Thursday, 30 June 2016

Botanical Beach, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park in Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island

Rich tide pools, a shoreline full of life and fantastic geological features impress visitors to Botanical Beach Provincial Park. The abundance of wildlife was what drew Dr. Josephine Tildon to choose Botanical Beach as the location for the University of Minnesota's marine station in 1900. For 7 years researchers and students came from all over the world to study here. To get to the station, a steamship would come from Victoria to Port Renfrew. From there it was on foot on a very muddy and narrow trail to the station. A better road in to the station was promised, however, it did not materialize and the difficult access was considered a reason for the station's closure in 1907. There are few remains of the station left today. Universities still use Botanical Beach for field trips and research, under park use permits. The area became a Class "A" Provincial Park in 1989; the highest level of protection to a park area.

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Botanical Beach has 251 ha of upland habitat, but is best known for its abundance of intertidal life. A visitor can find hundreds of species of plants and animals. The organisms that live here must be able to handle a wide range of conditions. When the tide is out there are large changes in temperature, predators, food sources and salinity.Each creature has adapted to contend with these variable conditions. Organisms that can not cope with drying will survive in the tidepools or in shaded crevices. There you will find congregations of seastars, chitons and anemones, the seastars often piled together to conserve moisture loss. Barnacles, snails and mussels are able to survive by closing up tightly with a small amount of water inside their shells. There are some plants and animals that are specialists to the high impact waves found at Botanical Beach. The Gooseneck Barnacle, an animal, and the Sea Palm, a brown algae, are two of these. These organisms survive in the surf zone by being attached to the rock with flexible stalks that bend with the force of the waves. They are just two of the thousands of species of marine invertebrates and algae that can be found here at low tide. A low tide of 4 feet or less is best for wildlife and tide pool viewing. The area offers parking, toilets, information and picnic areas. A number of trails: Mill Bay, Botany Bay, and Shoreline are suitable hiking for young children and the elderly.

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Killer Whales and Grey Whales have often been observed swimming past the beach or feeding just off the points. The best time to see Grey Whales is during their migration from the Mexican coast to Alaska during March and April. Both California and Northern Sealions can be found here from late August through May. Harbour Seals are often seen offshore, they can be recognized by their basketball-shaped heads bobbing at the surface.

More information at http://www.juandefucamarinetrail.com/botanical_beach.html

Directions: https://goo.gl/8ISPrc

Monday, 13 June 2016

Handsome Dan's Cottages Offering The Perfect Port Renfrew Accommodation.

Handsome Dan's offer the greatest variety of cottage rentals in Port Renfrew. All cottages are privately owned and decorated to the owner's taste. Each offering their own unique charm and features.

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Handsome Dan's & The French Girl's Story


"About twenty years ago when I was still living on the farm in Saskatchewan I suggested to my Dad that we should turn our farm into a vacation farm. He liked the idea and over the next year or so we started to make some preliminary plans. Unfortunately due to change of life events, that never happened and a few years later I found myself living here on Vancouver Island. But operating a small vacation rental business stayed on my radar."

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"A few years after arriving on the Island I met this charming little French Girl who ran her own business delivering lunch items to the office building I was working in at the time. I turned my available charm into high gear and eventually convinced her that I was a prime candidate to become her main squeeze. A year or so later she and her six year old son, Olivier moved in with me. Two years after we sold my house and bought an old log house on an acre, seven miles west of Sooke. The place needed a lot of work inside and out. Since the summer of 2004 when we moved, much of our spare time and money has gone into repair and rebuild. We are both self-employed so it has not always been an easy nut to crack. But each of us had the same vision of eventually turning our home into a bed and breakfast or vacation guest home."

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"We plan that soon we will move to a new home and begin to invite guests to our log guest house where we have worked so hard for the last few years. In the summer of 2010 we had the opportunity to purchase a small cottage in Port Renfrew. Port Renfrew is exactly an hour's drive west from our home on West Coast Road; also known as the Juan de Fuca Highway. We thought buying the cottage and starting our vacation rental business would be good practice for when our log house is ready to go. We did our research and committed to buying the cottage by tapping into some of the equity of our log house. And with that we were in the vacation rental business. We named it Handsome Dan's Wild Coast Guest Cottage after the name of the development in Renfrew and of course moi. Handsome Dan is the French Girl's pet name for me."

The end of the story... http://handsomedans.ca/about-us/

Directions to Handsome Dan's: https://goo.gl/oBFtCW

Visit Handsome Dan's website for more details: http://handsomedans.ca