Well this trip happened over a year ago now, but it was a wonderful trip and it deserves to be shared! During the August long weekend, I set out with my friend Matt and family into the central gulf islands. I was in my single, and the family of four traveled in a Libra XT with their two little ones in the centre hatch. We launched this time from Chemainus, south of Nanaimo, and set a course for Tent Island.
We made the crossing to Tent Island in good timing on Friday evening. Tent Island is just south or Penelakut Island and is owned by the Penelakut First Nation. The island was busy but we found a spot to camp out on a narrow peninsula. I love getting out into the Gulf islands, as you find great spots to watch the sunset over the big island. We camped among the Arbutus trees, wind swept rocks, and enjoyed a meal on our first night out.
The following day we made passage to Galiano, rounding the northern tip of Salt Spring Island, and sneaking through the Secretary Islands during the high tide. To do so, we had to navigate Porlier Pass, the channel between Galiano and Valdes notorious for its’ significant tidal flows. As the high and low tide flows, water rushes through Porlier pass into the Gulf Islands or out into the Salish Sea. At max flow, this can be a fairly wild place as captured in the video below.
We timed our passage and found the slack tides easy to navigate as we made our way to Dionisio Point. Dionisio Point was very busy, it was after all the last long weekend of the summer. We happened to get the last campsite competing with the visitors who had biked, boated, and kayaked in. People kept arriving as the afternoon progressed, resulting in the host opening up an overflow site. We explored the tombolo, swam in the clear waters, and enjoyed a nice meal as the sun set. Quite a nice party got going as the night progressed.
We spent most of the morning on the island waiting for the slack tide. I set up the hammock and did some reading on the point. I watched a lone kayaker navigate into the max flow of Porlier Pass with no life jacket, returning shortly with more beer for his camp.
Late in the day we made passage to the busy Wallace Island, where even parking your kayak was a challenge. Wallace is a gem, a very narrow island, with many great features and views. Here we all enjoyed a swim in the afternoon sun and made our camp up on the slopes facing west.
This was another epic kayak trip with good friends under favorable skies. I hope to do this route again in the near future.