Leaving my old school mate, Richard Bell in Coulundra, I flew north up the coast for a spot of skin diving. I landed at Rockhampton just two minutes before the heavens opened with a torrential downpour, accompanied by thunder and lightening. I had just crossed the latitude of the Tropic of Capricorn. China, here we come!

After taking digital photographs of the local aerial maps, pinned on the wall of a local flying club, I navigated about 60 or 70 miles out to sea to find my first piece of coral and see the idyllic islands in the area. A dive boat with about 15 divers on board was moored on the edge of the reef in about 60ft of water, before the reef sunk away to the depths of the Pacific Ocean. I could see the bottom way beyond that depth.

It was clear that if I landed on the beach of the little island, half a mile away, I would be spending a great evening with the divers. Now this was bringing back memories of when I first proposed to a young lady, 100 feet below the sea, off the Greek Island of Corfu. Some evidence of Janet and myself has been retained due to a friendly Hun, both with an underwater camera and a secret air compressor hidden in the woods for our clandestine use.

'Raptures of the depths', it may have been, but, 'ambient temperatures and pressures' prohibited any suggestion of a consummation of this new arrangement and, anyway, the negatives were conveniently destroyed. Rather like the way the South Wales Police and Welsh Crown Prosecution Service do it with vital evidence.

Now, when I used to go duck shooting in Ireland in the 70's with my French built £800 2 seat wooden Sipa aircraft, it was essential to have a set of tide tables for Donegal, the beach being the only place to land next to the house of my brother, Michael. Apart from the double barrel 8 bore, my trusted 12 bore and father's rifle with home made silencer, I also carried, the then ubiquitous, 5 gallon plastic sherry containers which, when carefully squeezed like a bag pipe, into the single fuel tank of the aeroplane meant I could go from Taunton, in the West Country, direct to Donegal, some 400 or so nautical miles, irrespective of the weather.

Well I got it wrong this time in Queensland, because it was high tide and the only sand available was too soft even for my balloon tyres designed for the purpose.

I made three runs along the sand allowing more weight to leave an impression.

But I will be back, with luck, next time on floats! I finished up having a splendid night with fellow aviators, the Nixons, near Gladstone airport, he leaving at 5am in the morning in his supercharged Cessna 210.

The photos include the island I attempted to land on and wicked looking 12 feet sea crocodiles in NT, in reproductive mood.