Fasi suggested, many times in the years we’ve lived here, that he could boat me across to Gulunhara Island, commonly known as West Woody. For a picnic or a days peace to read, but I always declined. I couldnt imagine what it would be like, maybe hot sand and no shade? He offered again last Saturday and because the weather is mild this time of year I agreed to give it a try.
That night I cooked spiced banana loaf and boiled some eggs. Easy food to take. I packed my basket with journals and Vanessa Berry’s new book, “Gentle and Fierce”, phone charger and sunscreen, unaccountably (after so many years of refusing) looking forward to the short trip and a day to myself.
Awake at 5am we hooked up our dinghy to the old white land cruiser, packed water and other essentials (and non-essentials) and were at the boat ramp by 6. The early mornings fading full moon glimmered across the water as the men launched the boat. The scene was the palest pink monochrome, almost a wordless poem.
After twenty minutes of a smooth boat ride Fasi anchored in shallow clear water off the islands beach. The sand was covered in corals and pink and grey tiny cowrie shells. Plenty to collect for my friend in Queensland as I’d promised. The island is small, if it wasn’t for it’s rocky edges it would take less than half an hour to walk around.
Fasi and Nurul left to go fishing nearby. I found a white sandy area near large round rocks that invited shelter and solitude and set out a chair and my basket. To the sound of gentle waves and barely visible honeyeaters chirping in the bushes behind me. A whole day of bliss, like a dream. A day of turquoise-water dreaming.
I read and wrote and ate and paddled in the cool water. I filled a plastic black plant pot, washed up on the beach, with the pinkest shells I’ve ever seen. It was a delightful day. Sundays will never be the same. And, to think, I’d refused the gift of it for six years.