Pancake Creek to Great Keppel Island

By | July 14, 2016

After our over-nighter at Lady Musgrave we sailed in to Pancake Creek.  We only managed one night at Pancake Creek last year so staying longer was on our ‘must do’ list this year.

Pancake Creek is a pretty inlet with sandy flats on one side and a sandy beach on the other.  It changes dramatically at low tide, revealing its expansive sandy flats.  Going further up the creek you can find plenty of shallows and mangroves.  Mud crab territory.  Neville and Tim did put the crab pots out one night but nothing caught.  We tried our left over prawn heads as bait.

There’s a walk to the Bustard Head lighthouse which Abbey, Tim and I did one day.  We were glad we did.  We met the lighthouse caretaker Stuart who had restored the lighthouse and outbuildings.  The sheds, two houses, grounds, cemetery and lighthouse were meticulously well kept.  All very white!

And of course, we had pancakes for breakfast!

After two nights, we set sail for Graham Creek near Gladstone, which is at the start of The Narrows.  Many boats take the ‘outside’ journey north, sailing around Cape Capricorn.  They choose this way because of their deep keels, or can’t be bothered tackling the trick of timing the tides through The Narrows. We also like calm overnight anchorages.  Ha!  Not a breath of wind, but with big tides come strong currents.  The tidal currents played havoc with our anchor all night, in a very loud way.

Neville likes the challenge of going through The Narrows.  There is a ‘crossing’ about halfway through The Narrows which dries out at low tide.  Not sure about now, but in days gone by the farmers would take their cattle across this section.  The current runs at quite a speed so we have to time it so we reach the ‘halfway’ point running with the tide, then as we cross we need the tide changing, so we then run with the tide on the other side.  We got through!

We then had a great week around Great Keppel Island with the kids.  Abbey was happy.  No more long sailing days.  Beautiful sunny, calm weather and little swell.  We were able to show them all four of our favourite anchorages – Monkey Bay, Long Beach, Fisherman’s Beach and Leeke’s Beach.  We have never seen so many boats here!

We kayaked up to the homestead at Leeke’s Beach, walked the beaches, enjoyed a fire and drinks on the beach with other yachties, caught a mud crab up in the creek’s mangroves (a female so back she went), snorkeled at Monkey Bay and simply enjoyed the calm clear blue waters of GKI.

We had picked up our new spinnaker from the nearby marina so the boys were able to ‘play’ in the calm conditions.  We bought this new spinnaker sight unseen from Fusion Mackay at the right price.  It was an order that had fallen through.  We were sent a photo of the design. It was a “dog’s breakfast”!  Not the colours or design we would have chosen … but … it was a price driven purchase.  Anyway, with much anticipation it was removed from its original packaging (it really was brand new), hauled up and we realized it was nothing like the photo.  Still not we would have chosen, but better we think.

We are now at the Keppel Bay Marina and have been here since we dropped the kids at the Rockhampton airport. A bit quieter on board now but we are with many of the yachts we met at GKI so lots of socializing. Washing and provisioning are all done.

We just have to wait for this 4/5 day big blow to pass through then we head for the Whitsundays.  It’s bit like the calm before the storm at present.


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