October 21, 2012, 4:33 pm, Bundaberg Port Marina
Great Keppel Island is a beautiful spot and definitely worth a longer stay. The water is so clear here that you can see everything on the bottom; shells, starfish, the anchor chain, and even the imprint of where the chain had been as the boat moved slightly during the night!!. But nasty south-easterly change is expected in 3 days time and although we have plenty of time to sail to Pancake Creek and hunker down there for a few days while it blows over, we've no guarantee we'll have northerlies again to blow us home, so we decided to head straight for Bundaberg.
It's a 30 hour trip if we can average 4 knots but there was absolutely no wind when we left GKI so we motored for a few hours before putting up the sails in a beautiful 8 knot breeze. We had to turn the engine back on later that night as our speed dropped to 2 knots which is a pity because it is glorious sailing at night in easy conditions. I had no problems with my watch (we do 3 hour shifts) but Jim watched a couple of blips on the radar getting progressively closer until he could see their lights and recognised them as container ships. They both passed within a half nautical mile of us but it is a scary experience as they draw close because you're completely at their mercy...'Do they know we're here'
The rest of the sail was uneventful and we arrived home happy though a little weary, still together, and already planning boat improvements of the summer and next year's trip.
October 18, 2012, 7:27 pm, Great Keppel Island
We enjoyed a good overnight sail to Island Head, avoiding the uncomfortable anchorages of Curlew and the Percy Islands. Certainly more enjoyable than a night with North West winds in an unprotected anchorage.
Ten days without internet gave Susie's new iPhone a rest and she took to the surf ski with a vengeance. Fishing was not as good as we have experienced it in the past; some of that due to the fishermen rather than the fish. The guys in the next boat were catching yabbies and bucket loads of whiting. We, on the other hand couldn't catch a yabbie and the whiting turned their noses (if they had one) up at our proffered squid.
Despite some windy conditions the weather was fine and sunny and we had no issues with sandflies or mosquitoes. It is a gorgeous spot and we will be back again and again.
With a good forecast for a few days Northerlies we departed IHC for Great Keppel Island and after a long day arrived just on nightfall.
October 18, 2012, 6:35 pm, On the way to Island Head Creek
We left Mackay in no wind (what a difference a day makes) and didn't bother hoisting the main until a light breeze came in around lunch time. Jim noticed that one of the batons was not attached to the track and I realised that this was cause of all our grief over the last two days; the pin we'd found connected the baton end to the slug that slides up the track. It was a simple matter to drop the sail and slip the pin back in. Mystery solved.