Fragility of Francis Point
You can see the result from the path that follows the rocky shore along Georgia Strait just south of the entrance to Pender Harbour.
Beyond the roped in walkway, the crusty tufts of moss and lichens cling lushly, or as lushly as crusty moss can be, to the rock. Yet inside the ropes, where people walk, the ground is bare.
Even the few places where people have gone off the path, to venture closer to shore or with other intentions, the moss is is damaged, crumpled underfoot. The delicate life left to the whims of pedestrians.
The trail to Francis Point offers lovely views across the strait to Texada Island and of the many power and sailing craft that cruise up and down the Sunshine Coast. From the navigation light at the tip of Francis Point, the views are south down the Welcome Passage and the Thormanby Islands.
To get here from your anchorage or mooring in Pender Harbour it is easiest to take a dinghy to the public wharf in Gerrans Bay (aka Whisky Slough). There is usually room to tie to the land end of the long dock, under the foot ramp.
Walking south on Warnock Road, take the first right to the continuation of Francis Peninsula Road. It is only marked by a couple of arrow signs to B&B’s, but it is the main road with a centre yellow line.
Then, about one kilometre along, take Merrill Road to the left leading to the entrance of Francis Point Provincial Park where no fires or camping are allowed, the only entertainments being nature, walking and swimming if you dare off the stone beach in Middle Bay. For much of the past 100 years, the land was private and, lucky for us, ignored and unused.
Pender Harbour has wonderful, protected anchorage, but many of the other offerings are related to the urban yearning of such comfortable vacation centres, with pubs, coffee shops, supermarkets, deli foods and art galleries.
Francis Point offers something a little different, a chance to look around and see how things might be if all of us just looked the other way.
(Francis Point and Pender Harbour are covered in Salish Sea Pilot’s Cruising Guide to Georgia Strait and the Sunshine Coast.)