Although Bowen Island is very close to the busy metropolis of Vancouver – one can take a city bus from the centre of Vancouver directly to the ferry terminal at Horseshoe Bay – it’s a very different kind of place; much smaller, more laid-back, easygoing and closer to nature.
It’s a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to the BC Ferries Bowen Island Terminal at Snug Cove. On a clear day the big waters off the British Columbia coast are magnificent and inspiring. We had made arrangements to stay at Alderwood Farm, about six or seven minutes by road from the ferry dock.
If you come on foot, that’s just fine too. Jump on the “Bluewater” bus and let the driver know where you are going. Being lost on Bowen Island is only by choice. Once you get to Alderwood Farm you’ll be supplied with all earthly needs. The first thing they do there after a hardy greeting is set you up with a basket full of home-made and local goodies to take back to the cottage with you.
Of course, you will be introduced to the full-time residents – chickens, donkeys and dogs, emus, turkeys and geese – some of whom are very enthusiastic in their welcoming rituals. Make friends with one or two of them, it’s a rite of passage, and it never hurts to have an ally on the ground in the yard.
Out here you can smell the ocean and the trees through coastal breezes and misty clouds that descend into the valleys. Take your time exploring the island. Bring your camera, a sketch pad and a book.