The Gulf Islands abound with recreational opportunities. Many of them are only possible and more enjoyable by sea access.
Many Gulf islanders own boats. Visitors look out at these boats and wish they could be there also. You can be!
Fishing, kayaking, canoeing, diving, sailing and moonlight cruises are common activities however, recreational cruising on a beautiful and well equipped sail boat can't be surpassed.
Cruising offers a balance between time on the water and land. Some of the most popular and rewarding hiking opportunities are offered here, often only accessible by boat. Slow down, see flora and fauna otherwise missed. Attain stunning mountaintop views. Camping, bird watching, beach combing and swimming are other enjoyable pursuits.
For thousands of years these islands were home to the Coast Salish who occupied choice areas in the islands. Evidence is visible by the middens, petroglyphs and relics located throughout the Gulf Islands. The famous fine white shell beaches are often all that remains of these First Nations settlements.
The Spanish and English explorers who arrived in the eighteenth century's names are immortalized : Narvaez Bay, Vesuvius Bay and Galiano, Valdes, and Mayne Islands. The ships that brought later explorers in the nineteenth century also live on in their namesakes: Plumper Sound, the Salt Spring town of Ganges, Satellite and Trincomali Channels, to name a few.
In the mid 1850's gold seekers from Vancouver Island and the United States passed eagerly through Active Pass on their way to seek Fraser River Gold, thus establishing Miners Bay as one of the first Southern Gulf Islands settlements. Salt Spring Island was settled by Australians, British and African Americans escaping slavery in the United States. Fruit orchards outlast buildings at old settlements. For many years the produce from Gulf Islands orchards was highly prized and profitable.
Schools opened, other islands were settled and farming and trading began. With the boundary finally settled between the United States and Canada in 1872, the Gulf Islands were now officially part of Canada and the San Juan Islands part of the United States. The era of smuggling began. But that's another story. Every Gulf Island, no matter how small, has its own fascinating and varied tale.