13 Images

Rabbit Island

Ferrying visitors to the 36-acre Rabbit Island from their home on Lasqueti Island, brothers Gordon, right, and Bruce Jones are Rabbit Island’s security team, Auxiliary Canadian Coast Guard members and restockers of toilet paper in nearby Jedidiah Island’s public restrooms — their most lucrative gig. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
The Jones brothers arrive at the island on a cold and windy day. The island is about 1,300 miles from its owner, Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Rabbit Island caretaker Hugh Jervis removes a kayak from the main lodge. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
A dusting of snow. The island features tall cedars, bald eagles and spectacular cliffs. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Doug Bennett, executive director of the Orange Coast College Foundation, hikes a trail around the island’s scenic perimeter. “It’s complicated to own an island,” he says. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
The deck on one of Rabbit Island’s four cabins affords a view of neighboring islands. Students who visit the island in the summer sleep under mosquito nets. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
In the kitchen of the main lodge, caretakers Jervis, left, and Bill Hayward swap stories about their experiences on the island. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Gaping at washed-up lumber during their hike around the island’s perimeter are Hayward, left, Jervis and Bennett. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
A bald eagle is perched on a nearby island. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Bennett takes in the scenery at dusk. Owning an island sounds exotic, but upkeep for Rabbit Island has sapped the college’s pocketbook and helped relatively few students. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
A deer looks is caught grazing. The island has enraptured the 25 or so students who have made the voyage each summer to catalog the flora and fauna. Black-tailed deer paddle from island to island. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Jervis pulls kayaks into the main lodge. The island has a generator, solar power and a desalination machine. In addition to a working toilet, there is the option of using the old-fashioned outhouse, complete with half-moon window. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)
Keeping warm inside the boat’s cabin, Bennett is ferried on his return trip. Rabbit Island is an hour and half off Vancouver Island. (Allen J. Schaben / LAT)