Scattered in the waters between Vancouver Island and the British Columbia mainland, the Gulf Islands have long served as getaways for harried West Coast urbanites. But as more of the world discovers the Canadian isles, standard-issue tourist trappings are cropping up like an invasive species. Gambier Island remains one of the few true getaways. The lushly landscaped and pervasively quiet 25-square-mile sanctuary lies off the main ferry route and is thus out of reach for the usual daytrippers and bus-tour crowd. Yet for those willing to eschew the automobile, it’s less than 30 minutes from West Vancouver by water taxi—and an entire universe away in terms of environment.