We have arrived at Great Keppel Island (GKI). The northerlies finally arrived so several yachts departed the Whitsundays around the same time, all southward bound. I counted 30+ yachts in a few of our anchorages.
It is approx. 200 nm from the Whitsundays to GKI so its usually a 4-day passage. We had a brilliant weather window of gentle northerly breezes each day. Spinnakers and screechers.
A few things stand out on an destination passage … sunrises and sailing in company. We are getting 13 hour days here now so with a long passage planned each day, it’s usually a 5 am departure! The time for some great pics. There’s something very special about early light. The sky and the clouds do take centre stage.
We left with Pas de Chat, Manx and Chances, meeting up with other friends along the way. We finally got to say “hello” to Chris and Wade on Take It Easy, a fellow Paynesville cat. I follow Chris’s blog along with her Cruising Helmsman articles. Chris is an avid photographer who also uses an Olympus TG4 (now TG 5) underwater camera, so I have very much enjoyed our photography chats. If you’re interested … www.sv-takeiteasy.com
We were also fortunate to see a ‘whale show’ along the way. The Humpbacks were entertaining us with their pectoral fins repeatedly slapping on the water. Talking to each other maybe?
We are now in the Keppel Bay Marina after a few nights at Long Beach on GKI. Long Beach is a stunning long white sandy beach with such clear water.
Just around the corner is Monkey Beach. A quick dinghy ride for a snorkel. The water is so much clearer here. Some broken coral, but no silt and a variety of larger fish. I am so looking forward to clearer waters and undamaged coral.
Next stop the southern barrier reef – maybe North West, Wistari, Fitzroy and Lady Musgrave reefs. We hope!
PS. A good day to update my blog … steady rain and thunderstorms about!