Florence James (centre) talks with guests aboard the Maple Leaf

Maple Leaf Adventures is thrilled to welcome back Pune’luxutth elder Florence James to our spring in the Gulf Islands and Salish Sea trip.

A trip with James is a very special experience. As a child she was regarded as a keeper of her people’s memory, and she carries with her the history of Galiano Island, Kuper, Thetis, Valdez, and Saltspring Islands, as well as many more in the Salish Sea.

Spring comes early to the beautiful Gulf Islands National Park in southwestern BC, Canada

She can evoke for guests the ways her people viewed the land and the sea, life philosophy, how canoe trees were tended, where villages were situated, the names and history of each place including great flood stories, when and how people travelled by canoe between the islands, and what has happened since European contact.

Read on or visit the trip page at Maple Leaf Adventures’ site.

— A Side of the Gulf Islands Rarely Seen –

Maple Leaf Adventures, an award-winning B.C. adventure cruise company, is offering the trip, a 5-night exploration of the nature and history of the Gulf Islands area of the Salish Sea, April 8-13 and April 14-19, 2013.

If you think you know the Gulf Islands … think again. This trip includes visits to remote islands and wildlife colonies that are way off the ferry route – such as Cabbage Island, Tumbo Island, and Isle-de-Lis.

The trip includes walks on wild beaches, in forests and to bluffs with spectacular views. An expert onboard naturalist helps guests understand and enjoy the natural world. Wildlife viewing (think huge sea lions, porpoises and seabirds) is also included.

Wildlife concentrate around abundant food in spring.

— Florence James Is a Sought-After Teacher –

James, a fluent speaker of Hul’q’umi’num, is also a language teacher at Vancouver Island University, as well as being involved in sharing Penelakuth culture with her people, and with researchers around the world.

“We are honoured and excited to have Florence James aboard the Maple Leaf,” says Maple Leaf Adventures president Kevin Smith. “As an ecotourism company, we place a huge importance on working with First Nations to teach our guests about the traditional culture and history in the territory. And Florence is such a wonderful person – everybody loves being with her and learning from her.”

Spring breezes make for superb sailing

– Sailing, Gourmet Local Food Included –

Other hallmarks of a Maple Leaf trip include sailing the classic, 92-foot schooner Maple Leaf, gourmet food prepared by the ship’s chef, and camaraderie between guests and crew.

We frequently dine on deck in the fresh air, surrounded 260 degrees by nature's beauty

– About the Salish Sea –

The Salish Sea was officially named in 2010. It refers to the waters and environs of the Strait of Georgia, Puget Sound, Haro Strait and Juan de Fuca Strait. Many of the islands in the Canadian portion of the Salish Sea are part of the new Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, protected because of the ecosystems’ rarity and vulnerability to development. The Salish Sea name recognizes that almost all of it is the traditional territory of the people who speak Salishian languages.

— Dates & Prices –

Apr 8-13, Apr 14-19, 5 nights/6 days, Cdn $2040 per person, includes all accommodations, beverages and meals by the chef, shore excursions and use of gear on board including kayaks. An additional trip in the Gulf Islands and up Vancouver Island’s Inside Passage to the Great Bear Rainforest operates Apr 20-27.

— Inquire or Book –

Info: View the Gulf Islands BC Sailing Cruise page or call 1-888-599-5323 or +1-250-386-7245. Or, inquire by email form.