Feature: The Escape–Day 11–The Islands

Hop, skip and a jump

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By the boys of Union Production Co

One hundred and fifty feet of crab line doesn’t sound like much, but I’ll tell you, after it gets to the one hundred mark, it feels like a thousand. As Dave and I pulled and pulled on the rope – or perhaps cheese wire would be more apt of a term – I started to imagine the massive deep-sea creature on the end of the line we were hauling up. As it turned out, we had just caught one Dungeness crab and one rock crab in the trap, both too small for keeping.

Today was a boat day. We took three to jump from Vancouver Island to Saltspring to Pender to Saturna Island. On route we stopped off to check crab traps with the Geach family. Mother May, the proud matriarch called orders from the bow while two of her offspring, Kyle and Tara, piloted and manned the ship. We owe a huge thanks to the whole family for showing us genuine island hospitality and helping us skip like stones across the gulf on the next stage of our adventure.

We cruised on-board the good ship Primrose Lane to Burgoyne Bay then pedaled across Saltspring Island. From there we hopped from one island to another aboard B.C. Ferries inter-island scheduled services, gliding the narrows between the many tiny isles that make up the Southern Gulf Islands.

The Southern Gulf Islands, along with the San Juan Islands in U.S. waters, form an archipelago of hundreds of islands and islets. From above, or on a map, the islands appear like shattered and scattered fragments of green land, cast into the sea. As you cruise through the narrow inlets, from sea level the view on all sides is a continuing reveal; you catch furtive glimpses of secret coves, hidden bays, and secluded islets as they come into view and then disappear just as quickly. There could be a lifetime of discovery here.

As our journey nears its end and closes the loop on our circuit of the Salish Sea, it is fitting that we are joined by old friends, Katrina Strand and Todd Hellinga. Where we sit, as I type this, the blue water of a tranquil bay lies beneath us and steep-sided hills blanketed in fir and arbutus trees climb above us. It feels entirely tropical; practically Caribbean in appearance and certainly Mediterranean in climate. However, this little gem, like all the others we have passed through and fallen in love with on this route, is just a few hours away and a little effort from our homes in Vancouver and Whistler.

All it takes is a hop, skip and a jump to get beyond the B.C. that’s well known to most mountain bikers. Places like Whistler and the North Shore of Vancouver might be the big draw card to mountain bikers, but the potential only begins there.

Kit:
Left to Right, top to bottom.

-BOB Trailer
-POC Trabec helmet
-Chromag Stylus . Medium frame. Fork–Fox 34 Float. Drivetrain–XX1 with 30t chainring. Wheels–Specialized Roval Traverse wheels. Tires–Specialized Eskar 2.3 (F) and Kenda BBG (R). Seatpost–Rockshox Reverb, Seat–Chromag TrailmasterLTD. Brakes–Avid X0 Trail brakes. Bar and stem–Chromag Fubar780 and 50mm Ranger.
-Waterproof sack
-Fanny pack, containing tools and spares.
-Specialized Body Geometry Deflect gloves
-DRINK WATER Cap
-Spare tire
-Wash bag
-Lube
-Flask, for booster juice.
-Stumptown Coffee (Colombia La Paramide)
-Stumptown Coffee Klean Kanteen
-Laptop
-SOG PowerAssist multi-tool
-Binoculars
-Head lamp
-Serfas True 500 helmet mounted head lamp
-Gas canisters
-BOB waterproof trailer bag
-A change of clothes (one pair of jeans, two t-shirts)
-Maps
-IPhone
-Notepad and pen
-Underpants and socks (three of each, but with the amount of time we spent in chamois shorts, less would would have sufficed)
-Waterproof sack containing Poler Napsack
-Arc’teryx Alpha SL
-Kitsbow SASTAN jersey
-Mini-puffy jacket
-Ortlieb courier backpack
-Shimano MW81 winter shoes
-Kitsbow Soft shell A/M shorts
-Kitsbow Mixed Shell jacket
-Hat

Previous Entries from our Journey
DAY 10 of the Escape
DAY 9 of the Escape
DAY 8 of the Escape
DAY 7 of the Escape
DAY 6 of the Escape
DAY 5 of the Escape
DAY 4 of the Escape
DAY 3 of the Escape
DAY 2 of the Escape
DAY 1 of the Escape
DAY 0 of the Escape

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