Sandy Island – Tree Island

It isn’t windy. That’s the important deciding factor. I’m a wuss when it comes to being seasick, so it doesn’t matter that the skies are overcast, as long as the sea is calm. The fishboat will go out on a day trip. A picnic on a nearby island will double as a test to see if the boat is running well after a winter of maintenance work. Before the commercial fishing season starts, the boat needs to be in good condition to lessen the chance of a breakdown and a loss of production in the middle of the season.

Aboard the Eden Lake, Ruby and I join Captain Gary for a mini-adventure to the island the locals call Tree Island and the non-locals call Sandy Island. Here we are looking back at Comox. The town looks very dreary in this muggy atmosphere, but it really is a very nice town.??????????

The aluminium skiff is tied onto the overhead boom. It will take us to shore on the island while Eden Lake stays anchored in deeper water.


Captain Gary adjusts the navigation program so he can watch out for the sandbar between Comox and the island.


The water is flat calm and my stomach is in heaven. No ups and downs. No nausea today! While we travel to the island, I put some potatoes in the oven. They’ll be perfect when we arrive. Sour cream and butter, salt and pepper on them, they’ll make a fine, hot lunch before we go ashore.

The photo below is actually a picture of a sea lion who dove before I could focus on it. I only captured a tiny ripple instead.036

We arrive at the island and anchor the fishboat. After lunch, the fun part comes when we try to get the skiff down from the boom. I’m sure two men could have the skiff in the water in no time but when I’m expected to reach, lift, and push the end of the skiff out over the water so it can then be lowered, I find that it would all be so much easier if I were just an inch taller. That way I could reach the bottom of the skiff rather than swipe at the air around it. But the captain does the work of two, and launches the skiff.

The shore looks a bit gooey but it’s not as bad as it looks. It’s just wet sand with a bit of sea lettuce, and as we hike up to higher ground the beach is lovely and sandy.  066

The island is a marine park and the whole blooming place is full of flowers. As you can see, Alberta’s provincial flower, the wild rose, looks great in British Columbia too.


This maple has been around for many years. Someone thought the trunk offered a good place to build a platform with driftwood to read a book or sleep on.


What can be more beautiful than nature’s own garden?


A walk around the island gives you a chance to fill up with pure sea air as you admire the many species of grasses and flowers. Looks like the tide is out. Hope Eden Lake hasn’t run aground!



Ruby is ready to go home, all tired out from investigating so many new smells.


My carriage awaits me, and home we go.


49 thoughts on “Sandy Island – Tree Island

  1. bulldog

    A few points I’d like to make… the last photo of the fishing boat, wow never seen anything like that and would love to know more about it specially all those poles sticking out to the side…
    Can Captain Gary not take a camera with him and capture a few photos of life out there as it happens, he could have a very interesting blog when he returns home…
    The photo of the sea lion… I have so many such photos of birds… they are there when your eye is on the view finder, but somehow they disappear when you press the shutter button… but don’t worry I can picture it there in my mind…lol..
    Loved this post, and if in time… happy hunting to captain Gary, safe trip and may the catch be all you want it to be…

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Thank you, Rob. Yes, Gary does take our little Fujipix with him and he usually comes home with a load of pictures, but much of the time he’s too busy fishing or dealing with the lack of sleep so he probably misses a lot of beautiful opportunities. I do nag at him to take more pics and now that he knows I love to use them for the blog, he’s working harder at bringing home some good pics.

    2. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Trolling is with lines in the water and individual hooks – no nets. And yes, it is very tiring. That’s one of the most punishing things about most types of commercial fishing – the sleep deprivation.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I’m 5’7″ – tall enough for most things! But in the case of lowering the skiff, I’m still an inch or two too short. I think having adjustable height would be wonderful.

  2. Ursula Kurz

    Its amazing that those wild roses are flowering already. Here they don´t flower yet. The fishing boat really looks impressive with those stabilizers high up in the air (or are those poles used for trolling?). Looks like you had a wonderful day on Tree island.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Those are the trolling poles but the stabilizers are connected to them. Even having the poles down, makes the boat more steady. I think Gary was doing whatever he could to make sure I didn’t get seasick.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      They do have a very delicate aroma and there are so many of them in big patches on the island that you can smell that sweet scent for quite a distance. It’s like being in a perfumed garden.

  3. Dawn

    I do believe Ruby has had an awesome day and quite possibly she is looking over her shoulder to see if a sibling is on it’s way. Did you catch a few fish?

  4. shoreacres

    Many similarities to the boats of our shrimping fleet, although the shrimpers drag nets. What does he fish for? My guess would be halibut or grouper — maybe salmon — but believe me — that’s a wholly uneducated guess. Since he’s been working solo, maybe salmon. When I saw the size of the halibut in Alaska, I couldn’t believe it. Anyway – most curious as to what he’s bringing in.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      It’ll be salmon. Trolling for them, three lines to a side. Hard work. Yes, I’ve seen some of those halibut. Huge! All the rigging does remind me of the shrimp boats, but it’s a different kind of fishery.

  5. Anonymous

    It looks like a very nice trip. I wish I could have come with you. I would have tried to find some oysters, or this famous wild asparagus, which is supposed to grow there.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      You’d have to stick to inside waters like I do. There are a lot of islands and bays to visit along the coast where it’s calm camping, but if the wind comes up and you’re not in a sheltered location, it can be misery for those of us who get seasick. I could never be a fisherman.

  6. Sonja Forrester

    What a wonderful place for a day trip. I’ll bet Ruby really enjoyed sniffing out every little scent. The flowers look beautiful, and funny enough I have lots of those pretty red flowering grasses growing in my garden. I know they are “weeds”, but they are quite colorful. Your photos, as usual, are wonderful and really captured the feeling of the day.

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Well, if it were literally “sailing” that would be difficult because of no wind, but the sailboats we saw were motoring, and I did like the calm sea for no seasickness. The island is loaded in wonderful things to see. Some kayakers were camped there and had a very quiet time off, sitting by their camp.

  7. Gladys

    Together with a good camera and a good eye, you continue to show us beautiful pictures. I didn’t know the asparagus season was over. When is the best time to get some on Tree Island?

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      Depending on the way the spring is, I think April is a good bet, but I’m not the expert here. I know we’ve been there in late May or June and it has been too late.

  8. townspirit

    Those roses must have moved out there where it’s warmer! They’re just starting to peek out here. Thanks for the inside look at the fishing life! It’s a whole different world 🙂

    1. wordsfromanneli Post author

      I think you have the hardy cousins of the wild roses up there.Glad they’re coming out at last. I won’t tell you all the things that are blooming her now (at last) or you’ll feel bad. I know this is something I missed when I lived in Dawson Creek – longer growing seasons.


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