KESWICK ISLAND introduction

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 6 – Drifting & Drowning
Chapter 7 – Blinded!
Chapter 8 – Shark Bait

When I was 10 I stayed in a shack for 2 weeks on an uninhabited island called Keswick Island situated 32km off Mackay, Queensland Australia in the Whitsundays Islands.

Just my family and I including my Mum Dad brother and sister, and a second time, we went with another family.

Keswick Island is now a holiday place, but back then we had no communication with the outside world, except for radio contact with the people on the adjacent island of St Bees…who were residents there… an interesting lot, including Moosh and Ernst from Russia, and John who only had one leg (the other leg went missing during the war) he was a fighter pilot. There were 3 couples there, living in homes they’d built themselves.. Moosh was a ballerina who had defected from her homeland many years ago, and they still had their russian accents…..they were very hospitable, sharing meals, stories and coconuts with us.

Keswick Island is a designated national park, and there are a number of sand and coral beaches on the island. It is a mountainous place…so it’s a big hike from one side of the island to the other.

I thought each day i might write something about my time there, as it has special memories for me. It was a special place, where adventures happened, and you got the feeling anything could happen at any time…..a wonderful way it would be to live….people just rock up in a yacht in the middle of the deep channel, and before you know it they’re in a dinghy setting foot on the island, and you’re having coffee with strangers!

Here are the episodes I’m thinking of writing about, they’ll be very short little accounts, maybe just a tiny poem about each thing that happened :

Giant Clams!
Blinded by Plants!
Drifting and Drowning!
Bitten By a Bat!
Food All Gone!
Food Foraging and my Staple Diet!
Catching Sharks Barehanded!
How to Catch Sharks with the aid of Beer Cans 101!
Turtle Gazing!
Shark Skiing (Don’t Forget Your Thongs!)
Island-Style Toileting 101!
Sharks who Wriggle!
Spagetti and Coconut!
Ernst’s Shark Mobile!
Beware of Dutch Men in Big Hats!
Disappearing Rock Pools!!
The Big Blue Wall of Water!
Whales Galore!

As the gas hadn’t been renewed in the fridge on our arrival in the dark…there was no electricity on our arrival in the dark.. …we were left on the edge of nowhere, with no light, no help, no fridge, no fire, blind and helpless on an uninhabited island…..lucky for us my dad is an innovative guy, and he had to hunt and fish for our food….

many funny things happened, and many frightening things happened…..
i think it will be fun to relay them……

stay tuned :)

KESWICK ISLAND introduction

© Karin Taylor

Lennox Head, Australia

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