Introduction – Keswick Island – The Famous Five
Chapter 1 – Beware Dutch Men in Big Hats
Chapter 2 – Flight of Fancy
Chapter 3 – The Arrival
Chapter 4 – Feast & Famine
Chapter 5- Clams, Tides & Bare Hands
Chapter 7 – Blinded!
Chapter 8 – Shark Bait

I am recounting a holiday I had with my family to an uninhabited island when I was 10, please go to the links above for the Intro, Chapter 1 and 2, if you’d like to know more and catch the thread of the story.

…since I have to go out tomorrow I decided to post Chapter 6 a little earlier tonight….

…We visited Keswick Island on two separate occasions, and the following account involves another family as well, this time we had a motor boat ….

It was decided that Dad, myself, and my little brother and sister would go over to St Bees and explore a little sandy beach whilst there…the intention was, that Dad would climb the hilly slopes of St Bees, in search of goats and food to eat and just do a bit of exploring….while us kids stayed below and guarded the dinghy and have a little swim and explore.

Dad trusted me with the kids even tho I was only 10 as I was a good swimmer. I used to train at the Port Macquarie swimming pool, doing 32 laps (a mile) every morning before school…I loved to swim and swim and swim, although I was never a champion, I found the repetition of movement very soothing and loved to move through the water like a fish!

George, Dad’s mate….would take us over in the motor boat, towing the dinghy with oars behind for us just in case.

George was scheduled to go fishing in the channel for a couple of hours, as that’s all we could spare before the tide would come in and engulf us on the little sandy beach….above the beach it was very rocky and had a mountainous incline, too steep for the littlies and myself to manage an escape….

So, in effect were trapped there should the tides roll in before George came back to pick us up.

We had to be soooo careful playing there on the shore tho, as everywhere you looked there were stonefish, no exaggeration there! And they really do look just like stones, they are sooooo ugly and sluggish!!

Well, you know how time flies when you’re fishing…..George must’ve forgotten to keep a close eye on the time, and when Dad got back to us we waited a little, but the tide was coming in fast, and Dad started to panic. He must have realised he couldn’t get us up the slopes, and so he decided to put us all in the dingy (thinking George had forgotten us) and try to row across the channel from St Bees all the way over to Keswick Island, back to the hut.

I still get teary and breathless when I recall that day, because as brave as Dad was, I could hear the worry in his voice…. He was rowing and rowing and we were drifting down and down, past the hut and out further and further into the channel into the unknown, no radio, no food, no water, no lifejackets…no George!!!!!

After a while, Dad was getting really worn out, and I’ll never forget this….
He stopped rowing for a moment and said to me, “Love, if the boat overturns and we fall in, you have to swim for it,….I can’t take care of you and your brother and sister as well….you are a good swimmer, can you just do your best to swim for it, while I try and take care of them. I remembered nodding seriously, and feeling brave. He said to me, ‘Pray love, that’s all we can do now, is start to pray’…..

So bravely I bowed my head and prayed that God would help us, that God would save us.

Well, Dad somehow made it across, we were extremely lucky to reach the topmost tip of the island before we drifted right out into the open sea never to be seen or heard of again. It was a harrowing time. We had to drag the dinghy all the way back to the hut, navigating around the coral…

Not long after our arrival back at the hut, we could see George’s boat approaching, he’d lost track of the time, I don’t think he’ll ever realise how endangered we were that day, how terrified we were… close we came to death and dying….

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  • © Karin  Taylor
    © Karin Taylorover 6 years ago

    stay tuned for Chapter 7 of Keswick Island – Blinded!

  • Cate Townsend
    Cate Townsendover 6 years ago

    Its amazing like that when your prayer gets answered straight away. I go through so much strife and forget that all I have to do is pray never mind. How brave you are Karin and so responsible.

  • lol, not really brave Cate, but it’s so nice that you think so…we just had no choice..i think i would have panicked if i was tipped into the ocean out there…just so glad our prayers were answered and we were rescued….will we ever forgive George for being late that day….i guess so…but it’s hard :D

    – © Karin Taylor

  • pinkyjain
    pinkyjainover 6 years ago

    Wow, that must have been so scary, especially for one so young sensing that your dad is scared, too. Thank God he got there when he did, & then you’re prayers were answered & George appeared. Wonderful exciting adventure Karin

  • thanx so much for sticking with me pinky, as I know how time-poor we all are…i sort of don’t expect anyone to be able to keep reading it…but I really do sooooo appreciate you taking the time, you’re a sweetie :D

    – © Karin Taylor

  • © Karin  Taylor
    © Karin Taylorover 6 years ago

    thanx so much for sticking with me pinky, as I know how time-poor we all are…i sort of don’t expect anyone to be able to keep reading it…but I really do sooooo appreciate you taking the time, you’re a sweetie :D

  • samedog
    samedogover 6 years ago

    As a non-swimmer some parts of the last two chapters have been scaring the Dog a tad, but still loving the series Karin.

  • …yes, i can understand Rory, my mum wasn’t with us…she isn’t a swimmer either….she stayed back at the hut that day….perhaps she might have contacted Moosh and Ernst on St Bees with the radio if we were too late getting back…perhaps they might have come looking for us….but it would have been more terrifying if we couldn’t swim…thanx for sticking with it, i really appreciate it so much

    – © Karin Taylor

  • samedog
    samedogover 6 years ago

    Thanks for the links to St Bees btw, will have a bit of a look when time permits (might sneak a look at work tomorrow) ;o)

  • Mui-Ling Teh
    Mui-Ling Tehover 6 years ago

    The only time I’ve ever seen stonefish was in Chinese restaurants or supermarkets, so it didn’t occur to me that they looked like stones. That is a really scary experience for a 10 year old for sure; and I’m your dad would have felt awful if you and your siblings could not be saved. This story reminds of a fictional movie I saw about the atom bomb in Hiroshima. In the scene where the bomb was dropped, the main character (a young boy about 10 yrs old) and his mother were trying to help the father and the little brother who got trapped under their fallen burning house. The father could see that it was no use and begged them to run and save themselves; which also meant the little brother couldn’t be saved. As the two hesitantly agreed and left, the father looked at the little brother and said he was sorry that he could’t save him. They reached out for each others’ hands as the fire took them away.

  • oh that story is sooooo sad Mui-Ling, that is how it felt…
    to not be able to save all your own children, it must be the worst of feelings…I couldn’t bear it, I just couldn’t bear it at all…. here is a picture of a stonefish

    – © Karin Taylor

  • © Karin  Taylor
    © Karin Taylorover 6 years ago
  • © Karin  Taylor
  • © Karin  Taylor
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