Christmas Island Meanderings
This blog aims to share the spirit of Christmas Island, keeping you up to date with events, introducing you to the locals and celebrating the wonderful and unique environment in which we live. We'd love to hear your comments and answer your questions.
Carl the crab returns to Christmas Island
Carl Vogelsang grew up on Christmas Island, and in his heart, he’s not really ever left it. This month however, he returned (in the flesh) with his family for the first time since leaving the island as a teenager. This must have been a pretty emotional trip. So how did it go? We had to ask…
So… what’s it like to be back?
It has been 34 years since I left the island as a 16yr old in 1982. There are several levels of feelings, overjoyed to be back home, curious to see the changes as well as interested to see if my memory stacks up. So far so awesome!
First thing I want to do? Drive past the old Drumsite house on the way from the airport and then on to Flying Fish Cove.
Really pleasantly surprised to see how good a condition my old family home is these days. I was very privileged to be able to go back and have a look and it was essentially much as I recalled from the past. What I fondly remember most was actually the jungle behind the back yard where I would spend hours roaming around. Best memory is hanging out with my dog Bill on the front stairs during balmy afternoons.
While it was wonderful to see it I was very aware of the sense that though it was once my house it is now someone else's lovely home. Once my curiosity was sated it was time to check out the rest of the island.
Growing up on CI my fav activities were mostly centred around the cove, Ethel beach and Scouts. Fishing took a high priority. Knew quite a few awesome spots around the cove for both line fishing and hand spearing.
Physically as far as changes go there are some missing buildings like the Boat Club, Satay Club, the shops and cinema near the CLA, both Settlement pools and the sadly neglected CI Club. For nature however all the magic is still there. The biggest difference by far is the change within the island population since the early 1980s. The crowd I knew and loved have mostly moved on to new lives elsewhere with just a few mates remaining. I did however manage to catch up with a few of those guys which was awesome.
My memory has served me well and every corner of the place has a story, mind you, now there are new memories in this current story.
I really do believe I could live there again, considering the many things I have already done in my life. Perhaps being about to hit 50 might be responsible for the urge to return to Island life.
For people thinking of visiting, especially former islanders, do it, feel it, soak into it and it will be with you forever.
From my wife Natalie and my daughters Lillian and Anastasia, they fell in love with the place from the moment the car left the airport. Instantly the stories became real as due to a wetter dry season than usual the much talked about red crabs were instantly on show. The feral chooks however were... unexpected.
The best thing is the girls have now seen the places only once described in stories and can be really visualised. From Dolly Beach to the Cove drop off. And yes they love the place and the people they met who welcomed us with open arms.
For sure we recommend this slice of heaven as a holiday destination, but part of us wants to keep it for ourselves! I'm sure you would understand!