Southern Gulf Islands 2002
British Columbia

The southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada are unparalleled for their beauty and intrigue. We travelled there in July 2002 and found the views to be nothing short of spectacular and the natural beauty balanced by the many talented craftspeople plying their wares in the small shops and galleries. These islands are quite "laid back" and we found that most of the local inhabitants were willing to take the time to stop and chat. These photos were taken from Bodega Resort on Galiano Island.

We stayed for three nights at the Saltspring Island Hostel. As a service for their guests, they made arrangements for us to travel around the islands on a forty-foot sailing vessel. Not only did the hostel provide us with a clean, private room for $50 per night, but they also gave us a $10 discount each for a sailing cruise on L'Orenda, a 40 foot gaff-rigger.

The serenity of the water, with only the sounds of the wind and the waves slapping against the hull, left us feeling at one with our creator and we felt pampered as we left the navigation and sailing to the expert seamanship of our skilled captain, Don Mellor, and his first mate, Dave.

While staying at the Inn on Pender Island, we experienced the thrill of paddling ocean kayaks around the rocks where large seals basked in the sun and the ubiquitous ferries were never far away. We had made our reservations online for BC Ferries which provided a very convienient and inexpensive means of travel between the islands.

We were not sure whether the domestic animals outnumbered wild animals on these islands. Both were plentiful. The wild animals seemed unconcerned as there were few, if any, natural predators.

This doe and her fawn, seen to the left along the fence, were grazing on the front lawn of the Inn on Pender where we stayed on North Pender Island.

Sea life was plentiful along the islands' seacoasts and many beautiful beaches. The most outstanding sea life was found in the numerous tidal ponds in Ruckle Park on the southeast tip of Saltspring Island. Each was its own unique salt water aquarium with numerous crabs, starfish, sea anemone, sea cucumber, etc.

The beaches were very compelling even on the coolest mornings. Some large seals took over some of the more inaccessible rocky islands. It was best just to keep a safe distance away from these territorial creatures.

This pair of geese (left) were probably domestic geese that have gone wild.

We found these ritualistic looking rocks and bones (right) at the Bodega Resort on Galiano Island.

From our vantage point on The Bluff on Galiano Island we watched this BC Ferries ship enter the tricky waters of Active Pass. From one of these ferries, while enroute to Mayne Island with our bicycles, we watched a pod of Orca whales splashing around in Active Pass.

From Bodega Ridge on Galiano Island we could see the mountains of Vancouver Island towering above some of the smaller Gulf Islands.

The human and animal worlds both have lookouts to keep a wary eye on the water. This lighthouse on Mayne Island overlooks the eastern entrance to Active Pass.


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