Being on Vancouver Island gave us easy access to the Gulf Islands which are located just a short ferry ride off the coast. Zevi, his dad, his sister and I decided to hop over to Saturna Island for the day last week. I’d visited Pender and Saltspring Islands before but I’d never been to Saturna so I was excited to check it out.
We took the ferry over to the island and drove up the hill to Taylor Point where we got some pretty spectacular views. We were told that it was one of the best viewpoints on the Gulf Islands and I believe it! I really don’t think that the pictures do it justice, but we could see islands and ocean for miles and miles. It was breathtaking. We went for a little walk through a beautiful forest on the top of the hill to another viewpoint. I love how the light streams through the tall trees and creates a wonderful array of shadows on the forest floor. BC forests are the best out there, in my book!
Saturna is a pretty small island, and with a population of somewhere in the neighbourhood of 300 people, it’s hard to keep businesses going. Even though they benefit from some tourism, the isolated and sleepy nature of the island makes it hard to entice people to come and work at coffee shops and grocery stores. We managed to find the winery on the island, because if there’s a winery, you can bet that we’ll seek it out, and they impressed us with their white wines! Unfortunately they are trying to sell the property, and had been for the last few years. A winery on a remote island probably isn’t the easiest property to pitch to potential buyers.
Some friends of Zevi’s sister had spent the summer working at the Foghorn Alarm Building, which is a small museum and heritage site on the island. The museum is situated in a beautiful park near to where the lighthouse used to be. Lighthouse keeping was once one of the most important jobs on the island, and it sounded like it was a pretty tough existence for the keeper and his family. It was neat to read a little bit about the island’s history and get a small sense of what life was like for the residents of the island over the last hundred years.
We finished our day with some fish and chips on the patio of the Saturna Lighthouse pub before hopping on the ferry home. I don’t think that Saturna Island life is for me, but it was fun to experience a little slice of it for a day!