The southern Gulf Islands between Nanaimo and Victoria are among British Columbia's greatest scenic treasures, projecting an appeal so powerful as to make nesomanes (island lovers) of the most unromantic souls. Ranging in size from Saltspring (pop. 12,000) to unoccupied D'arcy, they first began to attract European settlers in 1859 and have been home to a special breed of freedom-loving denizen ever since. Author David Spalding and photographer Kevin Oke are both members of this unique tribe and in this book pay tribute to their chosen region with the sensitivity and insider knowledge only long-time residents can provide. Brimming with gorgeous colour photographs by Oke, ENCHANTED ISLES begins with a historic overview detailing how the islands served as a favoured hideaway of some of BC's most distinguished eccentrics. Remittance men and other escapees from British stuffiness form one stream of islanders, but there have been many others. A census of Saltspring in 1895 included a Patagonian, Germans, Portuguese, Hawaiians, Americans, Shetlanders and Scandinavians. Today you may expect to find individuals from virtually anywhere in the world.
ENCHANTED ISLES showcases local wildlife, captures local character and history and offers insider tips for visitors. It is a spectacular coffee-table book that shows why the Gulf Islands rank with Whistler and the Pacific Rim as one of the most popular tourist destinations in BC.