Comparative thinking

I’ve been giving some thought recently as to why the bay islands aren’t more popular than they are. It’s something I just can’t understand since anywhere else in the world, an island less than an hour away from a major city would be prime real estate.
Admittedly most of the highly sought after locations have surf or white sandy beaches, but it got me to thinking about places that have similar geographic features. The island does have some sandy beaches but much of the waterfront is tidal mangroves.
One place that reminds me of the bay islands are the islands just south of Seattle in Puget Sound. Namely Vashon Island and the smaller surrounding islands.

Here is a short video on Vashon Island

Vashon Island has a much larger population (approx. 10,000) and area but it shares some similarities to the Bay Islands. You need to get a barge or ferry across to Vashon and the local islands.
Here is the Vashon Island ferry.



Vashon Island also has a history of agriculture and food production which has been reduced by residential development. It’s main farming activity was strawberries and despite there now only being a few small farms left on the island, the locals still celebrate the annual Strawberry Festival.

Here are some photos of Vashon Island which show it’s similarities to the Bay Island.




I’m guessing that eventually Brisbane will have a much larger population and people will be looking for areas that have a feeling of remoteness away from the bustle of the city. The bay is a spectacular place and unlike Seattle it doesn’t have the regular cold and wet climate.

I might live long enough to see those changes. I’d really like to see the islands develop a culture of self sufficiency and community that the mainland lacks. I’m hoping it will be a good place to grow old.

Another weekend over

Heading back to the drudgery of the city. It’s been one of those rare weekends that I’ve actually relaxed a bit. I have a busy few months ahead of me but hopefully by Christmas I’ll have made enough progress on the island to spend a couple of weeks on the bay. I may even get myself another boat by then.


I had some nice long conversations with a bloke on the island this weekend, who has 6 children. He was a very (emphasis intended) happy man.
It got me thinking again about life and how I’m probably too much of a planner. I would have loved to have had children but figured I’d missed that boat. The opportunity never really presented itself and it’s one of those things I’d always considered should be done when you have your life totally sorted. Does anyone ever really have their life sorted?

It’s a shame i can’t rent a few kids for a while to see what it’s like. What a great idea! Maybe I’m onto something. I could develop a baby vending machine business. You could pop in a few coins and select the type of baby you want. If it doesn’t work out, just bring it back for a refund within 30 days.


Island stuff

Out the front of the shack there is a big macadamia nut tree. I’m told by locals that it produces lots of nuts in season.


Looking closer there are plenty of nuts on the tree, just need a bit more time.


I took Cutty for a walk down my street this afternoon. It’s such a beautiful place with views everywhere.


The island has an interesting mix of architecture. There are little cottages like this.


And some old Queenslander style cottages looking out to the water.



There are some newly built houses also. Here is one almost finished. Not a bad view from the garage. If you look closely, you can see the barge heading towards the island.


I prefer some of the more quaint and rustic houses though, like this one.


Day on the bay

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve been back over to the island. Unfortunately work gets in the way these days and it it feels like I’m spending more time interstate than home.
It was great to be back on the bay and out in the Queensland sunshine. The trip across on the barge always has a winding down effect. That’s the mainland in the background.


The trip across to the island is always relaxing. Here are a couple of yachts we passed.


Seems like most of the locals use the barge trip to wind down and catch up with the latest news.


Approaching the island dock and this is the view looking back. The yachts are still gliding along in the background.


Below is a photo of a little cottage tucked away behind the bush. One of the appealing aspects of the island is it’s ruggedness and natural beauty. There are no big developments or resorts here to spoil the feeling of isolation. Yet…