Monday, 6 July 2015

Keswick Island to Brampton Island

The water around Keswick and St. Bees is clean and clear.  This seems to be a popular spot for recreational fishermen.  The fish caught by the Bristol Rose crew are interesting but none are keeper-sized.

We'd like to get to as many islands as possible while Elliot is aboard so we sail to Brampton Island with the wind directly behind us; southeasterly 15-20 knots.

Anchored a short way off the jetty, we jump in the dinghy and soon find the jetty is a complete wreck, separated from the land during the last cyclone.  Getting ashore is now a little challenging due to the rocky shoreline but we manage to tie to a rock and clamber up to the path.  The sun is setting and the path is very overgrown but it looks like a place we'd like to explore tomorrow.

Growing up in Australia I knew Brampton Island as one of Queensland's premier resort islands, just 20 miles north of Mackay.  Those days are gone for Brampton and a few others in the Whitsundays.  Natural disasters, Australia's mining "boom", high wages, high currency rates and relatively cheap overseas vacations have hit home-grown tourism hard.  It's quite a sad sight, looking just as if everyone simply stopped what they were doing, got up and left.  There are some reports that a Chinese group has purchased and will re-develop.  For now, Brampton Is. offers a National Park with a couple of walks and an off-limits resort wasteland.

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