We dropped Tim at Hamilton Island last Sunday with the northerlies having just arrived so it was time to go south! No time to wash the three sets of bedding and towels, and no time to provision. I am very grateful for the IGA on Hamilton Island at least, being able to ‘top-up’ our supplies each time we’ve collected or dropped off family.
A last play with Tim’s drone in Gulnare Inlet. I love this shot.
Our first stop was Goldsmith Island, followed by Keswick Island the following day. It was from here we started the long passages – Keswick to Middle Percy Island, Middle Percy to Port Clinton and Port Clinton to Great Keppel Island. Three long days of passaging. Early “stupid-o’clock” getups (great sunrises though), 8-10-hour sailing days and busy anchorages with many other yachts doing exactly the same thing as us. However, it’s also a time when you enjoy sailing in company and we all know when there’s two boats, there’s a race! Company can also mean catch-ups at the end of the day on lovely sandy beaches, many of these we only see when we head south. It’s also a chance to meet new people.
The ONLY great thing about 5 am departures … the sunrise! Keswick to Middle Percy.
We left the Whitsundays with Easy Tiger and met up with Chances and Ilikai along the way. When there’s two boats … !! We had lots of fun holding off Ilikai over this 70 nm passage. We left at 5 am or thereabouts, with our spinnaker up early and we enjoyed sparring with Ilikai along the way. They have a parasail spinnaker which is much different from ours. After 70 miles we were only a few hundred metres apart.
Getting a bit too close?!
After a brilliant blood red orange full moon overnight and a near miss with a nearby thunderstorm, we left Whites Bay, Middle Percy Island for Perforated Point in Port Clinton. Another “stupid o’clock” getup. But Perforated Point is a lovely little white sandy bay with an inviting beach. We ended up staying two nights here, enjoying some catchup time, the beach and the company of other boats.
Unfortunately, we didn’t catch a fish on any of these passages and not because we weren’t trying either. Just no luck. So it was tomorrow’s mission on our passage from Port Clinton to GKI. Not to be. Think I changed lures six times. Those fish tacos will just have to wait! However, Chances caught four, lost three … and only managed to land half the last fish! Two sharks appeared as Gary was about to land the fish on the boat. Yeeks!! (See pic above.) And Ilikai … we’ve just lost count!
We have arrived at Long Beach, Great Keppel Island. We’ve finally caught up with our friends on Waterfront (a fellow Fusion) but unfortunately missed Anui (a reef window beckoned and we took too long getting here!). It’s blowing a gale. There are nearly fifty boats anchored here sheltering from the wind. There’s lightning and thunder not too far away. Crossing our fingers it doesn’t reach us.
Next stop … a laundry and supermarket!