Here is a quick glimpse of a part of this "best protected boating waters in the world" region...the Canadian Gulf Islands enjoy this closeness to nature!
Power boats, sailboats (especially sailboats!) ply these waters, with an archipeligo of Islands floating in Georgia Strait (now also called by its historic name, the Salish Sea), from the southern tip of Vancouver Island all the way to the northern tip, at Cape Scott. The Canadian islands are nestled in the lee shore of the larger Vancouver Island, and so they enjoy a "rain shadow" effect.
The Southern Gulf Islands are close relatives of the nearby San Juan Islands grouping, and they both enjoy this temperate microclimate known as "cool Mediterranean".
Once, returning from delivering a video of a Salt Spring Island property to a potential buyer, now in Friday Harbour on San Juan Island, I had the experience of a lifetime. It's only about an hour, in a 22 foot boat, with a 50 horse motor, between these two islands. In Friday Harbour, everyone kept saying: "have you seen the whales, have you seen the whales?". No, we hadn't.
On the trip back to Salt Spring, just off the Pender Bluffs (where the photo above was taken), we could see the zodiacs and the orange-suited wet gear of the whale watchers, way off in the distance. Suddenly, right behind us, there was a "whoosh" sound.
We cut the motor, and sat there, totally surrounded by what turned out to be 13 whales, an Orca pod that cruised this area on a regular basis...big to baby sized. We became, for a moment, part of the pod. They looked at us as they rolled past, heading purposefully north...
I don't think we spoke for a good 20 minutes. It was amazing....lucky me!