Monday, November 14, 2011

Southward Bound - Brampton Island to Yeppoon (9th - 15th November)

Things didn't quite work out as planned on the morning of the 9th November.  If the weather behaved itself we were hoping to have a longish day sail through to Curlew or Digby Islands however, the weather didn't behave at all and we were greeted with moderate South Easterlies as we left the bay at Brampton Island so we moved onto Plan B which was to go to Keswick / St Bees Islands (just off Mackay) for the night in hope of better winds tomorrow.  As we approached St Bees we were met by the Marine Parks IRB that informed us that anchoring was not allowed at St Bees as there was a goat cull in progress so after a few mutterings we diligently moved around to the anchorage on Keswick which unfortunately was pretty roly and not that nice at all.  Luckily a bit later in the morning the Parks people got back to us and encouraged us back to the original anchorage for the night which was very polite of them and made conditions aboard a whole lot more comfortable.  By evening we were accompanied by a  number of other yachts all waiting for weather windows to move south. 
A "Tough" Sail to GKI
The forecast for the 10th was looking great with light ENE winds so the alarm was set and we picked up the anchor at 4.45 and were on our way but this time the plan was to do an overnighter through to Yeppoon or Great Keppel Island (locally known as GKI).  The forecast was to plan this time so the start of the 165NM trip began.  The day was all pretty uneventful and we enjoyed very light and favourable breezes so were making good time especially considering the tides that you find in this part of the world.   Just on dusk we went past the Percy Islands - one of Mark's ambitions is to stop and spend a few days at Middle Percy however, yet again this was not to be as we sailed past still en route for GKI.  The moon was absolutely awesome and excellent for a night sail - it was so bright we had shadows on the boat.

The Percy's at Dusk
Remembrance Day and we turned up at GKI mid morning and dropped the pick at Second Beach - before you could blink we were in the water for a refreshing and much needed swim.  GKI was one of our favourite stops on the way north so we decide to spend a couple of nights here waiting for our next weather window. 

GKI Sign Post
When we were here last we did a number of the walks on the island but never made it to the Light House so figured this would be a good thing to do on the 12th.  As it gets warm pretty quickly in these parts we decided that an early start would be best.  The walk was pretty much all up and all down but was great to have a look around the island again.  The view from the Light House was pretty good especially the one looking back over Wreck Beach.

Wreck Beach

Guess Who at the GKI Light

As the anchorage as Second Beach was proving to be a bit roly we decided to move around to Fisherman's Beach which is the resort side of the island.  We kind of forgot that it was a Sunday but soon remembered as we were met by an army of people on this side of the island who had decided to come for a beach day out from Yeppoon.  Despite the chaos we also had a lovely day at the anchorage kind of just hanging out but did go ashore for a bit of a wander around the shops and ended up going to Island Pizza for a spot of dinner!  One thing we did notice as we were sunny ourselves on the back deck of Mustang Sally was the poor condition of our very well travelled Little Red Dolphin.  According to our log the Little Red Dolphin has now completed around 6000NM (or approximately 12,000KMs) and he still has quite a ways yet before we get him back to his home at Safety Beach however, I think we will be approaching the hierarchy at Safety Beach Sailing Club to see if we may be eligible for a new one before we start our next pacific adventure in 2013.  Don't worry we will be finding a good home for our well travelled friend.

Our Very Well travelled Little Red Dolphin
The weather was again looking good so up bright and early on the 14th and this time we are doing an overnight trip through to Urangan (Hervey Bay) which is about 170NM.  The trip started with good winds and in the right direction so we were able to sail for the best part of the day and evening but we ended up motor sailing for the second part of the trip as the winds lightened.  

I got some really exciting news today as Leapy Lynda and I have re-joined the Carlton Football Club which means, we will hopefully, get to a fair whack of at least their home games in 2012.  This isn't going to be anywhere near as easy as it was in 2010 when we were both living in Elwood as it looks like Leapy has moved to Brisbane for a while (she received the good news that she has a job at the University of Queensland starting tomorrow - the 16th) and we now live in Safety Beach however, I am sure with our determination and passion for the mighty blues we will find a way.  

Correct to plan we arrived at the Hervey Bay Boat Club Marina at around 9.00am and are looking forward to a quiet ale or two tonight on the balcony of the Boat Club Clubhouse

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