217 Outer Gulf Islands Kayaking and Boating Map
About this region: The Gulf Islands off east Vancouver Island offer one of the most benign coastal climates in Canada. It is often referred to as Mediterranean in nature, and results in an ecology that in many ways has more in common with northern California than the rest of British Columbia. The natural native forest here is composed primarily of the majestic Douglas-fir, but nearshore is where the environment shines. Here you will find Garry oak, rocky mountain juniper and arbutus plus a plethora of unusual coastal plants that thrive on the thin soil cover and ocean spray.
Add to this a regular parade of marine life including dolphins, killer whales, seals, sea lions and a wide range of seabirds and raptors, and it is likely a visit here will leave you with a keen appreciation for the varied and precious ecology. Much of the best is now captured in perpetuity through the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. Some of the most magnificent of those park’s many and varied parcels are on Saturna Island, where most of the south shoreline is protected within the national park, including the magnificent cliffs of Brown Ridge and Monarch Head. Campsites dot the region and so make a wonderful circuit. Add the many services such as pubs to round out a delightful trip!
About this mapsheet: This mapsheet covers the waterways in the easternmost extent of the Gulf Islands, and so includes all of Saltspring Island, Saturna, Penders, Mayne and South Galiano, as well as all the smaller islands as far south as Swartz Bay. This makes this mapsheet the ideal travel companion for trips anywhere in these outer islands to destinations such as Cabbage Island, Narvaez Bay, Prevost Island, Montague Harbour, Sansum Narrows and Portland Island.
The mapsheet layout: The layout is a regional overview on the full page of one side, and on the other side a detailed closer-perspective view of the complex waterways around Swartz Bay and Coal Island to Portland Island. Also included are planning details such as expected water conditions, what to see and do, the First Nations context, launching locations and background on the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.
The mapsheet construction: The mapsheet is created by Wild Coast Publishing using some of the latest technology available to provide a high-quality printed image on waterproof/durable synthetic polymer stock. The stock is picked as the best for the purpose, and is significantly thicker than most papers at 10 mil weight.
About the Gulf Islands series: Wild Coast Publishing is offering three Gulf Islands mapsheets in its Deck Topper map series. The area south of this area including Saanich Peninsula is covered in mapsheet #216 Saanich-Sidney, which includes Haro Strait and Saanich Inlet. Mapsheet #218 Central Gulf Islands continues north to include points north of Saltspring including north Galiano, Thetis, Penelakut, Valdez, Gabriola Island and the De Courcy Group, plus Nanaimo Harbour and Newcastle Island Provincial Park.
Buy all three and save: Purchase all three mapsheets in the Gulf Islands Series (mapsheets #216-218) with our Mapsheet Bundle, and save at $34.95 for the package instead of $38.85 individually.
Don't forget the guide book: The perfect companion to the mapsheet is the BC Coast Explorer Vol. 2, which goes into much greater details about the features, attractions travel logistics and history. Buy two mapsheets, and the price of the companion guide book will be reduced 50% at checkout. That's a savings of $17.47.
About the Wild Coast map series: Starting in 2019, Wild Coast Publishing is embarking on an ambitious program to provide an unbroken series of mapsheets covering the entire BC coastline. The series begins with mapsheet #201 Brooks Peninsula and extends in order down the outer Vancouver Island coast before covering the entire south BC coast. You can view the initial mapsheets to be offered here. The maps are designed for paddlers and boaters, right down to the size -- a handy 24x18", slightly smaller than a traditional street map and so easy to manage when on the water. Use it as a "deck topper" for easy visualization as you travel on the water, use it around the campfire or your anchorage at night to plan your next day's route, and at home for research when your journey is still in the dream stage.
Charts versus mapsheets: The Deck Topper series is designed to augment marine travel, particularly by boats which must rely on Hydrographic Services charts and/or approved electronic navigation equipment including GPS units for safe navigation. The Deck Toppers include rudimentary bathymetry lines for depth contours and shaded shallow waters for trip planning and visual references, as well as charted hazards such as rocks. This is generally sufficient for travel by paddle where shallow water is ideal for travel and sightlines necessary to spot hazards rather than depth sounders or electronic devices. These mapsheets are meant as a general reference for boaters. This series is a compromise in detail and scale to keep the mapsheets attractive, readable and useful, and so is leaving the depth soundings to devices better suited to provide this critical information. This series is referred to as a map or mapsheet rather than a chart because it lacks the depth soundings of legal Hydrographic Services charts. However, anyone who has traveled with multiple charts knows the issues involved in carrying those, with fewer and fewer opting to use charts given the access to today's electronic devices. These handy mapsheets are meant to provide a much more user-friendly size and format than charts with additional land, service and water detail levels shown for trip planning. Additionally, they are printed on waterproof stock and priced much less expensively than charts. Take that, Hydrographic Services!