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Destination: Gulf Islands
Made up of over a dozen large islands, the Gulf Islands is interspersed with a multitude of islets too numerous to count. This special west-coast Gulf Island paradise of Canada is a small taste of the Mediterranean, blended with a unique Canadian flavor.

The Gulf Islands enjoy less than 30 inches of rain per year. Lying southwest of the Strait of Georgia, along the coast of Vancouver Island between Campbell River to the north and Victoria to the south, this necklace of islands is surrounded by sheltered waters, strong tides, and dramatic coastlines.

One hundred million years ago, when the Coast Range was located near the edge of the North American continent, imagine the Juan de Fuca Plate moving northeast toward the mountains on a collision course, with nothing to prevent the meeting of these land masses. Imagine this tenacious tectonic plate then inching under the edge of the beleaguered continent, a few inches every year, with no regard for the subcontinent it carried. Scraped away, this discarded mass forms a huge mound on its own that becomes, amazingly, Vancouver Island!
By 1790, the Spanish are laying claim to much of the area but Captain George Vancouver is on his way! The British recognize the prime trading potential of the area and send out James Douglas to establish Fort Victoria and the Hudson's Bay Company. Many of the old orchards still seen on the islands bear evidence of the once thriving fruit growing industry here. Alternately logging, fishing, mining, canneries and quarries, all rise and fall with the times, as settlers try to eke out a living. Visit www.gulfislandsguide.com/islands/ for additional information on the Gulf Islands