Discover the Pender Islands by sea

Birds of a Feather’s Zodiac Medline III based in Victoria is available for private charter transport (water taxi) to and from North and South Pender Island and anywhere - including Vancouver - along the west coast of British Columbia. We are also available for marine eco-tour charters, or simply boating the west coast.

North and South Pender Islands are the closest Gulf Islands to Victoria, and hence quite a few of the residents of these islands  commute to Victoria by the BC Ferries intricate inter-island ferry service. Once joined by a peninsula, the Pender Islands (population: 2,400) were separated by a canal for more than 50 years before they were reconnected by a one-lane bridge in 1957. Residents and visitors to these rural islands are scattered along country roads, in houses, farms, resorts and small clutches of cottages. Inland regions are hilly and densely forested and the coastline is dotted with the kind of small, secluded beaches that attract a lot of wildlife. Otters, seals and herons are very common sights.

The vast majority of the population lives on North Pender, which is also where most businesses and services are located. Many artists and artisans call the islands home and their work is widely available through galleries, studios, craft fairs and other community events.

Local arts and crafts are availalbe at the many shops, studios, and private galleries scattered around the Islands. Many artists display their wares in central galleries, one of which is located at Port Washington. Local produce, arts and crafts can be bought at North Pender’s popular Farmer’s Market, held on Saturdays at the Community Agricultural Hall.

One of the best beaches on the Pender Islands is at Mortimer Spit, close to the canal between the two islands. An isolated spit of lots of sand juts out into Navy Channel. A more popular spot is just north at Hamilton Beach at Port Browning with a pub, marina, cafe, and picnic tables beside the beach. On the far shore, visible from Hamilton, is a sandy strip of beach at Razor Point.

At the very end of South Pender Island, you’ll find a small beach park at Gowlland Point Park, certainly the prettiest of all the beaches on the two Penders. A pebble beach slopes down to an indented shoreline. From the beach, you look due south into the San Juan Islands, west across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Hurricane Ridge on Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula, and east to Saturna Island’s Monarch Head, with Mount Baker rising above the mainland.

 South Pender Island

North Pender Island, BC

Gulf Islands Map

 

Baby Orca breached!

The open air market on Salt Spring Island was a unique and fun experience. The arts and crafts stores in Ganges were a delight to discover. We enjoyed the fresh air, the natural scenery and the Dahl’s porpoises along the way. The ride back to Victoria was even more scenic as we boated through the channel and under the old wooden bridge between the Pender Islands. Going home the long way through the San Juans and around the bottom of San Juan Island was an excellent choice. We saw Orcas and a recently born baby orca breach out of the water! The boat is very comfortable and Dieter knows the waters like a seasoned mariner. We really appreciated having the zodiac all to ourselves and not being on any schedule. This was the best trip to Victoria ever! See you again next year for another adventure.