Letters to The Islander | Nov. 8

KI SPIRIT: The Stokes Bay fireworks night has to be one of the best events on Kangaroo Island with a great community spirit. Check out more photos on Page 14.
KI SPIRIT: The Stokes Bay fireworks night has to be one of the best events on Kangaroo Island with a great community spirit. Check out more photos on Page 14.

Off-island voting

I was very disappointed to learn that out of 47 per cent of ratepayers that are “off-islanders”, only 34 were enrolled to vote in the current Kangaroo Island council election. As we are all required to pay the same rates and levies, I would have assumed that off-islanders would be concerned about who is representing them on council to ensure good financial ‘due diligence’ and transparency. Perhaps those ratepayers not living on the island, feel disconnected and remote. 

I believe it is important that KI council and other government departments such as NRM, do more to connect with off-islanders, sharing information that tends to be delivered more to those living on the island, and thus benefiting from the knowledge, skills and experience of those “47 per cent”.

Rhonda Avard, Gilberton SA

KI Living Moments

The air conditioner was busted, we had all four windows winded down. It almost felt like all the heat was being absorbed into the pale green, metal car. My head was throbbing as the sweat dripped down my forehead and tickled my face. The volume wasn’t too high on the radio because it would become too fuzzy to hear. The reception cut in and out as as we travelled further along the old worne road. We finally arrived at Browns beach and pushed and shoved to get out of the humid vehicle, as we entered out into the fresh air the coastal warm breeze hit our faces and we could smell the salt. I could hear the dulcet sound of the waves breaking and crashing into the rocks, then quickly getting sucked away again. We kicked of our thongs and ran down to the sand, as I stepped on the warm sand it eased through the gaps of my toes and sank my foot down where the cold  sand was hidden from the sun. As we followed the sandy path it led us to the beach, the blue water was slowly crawling up the sand then pulled back again into the ocean at a relaxed breathing pace. The sun was sparkling on the water like a million jewels, we plonked our gear and slipped on out snorkelling gear over our heads, holding back our long hair. We ran for the water but before our toes could touch the water Rachel yelled and reminded us to apply sunscreen so I slowly dawdled back to the hot sand and applied sunscreen just like it was moisturiser. 

I ran for the deep blue sea with ocean eyes and took a steady step into the warm, shallow and clear water. As I fully submerged my body in the water I felt the compression of the water lightly and gently touching my skin. My hair was like a sponge that held and soaked up the water turning my sandy blonde hair brown. We swam out deeper and deeper, forgetting the land behind us. We looked below us through our foggy goggles and saw the brown reef and seaweed. It was so alive, filled with different species of fish and stingrays floating above the sand, everything was covered with bright abstract colours. We spotted a scallop lying deep on the ocean floor, the girls said “Esther you can get this one!” I was super excited so I relaxed myself took a few deep breaths and headed down to the ocean floor. I felt relaxed and it almost felt like I was separated from the world, it was quiet and my ears began to ring. It got colder and colder, thoughts began to pop up into my head, “what if there were sharks down here?” I thought about the stories I heard about compression deep in the water,giving you the bends. The bends has something to do with your blood  and I had heard it can kill you almost in an instant. What if I lost my breath and fainted and sunk to the bottom helplessly? It was all so dangerous but the deeper I went the more alive I felt, I grabbed the scallop and slowly floated to the surface with relief, as my lungs were in need of air; we continued for hours. At the end of the day the bags were filled with scallops and we had dinner.  We headed back for the land, as we came to the shore the water was warm once again and my feet could touch the sand, I could feel the sun soaking into my skin. The water gushed down me like a waterfall as I emerged onto the sand. We packed up and headed back to the farm with accomplishment that us girls had caught dinner. 

As I sat in the car as we drove back home. My mind wondered, I thought about all the diving we did and I questioned all the scary thoughts that popped up into my mind when I was down there. There was so much risk, but I realised that exposing myself to danger made me feel more alive. Doing the little things in life that puts you in danger makes that moment worth so much more to be alive. I realised that life isn’t living in your comfort zone it's to survive doing the things your passionate about. It's testing the limits of your body. At that moment I knew that I wanted to explore and adventure the world, so that my life becomes worth living.

Esther Sandelin-McCann, Adelaide