Crocodiles and Cocktails
by Simon King
ISBN 978-0-85905-660-1, (2017, New), A4, 157 pages, illustrated, 450 grams
$40.00* + POST
Simon King is a geosciences career professional who was raised in the 1950s and 1960s in the semi-rural community of Langwarrin almost 45 kilometres south-east of Melbourne, Australia, where his family was one of the first to settle in the district. He subsequently undertook his tertiary education at the Ballarat School of Mines and Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Victoria to pursue a career in exploration and mining, perhaps to follow in his father's footsteps who was once a mineral prospector in the early 20th century.
Simon shifted to Western Australia with his young family in his early twenties to enter the booming resources industry, and has lived throughout the State working in various technical, managerial and consultative roles for forty years. This included almost a decade in the remote iron ore mining community of Koolan Island where his two young children were raised.
In 2015 with his retirement approaching, he decided that it was time to compile a book about the unique West Kimberley coastal area and the islands of the Buccaneer Archipelago in order to share them with others. His love of fishing and boating blossomed whilst living on Koolan Island and this has greatly assisted in providing the humour, the passion, and sometimes poignant reminders delivered in his first-time book.
Simon lives with his wife not far from the ocean in Perth, Western Australia.
Having lived and worked for almost a decade on a remote island in the crocodile-infested waters off Australia's West Kimberley rugged, almost inhospitable coast, I realised that it was time for a new challenge elsewhere. Yet how does one truly ever get the experience of the ancient Kimberley wilderness with its dramatic extremes of weather and tides, incredibly diverse wildlife and stunningly remarkable scenery out of your system? This book mostly recounts the considerable experiences acquired through 1977 to 1987 of a bygone era of special people, events and places which still remain unique today in so many ways. It also reflects on the history of earliest habitation of this extremely remote and pristine coastal area of the continent, the subsequent pioneering discovery and development of Koolan Island, as well as encompassing an updated view of the island in recent years since my departure.
Even though it had been almost thirty years since leaving Koolan Island, most of my recollections of this adventure remain incredibly lucid today, which encouraged me to compile this book. I also returned to the neighbouring Buccaneer Archipelago region and occasionally the island itself on numerous fishing charters since 1987, as well as to nearby Derby on the mainland, and share these memorable times in the book. My intent is to provide a thoroughly entertaining picture of a very different period of life than most of us would ever experience.
Read and enjoy those times.