Between Elphick’s Knob and Rosemary Island is Illingworth Passage, whereby the water races through at the change of the tides as the shallow sand flats surrounding Chooky Bay on the Northern side of Rosemary Island. The water is typically clear and full of sea life in this area, making for great sight fishing with a saltwater fly rod.

This image is taken looking South East towards Rosemary Island, with Illingworth Passage to the left of the little out crop of rocks. The intent of the image was to convey how clear and inviting the water is. A treasure in its own right, but not why I named the image such.

On a trip out to the Islands with my two children at the time, I played a little trick on them. It was weeks in planning and I had gone to considerable lengths to make it as authentic as I could. Think rustic treasure maps, sealed messages in a bottle, buried treasure chests etc and you will get the idea.

To cut a long story short the kids were guided to spot a bottle floating in the water whilst cruising past in our boat, which was wax sealed and contained a an authentic treasure map with directions to “Able Seamans” personal treasure. They had to navigate a series of clues which brought them to the beach in the image whereby more clues guided them to his buried treasure. The wooden box, burnt with his initials and a fictitious date contained several shells and colourful star fish. To say the kids were excited to find real life buried treasure was an understatement and the look on their faces and the joy it gave to them will forever be etched in my mind.

Title “Treasure” to reflect the story behind what lay buried in the white sand in the background.

The Dampier Archipelago, which consists of 42 deserted islands off the coast of Dampier in the Pilbara region of the North West of Western Australia. Founded by British explorer William Dampier in 1699. Green, loggerhead, flatback and hawksbill turtles nest on the beaches. Dugongs, dolphins and humpback whales are often seen in surrounding waters. Rothschild’s rock-wallabies, northern quolls and water rats thrive on some islands. Migratory waders use the beaches and mangrove flats to feed and rest after long flights from the northern hemisphere. It is the richest area of marine biodiversity known in Western Australia, with coral reefs, sponge gardens, seagrass and more than 650 fish species. The islands have numerous historic sites dating back to the 1800’s including relics from bygone pearling, whaling and pastoral industries. It was also a place of significance for the Aboriginal people and has many ancient sites throughout.