Here's a photo from June 1967 of me on the back of a boat heading off on a banyan. I don't look too happy in this photo and I remember why. I'd been given a bit of fishing line and a red coloured fly attached to end of it which I was dangling in the water. My mum thought I was fishing but, being a five year old with a five year old's imagination, I thought that I was actually goind to snag some treasure! When some of my favourite programmes were Marine Boy, Stingray and the Adventures of Seaspray, where this sort of thing happened all the time, what could go wrong? The reason for my unhappy face is because my line had just gone over the side!
It was great taking a boat out on a banyan. All the kids would get to drive and, because I was smaller, I had to sit on a pillow. I remember one beach that we landed on and the sands were covered in starfish. I've never seen anything like it since. All the kids collected them up (shame for the starfish) but I think most were let go afterwards. I can't remember where this island was but it might have been off Penang when we stayed at Sandycroft.
Everyone loved the banyans and we'd have a great time. I used to think that the islands were deserted back then but thinking about it, there always seemed to be someone who would pop out of the bushes selling Coca-Cola! They've probably all got high rise hotels on them now!