Tuesday, May 25, 2021

A Short Getaway: Tumbo and Cabbage Islands


In my last post I wrote about my longing to travel, especially to France. The culture and the history of Western Europe and the British Isles are astounding, but I live in an amazing part of the world, too. On this recent long weekend, Tim and I set off to explore part of it in our "hippie boat", as we call it. It's an old boat, imported from Sweden in the 1970s, and it's sturdy and reliable and completely lacking in glamour, but it allows us access to some incredible sights.

Once we push off from the dock, it's as if we leave our daily lives behind. All the things to think about drop away, for there is nothing that can be done about them while we're bobbing on the ocean. The essential ingredients for a good getaway are the two of us, the boat, good food, water (both salt and fresh), and land for hiking. Sunny weather is always appreciated and we had two days of that. 

Our destination was Tumbo and Cabbage Island Provincial Marine Park, about 3.5 hours at our 7-knot speed. From this little park we could see, far away across the Strait of Georgia, the ferry terminal and seaport of Vancouver (Tsawwassen). The islands are connected by a reef that is covered at high tide. We anchored in Reef Cove, a bit surprised at all the boats already there. It was a long weekend, and although we are still restricted to travel within our own health region, people just want to go somewhere, and with boating it's easy to be physically distant. I've written about this place before here

On Saturday morning we took the little dinghy to the rock where a yellow rope hangs down from a tree to mark the start of the trail. This island was home to a lot of dreamers over the years, as well as to the First Nations people who fished in these waters. Farmers and miners tried to make a life here, but in the end, the islands became parkland and are left to drowse in the sunlight, or to lie stoic against the wind and rain. 

We walked from one end of the island to the other, around the marsh and cleared farmland, then back along the trail to the dinghy. We take our time, stopping to look at interesting sights, to talk, and to admire the views. 

A long curving beach marks the south end of the island and here a large river otter made short work of a fish he'd caught. 

In the field an abandoned horse-drawn disc is left to rust. While we were talking about it, 

a deer leaped out of the brush and bounded across the field, not even noticing us. Something had startled him and we assume it was a dog for boaters bring their dogs to walk on the shore. 

Around the abandoned farmhouse, a huge rosemary plant threatens to engulf the structure. I think of the woman who planted rosemary there beside the kitchen door, and wonder what became of her. Several old wooden rowboats lie crumbling, nurseries for trees that have grown up through them. More witness to discarded dreams. After several hours of walking we return to the boat ready for a late lunch and a relaxing couple of hours with a good book. On this trip I read "Three Women and a Boat" by Anne Youngson, and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Last time we visited Cabbage Island we noticed an eagle's nest high in a tree overlooking the water. It was occupied again this year by just one eaglet. We watched the mother swoop in and begin to feed her baby, probably with some gruesome thing we don't want to know about. Bald-headed eagles are quite common here, sitting in trees or swooping down in search of prey. 

In the evening we grill something on our little boat barbecue and watch the sunset over the islands to the west. It's truly relaxing and we never get bored. 

I know a lot of my readers explore their own backyards and write about them on their blogs. I always enjoy seeing the different ways of recreation we all experience. 


  1. Beautiful photos.

  2. Oh I just love your boat! I like the older ones with character and personality. What a great get away! So glad you had fun. 😊 Kit

  3. Sounds like a relaxing time. It is so wonderful that you can enjoy times like this together as a couple.

  4. Oh how lovely to escape for a while in your boat. So relaxing. I’m fascinated by the history of your lands and the people that inhabited it. That last photo is glorious. I can imagine you sitting there enjoying that view. B x

  5. Love the name Tumbo and Cabbage Islands - great to have a two day getaway together in your sweet little boat. You saw lots of interesting nature in your own backyard, and I love the last photo - it is worthy of a frame.

  6. You write amazing descriptions. I have no need to travel reading them.

  7. One doesn't need to travel that far to have very lovely getaways, with deer also!

  8. And you brought back such wonderful photos! So happy that you took this time to be together, relax, and enjoy God's creation!


  9. Nice to see such beautiful pictures!
    Takes us out of our routine.
    Glad you had a nice time!

  10. Oh each photo a treat for me . Thank you. We have some eagles nesting in our town and it is not the norm so we are all excited.
    I love the leaping stag!! Great catch. The final shot (this is a compliment) Looks like a background to the Lion King

  11. It is best with the pits in it.
    It is said to be more tasty.

  12. Hi Lorrie,

    I really enjoyed this post today, and I linked to your other post, as well. You chose the perfect name for your boat. :) I understand what you mean about wanting to travel to France -- there are so many places in Europe that I want to see! But, now is not the time to do that (not for us, anyway). We do like to get off the beaten path, and we also like to visit places in "our own backyard." There are beautiful and fascinating things to see all around, if we take the time to look for them. There are still places I've never visited in North Carolina, and would love to see.

    I love your first picture after the collage -- that is a great picture of the sky and clouds. It looks like you spotted a red-wing blackbird. We had some of those at our feeder many years ago. Your capture of the bald eagle is amazing! I've never seen one in person. Thank you for sharing your "backyard" travels Lorrie; I love to see where others live in this big, wide world. :)

    Hope you have a wonderful week!

    Hugs to you,


  13. You have the most amazing adventures! It sounds like a wonderful time.

  14. I enjoyed seeing the pictures and reading about your little get-away. It sounds like so much fun!! Hopefully very soon you'll be able to travel more as restrictions get less and less.

  15. It sounds and looks heavenly, Lorrie. The otter and the deer we don’t have here so I really enjoyed seeing them.. Love those bald eagles! That last photo is spectacular. The pandemic isolation will end soon, hopefully!

  16. Tecido de papel. É resistente a água?
    Não? Ah, então não serve para a mulher
    fazer roupa para ela. Que pena...

  17. Lorrie - so glad you were able to get away on your boat ... such a fabulous adventure. Yes, the blogging community is such a wealth of experiences, each from our own perspective. A window onto the world of others ... we are blessed!

  18. The photo opportunities there are outstanding. Your pictures a fantastic, there at the right moment!

  19. That really does sound like a perfect trip...to escape the stress of everything. I love your photos and wish I was an artist to paint that last photo!

  20. Such incredible photos...especially that last one! I think you have the best way of exploring your back yard...and a beautiful back yard it is!

  21. I love your boat adventures Lorrie, so wonderful to get on board, and leave the world behind, and explore new places! Such a blessing to enjoy the beauty of the Lord's creation on land and sea! I enjoyed all your beautiful pictures, sunsets are gorgeous! Such a beautiful world you live in! Have a blessed weekend!


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