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Posted By Robin & Jim

Our friend Laurie from grad school came up to visit us, and we had a great time exploring some of the Gulf Islands.  We all enjoy photography so we had to spend a long day at the famous Butchart Gardens near Victoria.  It's an amazing place with many different types of gardens, including a stunning rose garden...

rose garden

...and a huge sunken garden.  It was a cloudy day - perfect for close-up flower photography, but not the best for wide angle shots of this fantastic place.

sunken garden

We cruised to Saturna Island to visit the little winery again.  Their little bistro was scheduled to open, and we liked the chardonnay grown in the shadow of a huge cliff face - it's the big expanse of rock heated by the sun that keeps the grapes warm.  We enjoyed the bistro and bought a few more bottles of wine, and noticed that even the locals think the new chef at the bistro has done a good job!

saturna charlie

We spent some time hiking around Montague Bay where there's a Provincial Park, and saw a nice sandy beach where the Canadians were actually swimming - the water is about 60 degrees!  We are acclimating to the cooler temps up here, but will never jump into water that cold without a heavy wet suit or a dry suit on!

We strolled the streets of Ganges, a little town on Salt Spring Island known for its artsy community.  We've had a nice mix of towns as well as woods and hiking, though I really love the wild places and am looking forward to heading north to Desolation and the Broughtons.

ganges

July 1 is Canada Day, and we anchored off South Pender Island to watch the fireworks.  It wasn't quite the same as a good old Fourth of July, but we had a great view from the bow of our boat.  We had a great time with Laurie, and the fireworks were a nice finale to her trip.

jim and laurie

While we're savoring the beauty of our new cruising grounds, we think about our friends who are struggling with serious health issues.  We never take a day of any of this for granted, and we try to live as best we can every day since one never knows what will happen tomorrow.  Our thoughts and prayers are with those dealing with difficulty and sadness.

 
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