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Pender Islands are beautiful.  Technically, North Pender and South Pender are actually one island. Many, many years ago the settlers here decided they didn’t want to have to travel 15 miles to get 150 yards across the isthmus that connected the north and south sections of the island.  So they dug a mini-canal through there and voila! two islands.  So the first thing they did was build a bridge to connect the two again since the natives did not want to have to get in a boat to go 200 feet across to the other side.  I think these islands are just about the best in the Southern Gulf Islands.  Lots of natural areas and trails with almost endless access to the ocean.  And then there IS the ocean.  The house where we are staying is situated on a bluff about a 100 feet above a kelp forest in the channel below which separates the Penders from other island in the area including islands not too far away in the San Juan’s.

Our rental, the Lighthouse on Pender high above waters of Swanson Channel.

View from the edge of our property above Swanson sound.


Lighthouse on Pender.

From our lofty perch we can see all the way to the mountains in Olympic National Park in Washington, about 60 miles away as the crow flies.  And we have plenty of crows but we also had an eagle 10 feet off out deck one morning.  From here we can also see ships of every type sailing in and out from Vancouver.  Tankers, intermodal container ships, barges and the large ferries transporting through the gulf.  But smaller vessals as well such as fishing boats, power boats, cabin cruisers, yachts and sail boats of every variety.

Ferry entering the port on North Pender.


Sailboat below our house in the Swanson Channel.


The island isn’t all about the water, however.  There are beautiful Arbutus trees with burnished trunks.  Wildflowers and domesticated varieties everywhere.  The latter have to be protected from the hoards of deer that pretend to be alert and wary even though no one can do anything about the overpopulation and no one ever hurts them.  Berries are everywhere.  But where the land meets the sea there is little to compare.  Many dozens of view points offer seemingly endless vistas.  Benches have often been placed at these locations.


Arbutus tree.


Little Nora enjoying the flowers.

Nana and Nora high above Swanson Channel.

Nora and Papa watching the ferry arrive.

There is no end of things to do on these islands.  And you don’t have to do anything.  Sit on the deck, sip whine and watch the sun set behind Vancouver Island.

Sunset from our rental.



Posted June 26, 2012 by papaandnana in Uncategorized

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