21st, 2013
10:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Nestled in tranquil Nanoose Bay, the Canadian Forces Maritime Experimental and Test Ranges (CFMETR) has been sailing out into the Strait of Georgia to test Canadian and U.S. torpedoes since 1965. Once every two years this secretive base opens its doors to the public to show off the torpedoes, aircraft, ships and personnel that make this facility unique to North America. Watch air force planes in action overhead, tour naval vessels including HMCS Ottawa, one of Canada’s front-line warships, climb aboard army vehicles, go for a wet and wild zodiac ride or watch your children enjoy themselves in the Kiddy Commando zone complete with slides, bouncy castles and fire-fighting training. It’s a day of fun for the whole family. Admission is free! (Vessel trips to Winchelsea Island will not be available this year).

Our Nanoose Bay Lions Club will be there manning the food stations – see you there!

Fairwinds Golf Club #1


Fairwinds Voted Best Golf Course on Vancouver Island

Fairwinds Golf Club was voted Best Golf Course on Vancouver Island by readers across British Columbia in the 2013 BC’s Best – People’s Choice Awards, published by Canada Wide Media. Bear Mountain followed in second place, and Highland Pacific in third place, both located in Victoria. We are proud to have this great facility as part of our community!

I’ll be there on September 28th supporting and playing in the Nanoose Bay Community Services (NCS) Charity Golf Tournament  AND our annual RE/MAX Island Children’s Miracle Network Charity Golf Tournament will be held there in 2014. Can’t wait!


Discover the beaches of Parksville-Qualicum Beach! Sponsored by Ron & Peggy Mehan

Jill Davies – Special to The News

The simple solitude of Buccaneer Beach

In high summer, when the popular sandy beaches are busy and fun-filled with happy holiday-makers, Buccaneer Beach will amply reward those who travel the extra distance to seek out this remote and beautiful place.

Buccaneer Beach sits just north of Bowser, some 3 kms from the highway. Parking is very limited and so the steep winding lane that leads down between the trees to the bay may be best hiked. Once at the bottom of the hill, the wide curve of the bay unfolds and from the road it is just a short step over or around the inevitable log on to the beach.

On this hot Sunday afternoon the beach was almost deserted. The incoming sea lapped against the rocks, the smell of salt and seaweed in the air. A few gauzy white clouds drifted across the blue sky. Nearby a bird called from the woodland that grows down to the foreshore.

The seashore is bound first by shingle and small pebbles with occasional patches of course sand. There is a wide strip of dry seaweed and then tennis ball sized pebbles. Beyond these there are huge smooth boulders that invite kids of all ages to clamber and explore.

With the tide low, the curve of the bay northwards beckoned exploration. A broad ribbon of brilliant green and mossy seaweed evidenced the Whitman Creek seeping from beneath the stones into one of two wide tidal pools that quickly were merged into one by the incoming tide

To the north and close by lie the islands of Denman and Hornby and in the foreground there is a clear view of the pretty red and white Chrome Island Lighthouse.  Further south, almost lost in the heat haze, are the islands of Lasqueti and Texada and further still, the distant coastal mountains. Across the sparkling water, seen as distant dots, were numbers of small boats fishing way off shore.

For walkers this beach requires sturdy footwear. South along the curving shoreline of the upper beach you will eventually reach Bowser village. A walk to the north offers seclusion, peace and quiet.

Buccaneer Beach is definitely not for those wanting to build sandcastles. It is however a perfect place to come for a swim when the tide is high over the warm rocks. This is a place to bring an evening supper, a good book and perhaps a loved one to share this most peaceful retreat. For lovers of nature, seclusion and Oceanside beauty there may not be a finer place to pass some of the precious time that has been gifted to us all.

Who was on Buccaneer Beach?

Elizabeth Hillman says this place chose her!

Elizabeth Hillman, one-time director and curator of the Dawson Creek Art Gallery retired to Bowser with husband and musician Arden. Now they live high above the bay and love to walk the beach through the seasons. On this day they were swimming their four legged companion Doctorie in a pool that at low tide was freshwater and salt. Said Arden, ‘It was time to get away from the snow! We’ve been here now for 18 years’. Elizabeth said, ‘This place chose us. We love the solitude here. The air is fresh; we watch the colours change through the seasons. Just look at that delicious turquoise strip where the beach drops deep into the ocean. It is serene here and oh so majestic’.

Sandy McLary was walking her German Shepherd with niece Bethany Naylor on vacation

Sandy McLary was walking her German Shepherd with niece Bethany Naylor while on vacation from Canmore.

from Canmore. Said Sandy, ‘I live here by the beach. This is home and I walk here every day’. Added Bethany, “I keep coming back. I just love the ocean’.

What might you see there in high summer?

Fir, maple, arbutus, alders and Garry oak provide summer shade along the foreshore. Though the wild flowers are shriveling now in the summer heat, among the dune grass the purple flowers of the Beach Pea and broad headed White Yarrow can still be glimpsed. Attracting attention by their distinctive trill were Killdeer feeding among the rocks at the water’s edge.  Offshore we spotted a small flock of Harlequin ducks. Terns and gulls abound. Bald eagles nest in the high trees. In the woodland, crows call back and forth while the graceful profile of a heron returning to its nest on a summer evening is always a joy to observe.

In the tidal pools are sculpins and other small fish, hermit crabs, starfish and a variety of marine creatures.

Directions to Buccaneer Beach:

  • Approx. 1 km. from Bowser travelling north look for a clearly signed right turn to Jamieson Road.
  • Follow Jamieson approx. 1 km, nearly to the end and turn right onto Maple Guard Drive.
  • After approximately 0.5 km look out for the narrow winding Buccaneer Beach Road  (No Exit)
  • Follow the lane for approx. 200 m.  as it winds down between the wooded banks
  • There are two small parking areas between the trees behind the beach, each with room for only two cars!
  • Consider parking on Maple Guard Drive and walking to and from the beach
  • There is a small strip of grass between the road and the beach.
  • On the road side there is a bench and on the beach someone has thoughtfully left two white wooden Adirondack chairs. Both are options for those who want to enjoy the view without clambering over the loose sand, shingle, stones and boulders

Moss Park: For those wanting to explore further, Moss Park is just a short distance:

  • From Jamieson at .5 km turn left on to Bald Eagle Crescent then left again on to Blue Heron Drive, Turn right onto Lighthouse Drive and right again onto Ocean Trail.
  • At the end of Ocean Trail is a small grassy park with a crafted sign for Moss Park.  Follow with care the steep dirt trail down through the forested ravine for approx. 100 m. to the sea shore.
  • The panorama of islands change again with close views of the Chrome Lighthouse


  • Sunscreen,  sunhats and sun glasses on warm sunny days,
  • Sturdy footwear suitable for clambering over rocks and pebbles; beach shoes
  • At high tide, swim suits and towels
  • Water, beverages, a picnic or snacks
  • Binoculars, camera, sketchbook; sea shore and birding guides


Strong Home Sales Suggest a Stabilizing Market

September 2013 – VIREB News Release

Nanaimo Waterfront

NANAIMO, BC – Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) sales summary data for August released by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board (VIREB) shows housing sales activity across Vancouver Island was up 38 per cent compared to last year. The average price of a single family home sold within the VIREB region in August 2013 was $339,809, which is an increase of four per cent from the average sale price recorded in August 2012. There was a significant increase in unit sales for August 2013, where 391 units were recorded, in comparison to August 2012, when 283 single family homes sold. However, when looking at these same figures over a 12 month basis, units sold only grew by one per cent, while the average price actually dropped one per cent to $329,502.

In terms of unit sales year-over-year for the month of August, there continued to be a wide disparity among our different areas:  Campbell River witnessed continued growth, reporting a 55% increase; Comox Valley unit sales were up 26%; Nanaimo sales spiked by 62%; Parksville/Qualicum sales rose by 14%; Cowichan Valley saw a 31% increase, and Port Alberni/West Coast experienced the largest growth, jumping 80% from last year.

“Although we have see significant month-over-month increases in both unit sales and average pricing in most of our markets this month, when looking at these numbers on a longer term basis, we are still seeing a gradual upward trend indicative of a more balanced and stable market,” said VIREB president, Gary Gray. “We are encouraged that we have continued to experience slow and steady growth since the second quarter, and anticipate that consumer confidence will continue to increase leading into next year,” he stated.

At the end of August 2013 there were 2,805 single family homes available on the Multiple Listing Service® within VIREB’s coverage area, down from the 3,159 homes in the system at the end of August 2012. Additionally, the number of new listings for the month of August were down 25% from this time last year.

Cameron Muir, chief economist for the British Columbia Real Estate Association, felt that the 25% drop in new listings this month was not a concern, and suggested that it will lead to a more balanced market condition moving forward. “As sales activity and demand come up, it is anticipated that supply will rise to meet that demand,” he stated.

Comparing August 2013 to August 2012, the average sale prices across VIREB’s six geographic areas saw: Campbell River down two per cent with average sales price listed at $295,471; the Comox Valley dipped one per cent to $326,322; Nanaimo rose six per cent to $362,934; Parksville/Qualicum prices climbed 11 per cent to $404,998; the Cowichan Valley fell by seven per cent to $327,384, while Port Alberni/West Coast reported a 48% increase in price with an average of $269,260.

VIREB cautions hat average price information can be useful in establishing trends over time, but does not indicate the actual prices in centers comprised of widely divergent neighbourhoods or account for price differential between geographic areas.