Guesthouse on Keswick

Introduction – Keswick Island
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 and Bare Hands
Chapter 6 – Drifting & Drowning
Chapter 7 – Blinded!

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, Chapters 1 to 7, if you’d like to know more and catch the thread of the story.

….Dad was sooo determined to catch a shark and some big fish….but so far he just wasn’t having much luck. A great fisherman, in a fishing paradise…yet the fish here seemed tuned out….being determined and an inventor of sorts….Dad started thinking…a LOT!!

He was daydreaming all the time into far off places, where he was landing sharks, marlin and big fish…in his element!

….So one day, he approaches us for a family meeting….

Dad informs us all, that he has dreamt up a scheme to catch a shark…and that we all have to be part of the action…. It was going to be a night time catch, he would have a rod and reel set up, and we were to listen out for any noises and the line going off (while we were sleeping mind you) and alert dad…..if we heard the reel screaming….!!!

Now I’ve mentioned before that the beach directly in front of our tin hut, was actually made up of dead white coral….very sharp on the feet to say the least!

Well, the first night of trying to catch himself a shark I woke up to a lot of commotion!!…cussing and yelling and excitement….and ran to the door of the hut to see shadows in the dark and a lot of carrying on and frantic movement……

There was my Dad was literally skiing down the coral incline in his bare feet….while his fishing rod was bent over in a u-shape trying to bear the weight and tension of whatever had taken his bait…

The line snapped of course, and I was relieved he didn’t end up in the water himself as more SHARK BAIT!!!

Dad realised he needed to do a bit more work on his idea to catch a shark in the dead of night, by torchlight….. and after much thinking on his part, we are brought in on the plan yet again….

This time Dad makes certain his thongs (flipflops) are at the door so his feet don’t get cut up again by the coral, and then he has a brilliant idea for an alarm system to let us all know when he has a shark on the line………

He spends all day joining a bunch of beer cans together and planning his next move….the idea is that the beer cans will make a helluva noise if something takes the bait, he has the beer cans attached somehow to the rod and reel …….

That night, there’s an even bigger commotion and oh so much more excitement….as the beer cans go off, not once, but twice…..but sharks are smart…no luck this time….

The next night, feeling a little deflated but more determined than ever, Dad resets the rig, using ropes and whatever else he can find……the torch and thongs are at the ready, and we are all primed ……

CRASH, BANG, BASH!!!! The rig goes off in the dead of night….Mum’s there with the torch, Dad’s yelling his lungs out, I’m half asleep trying to do anything I can to help,….he’s screaming for his thongs… I run half way down the coral and try to slip them on his sliding feet… was sooooo funny and comical……you just had to be there! He is still skiing down the slope and manages one thong, but not the other!!

Tonight Dad lands his first shark, and a couple more on subsequent nights, just out the front of our tin hut where we had gone swimming in the deep channel on our first day there….and where someone else had seen a huge tiger shark wriggle up onto the land to take a decaying carcass of another shark….folks this place was brimming with shark life!!!

It was really really sad after we caught the sharks and hung them from the tree, they were about 5 foot in length, I think they were bronze whalers. Their stomachs coming out of their mouths….too scared to touch them just in case they were still alive and snapped a stray hand off….Dad has changed a lot since those days…he went right of catching big fish, and became someone who loves them instead, and respects them…..he will no longer catch and keep a marlin, he sees them as creatures of much beauty and would release one if he caught it….

Dad is an artist too, and he has a soft side too, despite being a hunter gatherer type…
That’s what I love about artists…the soft heart…

Stay tuned for

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keswick island chapter 8 shark bait, keswickislandkarin

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  • Keith Russell
    Keith Russellabout 6 years ago

    great dad story and story about what men do – lovely touches and turning points.

  • many thanx for taking time to read the next Chapter !
    and glad you liked it K! :D

    – © Karin Taylor

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

    I liked this chapter; a nice shift from the dangers and scary moments, and meanwhile very touching ending.

  • thank you for reading Mui-Ling…I’m glad you liked it…we had lots of fun on the island which countered the scary bits!!

    – © Karin Taylor

  • gillsart
    gillsartabout 6 years ago

    Great story telling …..

  • thank you very much for reading …. I’m glad you like it!! :D

    – © Karin Taylor

  • Cate Townsend
    Cate Townsendabout 6 years ago

    Fantastic. I laughed so much at the image of your dad sliding down the coral and you with the thongs so funny. Funnily enough I have pretty much as long as I can remeber been a keen fisherperson. I hadn’t been fishing for a couple of years and Josh seemed pretty keen on fishing. We went to the jetty and I landed a nice flatty, well it kinda looked at me and said could you please through me back, so I did. Josh was horrified wondering what an earth kind of fisherperson I was. Guess its that softer side comming out….

  • aha!! there you go…not a mean bone in your body Cate!! it eventually gets to you doesn’t it…we must soften with growth…I love to fish too…my biggest was a dolphin fish, it tore my heart to see it die….it has beautiful bejewelled colours, which fade very quickly on removal from the sea….

    – © Karin Taylor

  • pinkyjain
    pinkyjainabout 6 years ago

    Great & exciting Karin. Really glad, too, your Dad in turn now respects the big Fish. Thank you so much for sharing these treasures, they are great to read

  • thanx so much for reading this Chapter too pinky,I’m so glad you enjoyed it

    – © Karin Taylor

  • barnsis
    barnsisalmost 6 years ago

    Awesome, so well written i was with you every step ot the way. Loved it.

  • oh thank you so much byron, i came following behind you, and reread them all quickly one after the other… it brought back those memories,
    and felt great to relive them…. i’m so happy you enjoyed it, and what
    a fast reader you are!!!

    – © Karin Taylor

  • barnsis
    barnsisalmost 6 years ago

    Sorry my dear but besides doing all the time on RB I usually read two books a week, Growing up like I did reading becomes your only real escape so i learned to speed read before we knew there was such a thing.

  • rain-dogs
    rain-dogsalmost 5 years ago

    its interesting that your dad went off the hunt later on as did my dad he was a hunter and a roo shooter in his younger days then tunrned naturalist and a wildlife carer…… we always caught fish n crays n abalone etc but only for a feed never as sport or trophy…..that was not on

  • There are so many astounding similarities then rain-dogs… My eyes sting with tears to hear yet another! :). It really touches me … LSat night I tried to save a baby echidna on roadside.. We named her ‘eddie’ but she died… My son has gone to school very sad and sobered from that experience, the dear little sweetheart had been hit by a car… She lay upside down with her little feet moving in the air… We took her home but d
    sadly she must have had severe internal injuries. I was very timid and scared to scoop her into the bag but we managed to do it gently… I think she died within half an hour or so :(

    – © Karin Taylor

  • rain-dogs
    rain-dogsalmost 5 years ago

    little baby echidnas are so cute my heart goes out your boy and his sense of loss the important thing is that you tried to help tis always heart wrenching with injured animals…… long as we try tho………. a few years back we also rescued an echidna that had been bowled over by a car we scooped her up in a bin and nursed her overnight and she came good in the morning no major injuries just shock…..we then took her out in the local scrub to release her, we lay the bin down and let her wander out as soon as she was free the most amazing sight of her just burrowing down into the sand with only the top of her back above ground she looked like some sort of prickly plant…..amazing………I actually had an echidna in my sapphire dig only last week she had been disturbed by some tree cutting campers and was a bit disorientated so i took a few pics and posted this echidna
    I sat to watch her find a hiding hole which she did……..whenever we lose an animal i always feel theyre off to meet buddah……..heres another pic just for you i didnt post this one

  • Thanks so much rd- I love to see their little faces… They are very sweet and re ben my son he’s just turned 12 but he has a heart that deeply cares. Thx for what you said I’ll show him later when he gets home from school. He gets terribly upset when we lose a pet. Inconsolablewhen we lost our mice, and our cat… But strangely he wants to be in the army to fly planes…and be a pilot… Of course as his mum I am con erned Bout the ‘rest of army life’ such S going to war, but he wants to preserve life and help people who are war torn.. But being so sensitive I hope it won’t take a toll on him .) Thanx so much for sharing this beautiful image with us. .. .)

    – © Karin Taylor

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