Dr. Doug and Sheila Johnson

TFG Clients, Island Adventurers 

Dr. Doug and Sheila Johnson know the importance of sharing dreams with people they love. After traveling the world with their dear friends, Bill and Marianne Rapps, the Johnsons decided to help make one of Bill’s dreams come true:  a boating trip through the islands of British Columbia. 

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The San Juan and Gulf Islands in the Pacific Northwest

The Johnsons were already avid boaters; they have sailed throughout the Chesapeake Bay, and down the intercoastal waterway to Florida. But for this trip, the adventurers decided to charter a boat in Anacortes, WA.  Their vessel came in the form of the sixty-foot Lani-Kai—a comfortable craft that was small enough to enjoy the company, yet big enough to enjoy moments of solitude. After gathering supplies and spending a night in the very old but  delightful Majestic Hotel, the travelers set sail on their two-week tour.

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The Johnsons and Friends aboard the Lani Kai

The foursome developed an itinerary that would take them from Anacortes through the San Juan and Gulf Islands, leaving room for spontaneous changes. The nine ports they visited gave them a buffet of environmental flavors—from urban (Victoria, BC) to rural (North Pender Island, BC), and spa-like (Poet’s Cove, BC) to resort (Friday and Roche Harbors on San Juan Island).  Being residents of Naples, FL, the Johnsons found the Islands to be an incredible contrast—the lack of palm trees and the wearing of sweaters and closed-toed shoes in the middle of summer were distinct reminders that they were far from home. A wide variety of places to visit just within a few hours sail of each other made every day special. According to Sheila, the islands jut out of the water in such a way that one never loses sight of them, much like the Mediterranean. “It’s like they’re hugging you as you pass by.”  While each place was unique, one constant was the camaraderie of the boating community. Each dock saw nightly gatherings of fellow travelers, and it was during these festivities that they befriended many other international boaters (and their dogs).

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Sailing among pods of orca whales

Breakfast on the boat and just going “with the flow” was the daily norm. And though that may bring to mind visions of lazy strolls and drinks with little umbrellas, this foursome’s “flow” included  zipping through hilly forests on segways (the stand-up, two-wheeled personal transports), and navigating the Haro Strait flanked by dozens of orca whales. Thankfully, they had hired a captain to ferry them through the wildlife, unpredictable reefs, and submerged logs—a decision that not only left them feeling safer, but enabled them to thoroughly relax and enjoy their surroundings. And aside from some anxious moments spent waiting for the delivery of their forgotten passports before  crossing into Canada, all in all, the voyage was smooth sailing. 

 Now back in Florida and regaining their land-legs, the Johnsons haven’t stopped dreaming...in fact, they’re planning a tour of Africa for the near future.  And with sound financial planning behind them, good walking shoes, and some lion repellant...their next dream may very well come true.