About this region: Nanaimo is a transportation hub due to the BC Ferries terminals that dot the waterfront here, but easily missed by those passing through are the wonderful opportunities nearby to explore. Key among them, just a few hundred metres offshore, is Newcastle Island Provincial Park. It offers trails, beaches, a playground, camping and a wonderfully varied shoreline. Add the paddle-through cave at Jesse Island for a stellar paddling circuit.
Nearby are many other locations worth seeing, one of course being the most northerly of the ‘official’ Gulf Islands: Gabriola, a residential island with a moderate amount of trails and parkland. It is more exposed than most other Gulf Islands, and its large size makes it difficult to enjoy more than a small sample in a single day trip by paddle. Day-trippers would do best to head to spots such as the Flat Top Islands, Gabriola’s very own archipelago and a great kayaking location augmented by other nearby attractions such as Wakes Cove and outer Valdes Island. Two tidal rapids here – Gabriola Passage and Dodd Narrows – add a challenge to any transit, while the ridge of islands that compose the De Courcy Group make a sublime paddling route to reach Pirates Cove Provincial Park.
About this mapsheet: This mapsheet covers Nanaimo Harbour, Newcastle Island, Gabriola Island, the De Courcy Group, all of Valdes Island and as far south as Porlier Pass, Dionisio Provincial Park and Ladysmith.
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 Nanaimo Harbour. Also included are planning details such as expected water conditions, trip planning information and campsite information.
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 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.