by Vic Turkington
Saturna Lodge is located at the end of Boot Cove near the Lyall Harbour ferry terminal. The new owners Tex and Sylvia were most welcoming to this six bedroom (no twin-bed rooms) lodge. A continental breakfast of homemade granola, hard-boiled eggs, coffee, toast was included. We were the only guests for three nights (met up with Brian Henry, who lives on the island) There is nearby water access down some steep stairs but at most tides it is muddy and essentially useless. We had to launch at the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve at Winter Cove about two miles away. Kayaks were unloaded right at a gentle shale beach (short carry) and the car was left in the nearby car park. The Park also has picnic tables, washrooms and is an ideal eating spot.
Day paddles from Winter Cove:
Through Boat Passage, turn right along the north shore towards Tumbo and Cabbage Islands (~5.5nm) Boat passage can have currents <7kn, so need to check the tide tables! (with an ebb tide in the Georgia Strait, the current flows into Winter Cove, (not out) and visa versa.
Extend 1 to East point where there is a small shell beach leading to the East Point National Gulf Islands Reserve Park. (~6-7nm). The park has a lighthouse, picnic tables, washrooms and is renowned for sea-bird and whale watching near Boiling Reef.
A south shore paddle as far as Taylor Point (sandy beach) with rock gardening among the large shoreline boulders and watching the feral goats scrambling along the cliffs. Distance ~13nm. This area is famous for spotting humpback and orca whales.
Heading north towards Mayne Island along the south shore of Samuel, around Curlew Island and return along Georgeson Passage by Irish Bay back to Winter Cove (~ 5nm)
Extend 4 to include the Belle Chain Islets and return through Boat Passage (check currents!) Distance ~7nm.
We obtained sandwiches and drinks at a nearby grocery store to the lodge for packed lunches. The Lighthouse Pub near the ferry terminal was the only restaurant that offered a menu of pub food at reasonable prices with spectacular sunset views. The Sage Hayward Winery has recently opened for visits. All told, the Saturna Lodge offers comfortable accommodation and good day-paddling opportunities out of Winter Cove.