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, Sansum Narrows and Portland Island as far as Montague Harbour. Those heading north from Montague will want mapsheet #218, the Central Gulf Islands. Montague Harbour makes the ideal location to switch between mapsheets on a transit.
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 four Gulf Islands mapsheets in its Deck Topper map series. Here are the series details:
#216 Saanich-Sidney:Use for trips originating into the nearby Gulf Islands from Sidney and Saanich Peninsula. Use also for Saanich Inlet. Ideal for adventures from D'Arcy Island to Portland Island.
#217 Outer Gulf Islands:This covers many the easternmost of the Gulf Islands including Saturna, Mayne and the Pender Islands as well as all of Saltspring Island, including Sansum Narrows and Cowichan Bay. Includes Montague Harbour on Galiano Island.
#218 Central Gulf Islands:For trips involving Galiano Island, including Active Pass, Mayne Island and points north as far as Porlier Pass and Thetis/Penelakut islands.
219 North Gulf Islands: For trips involving Nanaimo, Gabriola and Valdes islands, as well as trips as far south as Ladysmith including the De Courcy Group and Pirates Cove.
Buy a mapsheet bundle and save: Purchase all four at a reduced price in ourGulf Islands Bundle".
Don't forget the guide book:The perfect companion to the mapsheet is theBC 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.