Monday, January 10, 2011

King Island visitor

These breeding pigs are unaware of their idyllic lives. They live on yoghurt (their favourite is the chocolate flavour) and live in an acre of scrub land.

The fishermen, on the other hand, have very busy lives. These men are going out to their boat on a Friday evening with work still to be done.

Photographs do not express the senses of smell and touch. We were extremely lucky for the five days I was on the island. The weather was warm and a little humid and the winds were mild. I have taught in the past where I have had to shelter behind a horse float to teach.  The harbours were like mill ponds. No hideously enormous waves but still the intoxicating salty sea smells.

The boathouse, between the fishing boat and the lighthouse, was burnt down a couple of years ago. It has now been rebuilt (with wheelchair access) and is 'the restaurant without food'. Anyone can use the boathouse which is quite charming. Nothing nicer than an early morning cup of tea looking out on the returning fishermen or a 'bring your own' barbeque at night.

King Island is full of  ship wrecks. Still the most serious loss in Australian waters was the wreck of the Cataraqui in 1845 where over 400 lives were lost and only 9 people survived.  An accident that did not need to happen. The captain wanted to anchor for the night in a bad storm. His crew were anxious to finish the long journey from England and called him a coward. So he sailed on- to destruction on a desolate and dangerous shore.

The ship took a long time to disintegrate and brave passengers and crew tried to  hang on to parts of the ship but ended up drowning as the parts submerged.

Such an unusual sight to see this domestic goose with a 'wild thing' black baby. (to her left)

Arthur is a very well known personality on the island. At 14 he is hail and hearty on his diet of kangaroo and herbs.

King Island is wonderful to visit. When driving around everone gives a 'hello' salute with the right index finger (if the car is tricky to steer) or all the right hand fingers if not! People who do not 'salute' are either snobs or tourists. I love the richness of the simple and down to earth life mixed with internationally recognised crays, beef, kelp, cheese, cream and, of course, yoghurt. Teaching riders and horses with talent is an added bonus.

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