A warm sunrise greeted National Geographic Venture as we traveled south through the Salish Sea. Our destination was the Gulf Islands, a continuation of the San Juan Islands in Washington, except with this pesky little border dividing these two archipelagos that share many geological similarities.
Rain came and went periodically as National Geographic Venture dropped anchor off the southwest corner of the island near Conover Cove, an idyllic harbor with shelter from the breeze rumbling up the Strait of Georgia. We weren’t the first guests to visit Wallace Island; it has been home to a variety of characters over the last 100 years, and has been part of the Lummi First Nations territory for many generations before. Over the last thirty years, the island has been set aside by the British Columbian government as a provincial park, complete with a maintained floating dock, numerous hiking trails, and a campsite suitable for kayakers on the north end.
We dispersed into several groups to explore the island on foot and by kayak. While the rain came and went, it did little to dampen our spirits beneath the canopy of fir, red cedar, and madrone trees that cover the island. Having a hot shower to return to certainly doesn’t hurt either!
In the evening we raised the anchor and continued south toward Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. Famed for its gardens and British-inspired architecture, it’s also situated in one of the driest regions of the Pacific Northwest, receiving just a fraction of the rain on mainland Vancouver. Will the rain follow us to the provincial capital? We’ll find out tomorrow.