"Sail away with me..."
So here I was, in paradise itself, with no agenda, no time constrictions, no plans, and with almost noone else around. I had snared myself an (almost deserted) tropical island, complete with palm trees, glorious white sandy beaches, waters so clear that we could see our anchor six metres below and smoky mountains floating mysteriously on the horizon. I let Keppel enchant me. Coming from the land of hope and glory, I was more accustomed to these sights luring me from magazine pages or TV screens than in real life.
Prosper was the name of Jim’s boat, in which he hoped to live long and do just that. A 54ft endurance concrete boat, it was like a floating antique shop, filled with all manner of treasures. During this period our job was to free it from the little forget-me-nots left by residing creatures during Jim’s overseas ventures every winter when he left the boat in the lagoon.
|Jim and his dog Pebbles; world's happiest dog|
In my head I pretended the island was mine and swanned freely through my new home helping Jim care for and appreciate the place. Whoever chose the colour of sand sea sky and vegetation did a great job. It is like a recipe for happiness. I launched my hobby of losing hours to watching the way the sun sparkles on the water, or the way embers flare in a dying fire. Both these sights reminding me of the way city lights from a distance twinkle on and off… a sight seeming very far from me at that moment.
Tree decorated with fishing floats
|Fish head rock|
|Coral from trip to North Keppel island|
|View from trip to Pumpkin Island (soon to be XXXX island)|
|How's the office?|
Being one of the few islands around these parts which is not a national park meant we were able to make fires on the shore, and enjoy communal island-dweller sundowners around toasty fires at the end our days.