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Moreton Bay is just at the end of the street where I live so there seemed nowhere better to set my books. Walking along the shores today there’s little resemblance to what was here in and around 1850 but if I close my eyes… no definitely not much is the same apart from the sun the sea and the sand. Hence a writer has to develop a fertile imagination.

The convict colony in closed in 1842, a few years before the Great Famine in Ireland and long before Queensland succeeded from New South Wales in 1859. So Brisbane was the perfect place for Mary, Liam and their friends to come for a new start.

The Port of Brisbane these days sees thousands of ships and every year more cargo inward and outward than those long ago sailors ever dreamed. The terminal a little further up the river now sees huge cruise ships instead of clipper ships. On the bay there are still fishing boats though very different as well. Then there are the jet skis and kite boarders beneath the planes taking off and landing at the international and domestic airports. Even the kites flown most weekends… you get the picture.

Twenty years ago, when I first started coming with my husband to visit his parents in the family home, my mother-in-law and I would walk along the shoreline. Occasionally we would see dolphins out in the water. It’s been years since I saw one. I believe there are still some there along with the turtles and dugongs but nowhere near as many. The huge ships, speed boats and the like have their downside.

Each time period has it’s own positives and negatives. Life was tough back then though much more simple. Visiting the Moreton Bay of the 1850s through my research has given me a different outlook on that water at the end of our street.