Thursday, 13 June 2013

Keppel Islands

This morning we set sail again after a week back in Yeppoon to sit out some less-than-perfect-weather and to have my 19 week ultrasound in town (baby is doing well, BTW). Before our return to the dock we spent a week out at Great Keppel Island, about 9 miles off the coast of Yeppoon. GKI has a reputation among yachties for beautiful but sometimes uncomfortable anchorages.

It didn't dissapoint on both counts. The main anchorage at Svendson's Beach on the north coast was very attractive with clear water and white sandy beaches. In calm conditions it was quite comfortable, but with any developed wind the swell strangely wrapped around the eastern point of the bay and caused all the boats in the anchorage to lie beam-to the swell. The pendulum motion of the mast working with the counter-weight of the keel is enough to make the more delicate among us despair!

We rate the comfort of each anchorage is by how "cat-slidey" it is, i.e. by how much Kitty slides back and forth across the cockpit floor! Our last night on GKI was appallingly uncomfortable with the cat-slidey rating way off the chart. Being pregnant doesn't help, and in the end my only choice was to move into the v-berth where I could wedge myself in with pillows and lee-cloths and resign myself to fitful dreams of buying a catamaran.

Anyway, we are now on a mission to perfect the technique of "bridling" the boat to turn the bow into the swell - this makes things MUCH more comfortable. There is a good diagram on this blog to describe how this works:

So tonight we are spending the night a few miles north of GKI on North Keppel Island, and debating whether to push off tomorrow towards Island Head Creek, or to spend an extra day here, getting some more work done and exploring.

There's a fair chance that we will be out of mobile range on and off for the next week or two as we make our way north through the uninhabited Shoalwater Bay area, through the iconic Percy Islands, and on to our next stop in civilisation - Mackay. 

Yachties have set up a fantastic picnic/campfire area on the beach at GKI with a big sign saying "Everyone Welcome". I got lots of work done there, even with the view to distract me.

Bass Voyager and friends at anchor at Svensons Beach

GKI has some fabulous walks. We did a 3 hour circuit walk from Svendsons Beach to Butterfish Bay and Wreck Beach taking in gorgeous views and meeting wild goats along the way.


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