Every seven or so days Swallow needs be at a location where civilization is present. This is so domestic chores can be done: shopping, collect water, collect gasoline, drop off the trash and recycling, dump the porta-potti and a shower for the crew.
The above doesn’t require a large community … the hardest to find are a location with a good grocery store & potti dump (potti dumps are especially rare in Canada).
So far my two favorite Gulf Islands provisioning locations are Port Browning and Ladysmith. Both are nice communities with good boating facilities.
Ladysmith is on Vancouver Island and is a city (I believe some will say a large-ish town). I stayed at the Ladysmith Maritime Society Docks (marina). Very nice and helpful staff (all volunteers is my understanding), great showers, laundromat and not to far a walk of about 1/2 mile to do the shopping – though it is all uphill (bit not both ways! ;-)). The grocery store, 49th Parallel, will give you a ride back to the marina if you let them know you are on a boat!
Port Browning is located on Pender Island. There is a nice marina with good showers, a pub and restaurant, laundromat and about 1/2 mile from a shopping center (uphill but not as steep as Ladysmith). This location is rural, which I like, and there is plenty of space off of Hamilton Beach, right by the marina, so you can anchor and take the dinghy to the dock (save some $$!).
Of the two above I prefer Port Browning as I can anchor near the marina. The ‘negative’ here is southerly winds blow into the bay so watch the forecast.