D9 SALT SPRING
Fulford Harbour – Named after Captain John Fulford, commander of the HMS Ganges. Public wharf on the north side of the ferry terminal. The primary reference station for tide tables of the southern Gulf Islands. Facilities include a store, post office and coffee shop. Do not remove seaweed from Fulford Creek Estuary. Drummond Park (on the west side) offers a picnic area, a playground and a petroglyph carved on a large rock near the park entrance. Russell Island – Settled by Hawaiians as early as 1886, this small island at the mouth of Salt Spring’s Fulford Harbour is blessed with many of the natural features typical of the southern Gulf Islands. Douglas fir, arbutus and Gary Oak dominate the forest cover. Stands of shore pine rim the island’s outer edges. Open meadows of First Nations grasses host yearly bursts of camas lilies and a variety of other wildflowers. The original house dates back over a century. The island has a small salt marsh. Marine access only new dinghy dock available. Pit toilets and loop trail– no drinking water. The historic Kanaka house can be found via a side trail that leaves the northeast portion of the loop and visitors can access the historic house in the summer season and speak with Hawaiian descendants who provide an interpretation service at that location.
Be careful by Eleanor Point (east) as it has a rock that dries. Part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR).
Ruckle Provincial Park – Seven kms of shoreline, eight coves, six heritage buildings, camping and picnic facilities. The Ruckle family generously donated 485 ha (1,200 ac) for the park in 1974. The Ruckle house, built in the 1930’s, is open to the public. The park’s tidal pools are coloured by crab, mussels, sculpins, lumpets and purple starfish. Sea lions, seals, killer whales, mink and river otter are often seen from shore; a good place for advanced scuba divers. Beaver Point was named after the Hudson Bay Company’s steamer, the “Beaver.” Nice coves, south and north of the light, which offer some protection from ferry wash, north and south winds.
Channel Islands – The Channel Islands in Captain Passage are important as seal and sealion haulouts and are also used for nesting by various bird species. The Channel Islands were used by First Nations as landmarks when navigating between islands, and for harvesting of marine mammals, shellfish, barnacles, chitons and sea urchins. The Red Islets, Bright Islet and Hawkins Islet located adjacent to Prevost Island feature relatively undisturbed coastal bluff and Garry oak/arbutus woodland. The sensitive ecosystems on these islands and islets are being afforded the highest level of protection within the national park: access is not permitted. Part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR).
Ganges Harbour – Lots of anchorage, two public docks, a Coast Guard station, float plane docks, two marinas, fuel dock and everything else a boater will ever need. Centennial Park at the northwest end of the bay was built on land reclaimed from the sea in 1966. On Saturdays in the summer, the park turns into a marvelous market where artisans, bakers and farmers sell their wares.
Ganges – Named after the 84-gun HMS Ganges which patrolled the waters from 18571860. Rotary Marine Park offers a nice walk along the shore. Shoppers can enjoy restaurants, a liquor store, bank machine and stores in the largest community on the Gulf Islands.
Chain Islands – Private. A good spot for bottom fishing. Sometimes cut-throat trout are taken near the head of the bay. Deadman Island was used as a First Nations burial ground in the 1800’s.
Three Sister Islands – Guards the entrance to Ganges Harbour. Second Sister Island has a red light on it. Third Sister Island is north and First Sister Island is northwest.
Scott Point – At the west entrance to Long Harbour you can watch bald eagles. West is Welbury Bay with some anchorage; exposure to the southeast.
Long Harbour – Houses the ferry terminal, a beach near the head of the harbour, Royal Vancouver Yacht Club outstation; there is good anchorage and is protected from most winds. The inlet is about 3.2 km (2 mi) long. Nose Point, at the entrance, is marked with a light. A rock 800 m (.5 mi) in is also marked. Clamshell Island, in the middle and opposite the ferry terminal, is full of prickly pear cactus.
Salt Spring Island – Called Chuan Island, was renamed in 1859. About 10,000 people live on Salt Spring, the largest of the Gulf Islands. Most services are available. Around 1859, nonfirst Nations settlers first came here. Annual rainfall is about 86 cm (34 in), while annual sunshine is up to just over 2,000 hours.
Ben Mohr Rock – Marked with a light. It was discovered by the British steamer Ben Mohr when it grazed the bottom as it proceeded to sea from Ladysmith in 1900.
Enterprise Reef – Marked by a light. Named after the HBC steamer “Enterprise,” which was lost when it collided with the R.P. Rithet in 1885.
Hawkins Island – There is an aquatic license southwest of the island. Watch for Charles Rocks to the west. Part of GINPR and has been afforded the highest level of protection by Parks Canada therefore it is authorized access only.
Portlock Point- Named after Captain Nathaniel Portlock, a master’s mate on the HMS Discovery in 1776. It is marked by a light and fog signal that blasts every 20 seconds. There is a small bay southwest of the point. Portlock Point/ Richardson Bay surrounds the 1895 Portlock Point lighthouse on three sides, protecting the most visible part of Prevost Island seen by ferry passengers as they exit Active Pass on the way to Victoria. The shoreline of Richardson Bay on Prevost Island provides a good alternative to the nearby islets for a break for kayakers on longer paddling routes. NO SERVICES. Part of Gulf Islands National Park Reserve (GINPR).
16. Diver Bay – Exposed to south and east winds. Bright Islets and Red Islets mark the entrance.
17. Point Liddell – Has a marker. Ellen Bay (northwest) provides shelter from north and west winds.
Ackland Islands – Heavily treed. There is a red marker southwest of the island that indicates “rock.” Glenthorne Passage – Beautiful, sheltered anchorage behind Secret Island. Enter at the north end.
Annette Inlet – Nice but shallow anchorage. A red marker on the southern side of the entrance.
Horda Shoals – Founded by the captain and crew of the Norwegian steamer Horda on May 15, 1901, on their way from Ladysmith, with a load of coal.
James Bay – Nice bay for anchoring, but exposed to northwest winds. South is Selby Cove with temporary anchorage. North is Pelle Point which is marked by a light on a white tower. Camping is available by GINPR.
Prevost Island – National park reserve lands are located on both the north and south shores of Prevost Island. The majority of the island, however, remains in the hands of the descendants of Digby de Burgh—the man who bought the island in the 1920s. They continue to farm and raise sheep on the island. The island is largely unchanged from what would have existed a century ago, and contains large cedar and arbutus groves.