Saturday, October 23, 2010

John and Beverley - Managers

Why do you live here?

This is a question often asked of us. Some think we are crazy, adventurous and many other thoughts! We just wanted to change our lifestyle - as simple as that. May 2008 we set our plan in action. We both resigned from our jobs, rented out our very cherished home to a lovely lady, who is looking after it really well and headed west! Sounds easy, but it was actually a big process! Our first stop was a month living on the western side of the Simpson Desert with a group called Desert Discovery - we identify mammals, birds, plants etc for an entire month - wonderful! Great group of people and we meet every two years in another desert - sadly because of our location we missed out this year.

Our rig - Leaving home!
Next was voluntary caretakers at the beautiful Eyre Bird Observatory, Western Australia - Old Telegraph Station built in 1897 - we spent 7 months there. We looked after day and overnight guests (including cooking all the meals!) Identified and counted birds and had an absolutely sensational time there. A great place to visit if you are travelling the Eyre Highway - it is located between Cocklebiddy and Madura and about 50 kms south of the highway along a very sandy 4WD track - a kilometre from the Great Australian Bight and the Southern Ocean.

Taken from the top of one of the many sand dunes.

Some of the amazing birds that visited us - Major Mitchell Cockatoos

We were to go to the Bungle Bungles in the Kimberley next as camp hosts but the position we accepted was given to a couple who had been there last season - we were very disappointed. What do we do now?? Luckily we had a guest at Eyre who told us of the position here! So the process started and finally we arrived here in March 2009 to manage the island. We are great believers in fate - we had never even heard of this island - neither had a lot of our friends and family.

Aerial view of the south west of the island -we live at the top right in the dark green section.
We love living on this beautiful island.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Flying visit

Where did September go? We have been busy renovating the guest cottage. There are never enough hours in the day! We have also been doing our planting in the vegie garden for this season and with everyday chores and visitors we haven't seemed to stop! People ask how we spend our days here??? We have plenty to do.

On Friday afternoon we had 5 planes and 13 people visit the island. They left Melbourne on Friday morning, lunch at King Island, here for the night. They left here Saturday heading to Wynyard for refueling, Bridport for lunch, Flinders Island for the night and back into Melbourne Sunday afternoon. What a great trip! The picture above shows the 5 planes parked at the side of the main airstrip for the night. John is the traffic controller and has the vehicle ready for transport of luggage and guests.

The first plane as it landed at the main airstrip.

Bec and Shelley ready for departure. Shelley (left) is a writer for Aviation magazines and is doing an article on the trip. Shelley has been the first female pilot here since we arrived.

Beverley and John with eyes to the sky watching one of the planes leaving the island.

Jonathon Merridew from Lilydale airport with his plane - Jonathon organised the trip. He is one the pilots who regularly flies charter planes here from Melbourne.

A great visit was had by all - Friday afternoon was spent exploring the settlement area and a few guys even managed to throw a line in at the jetty! A group went to the Muttonbird rookery with John to watch the birds come in at dusk - an amazing sight. Of course a walk along the beach was on the agenda for some. Saturday came too quickly for them all as they bid us farewell till their next visit.