Friday, 31 May 2013

Southern GBR to Yeppoon

Well we finally left Hervey Bay behind after 7 months! Great to be back out here again. First stop was just up the road at Platypus Bay to scrape the layers of barnacles from poor old BV's hull and for some reason the entire rudder. We will have to haul out very soon, antifoul not looking so good anymore.

The weather looked pretty good for an over night passage to Lady Musgrave Island so we packed up and left at about 3:00pm to get to the Island. Over night winds we a bit hit and miss with waves and slight swell making for a slightly uncomfortable trip but at least it was only about 90NM.  We decided to do 3 hour shifts instead of our normal 4 hour shifts for a change but later we both decided that wasn't successful - we both prefer the 4 hours on/off. We find 4 hours is just long enough to get a good rest even if you don't sleep.

Lady Musgrave Island is a small island formed inside of a coral reef with a lagoon deep enough for boats to anchor and escape the swell and waves just outside. It's like a small boat haven 50NM off shore and attracts a lot of boats (13 when we got there!). The entrance was man made and depending on which story you prefer it was either done by the Japanese during WWII (this seems to be the local legend) to provide shelter for their subs or by guano miners and/or fishermen in the 1890's. Either way, it's a pretty safe entrance with a well marked channel and plenty of water. Once inside you need to proceed cautiously as there are numerous bommies and good daylight (or a steel hull) is essential.

The weather wasn't great but we needed a few days to relax anyway and sort out some small issues on the boat (mainly to do with lack of storage for all this stuff we have). Six days later we found our selves wondering what happen to the last six days and decided it was time to push on. We needed to be at Yeppoon for Caitlin to fly to a work meeting in Melbourne in about a week. Fitzroy Reef was our next stop and like Lady Musgrave it is a lagoon with a great anchorage inside. Unlike Lady Musgrave it has no island and a natural entrance which is somewhat trickier than LM but once inside there are no bommies to dodge to get to the main anchorage area.

We had planned on staying at least two nights here but the weather forecast via VHF wasn't looking great (20-30kn with possible 35+ in a few days). Previous experiences (re Fortesque Bay TAS) had taught us that we needed to move now and stay ahead of the weather even though it would mean arriving a 3 or 4 days earlier than planned at Yeppoon. After one night at Fitzroy Reef we pushed on to North West Island to stop for the evening and rest. We then packed up at about 10pm and pushed on overnight to Rosslyn Bay Marina just near Yeppoon cruising past the Keppel Islands at first light. It's a very beautiful coast line here, much more dramatic than the Fraser Coast.

So here we are in Keppel Bay Marina just waiting for the stronger winds to die down and doing some more work on the boat. It's a very good marina fro the price and has great staff and very good amenities - highly recommended. Yeppoon is a small town just 10mins on the bus and has most of what you need. We are planning to head out to the islands on Saturday and spend about 10 days exploring the area.

Sunset at Lady Musgrave Island

Lady Musgrave Island coral beaches

Inland on Lady Musgrave Island

Apparently the sun sets every day at LMI and has to be captured every time


Spotted Mackerel - about 85cm - good eating, pretty fresh!

Kitty agrees.

Dawn while passing the Keppel Islands

Keppel Bay Marina.

Huge (eagle?) nest atop a light pole at the marina

No comments:

Post a Comment