British Columbia's Ferries: The Pulse of the Gulf Islands
Fourteen dots of varying sizes sit in the Strait of Georgia, not far from the capital of British Columbia and her largest city. Almost no one just stops by any of the Gulf Islands on their way to somewhere else. It’s not like visiting most of the other provinces or territories that are connected by freeways, highways or bridges. That’s the thing about these islands. Their remoteness requires determination to get here. And the decision to stay depends on how much one enjoys getting away from it all. Coniferous trees tend to outnumber people by a factor of at least 5,000 to one.
A few guests arrive by chartering a seaplane or flying on one of the small commuter airlines. Yet, most residents and visitors depend on the handful of car ferries that service the islands daily. We sat atop Mayne Island’s Mt. Parke watching the ferries’ come and go throughout the day, stopping at different ports. Life here was determined by the ferry schedule, the pulse by which life and everyone’s watch was set.