Just returned to Seattle from a 2 week cruise to the Gulf Islands. If I'm not too late, here are a couple of additional thoughts: Make sure you are in Ganges for the Saturday market. We always spend Friday night. Dine at the Treehouse cafe for a (reasonably priced) unique experience.
Montegue harbor is a personal favorite. I like to spend the night on the hook on the north side of the peninsula by the shell beach. that is outside of the harbor itself. If the wind is blowing from the south you'll have more protection and a more intimate experience. four to six boats at anchor vs. about a hundred at anchor or on bouys.
At risk of sounding like a total jerk.....
Regarding Buchart Gardents, unless you're a horticultural enthusiast or over about 55, don't go. My wife and i are very active 40's/30's with children, have seen it before and don't really need to again. To be sure, it's beautiful but there is not much else around.
I'd add a day or two in Sidney. thursday evenings from 5:30 - 8:30 there is an Artist/Farmers Market on the main drag. Port Sidney maina is the nices marina i have ever visited. We were impressed by a wine tasting hosted for visiting cruisers. There are fantastic book stores, bakeries and nice, reasonably priced restaurants.
Both times approaching Otter Bay on North Pender Isl. in the late afternoon we have seen Orcas.
Also, if you have never used Canadian Tide and Current tables, please see my other post from today, July 26 for a helpful point.
Have a great trip!~
'88 C&C 30 Mk II