Each morning we get up in anticipation. The weather forecast! We are planning to hop down the coral cays of the Southern Great Barrier Reef with Take It Easy. We need light winds, clear sunny skies, neap tides, a low tide in the middle of the day and a favourable wind direction to get us out there … and preferably northerlies to take us hopping south. Ha … we don’t watch much do we?
Great Keppel Island is a great place to get “stuck”. We have been wandering around the different bays here for over 10 days now (the ‘Keppel shuffle’ it’s called), waiting for that reef weather window. As we didn’t spend much time here on our northern journey, we were hopeful of some time here on our southern journey, so bingo!
Great Keppel Island … long sandy beaches, walks, kayaking and snorkeling
Many yachties have continued south only to find rather ordinary weather in Gladstone, Bundaberg and Fraser Island/Sandy Straits. The swell has built making a Wide Bay Bar crossing impossible now for a few weeks and there’s been strong winds and rain from Brisbane to Gladstone. However, after a day or so of rain and wind here, the weather settled with clear skies and manageable breezes. A decision to stay here at GKI has proved to be a winner.
What do they say? Cruising is really another word for “fixing your boat in exotic places”. After repairing a dinghy lift fitting that fell out of our targa while at anchor in the idyllic Butterfly Bay, Whitsundays, a month or so back, we found we had another unexpected problem to fix here at GKI. Our anchor winch malfunctioned due to a broken bolt. Fortunately, I sleep with the boat builder! Using battery operated power tools my Mr. Fixit repaired our dinghy lift fitting back in Butterfly Bay. Amazing we even had the replacement parts. We didn’t need the power tools this time here at Great Keppel Island, but with a bit of help from our Paynesville pals Paul on Skellum and Wade on Take It Easy, Neville repaired our anchor winch. What a man!
Back to the weather … after planning for a Friday departure (today), it was pushed back to Saturday and now this morning’s forecast might mean a Sunday departure. Stay tuned!
Here’s a few GKI pics with a following post highlighting the lovely snorkeling I’ve enjoyed here.