How many people get to live their dreams? I am..........!

This is my story from the time when Capt'n John and I first decided to sail around the big block, to circumnavigate this great land of ours, AUSTRALIA.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Dot and Jono Explore Great Keppel Island

Friday 11th May 2012
Taking Dot and Jono to North Keppel Island
23’03.764 S – 150’53.009 E
Fresh Breeze, 18knts SE, 1mt sea, sunny and warm
0830hrs MrJ and I nick over to the service station again to pick up the ordered bread and some more fuel, this time it is petrol for the genny and outboard motor. Dot and Johno are running late but they arrive around 0930hrs and it is a mad trip into Yeppoon to get the meat and drink for the weekend. I have been good friends with Dot for many year way back in the Dubbo days long before I had met MrJ and we have stayed in touch ever since.
Sunset at North Keppel
Now back on the marina and all on board, Dot and Johno help cast off the lines and MrJ heads AR out of the marina, out into the interesting sea and across to the anchorage on the NW side of North Keppel. MrJ and I chose this anchorage as we have never been to North Keppel Before and we thought that it would be a good chance while we have visitors on board. Wrong...! It was a fast running sea with 18knots of SE wind and 1mt of lively swell on our aft STB quarter pushing us along under first reef mainsail and genoa at 7-8knots. The anchorage itself was not the best with the little bit of chop on the sea and a slight roll off the waves but no one seems to mind. The slight rocking seems to put each one of us to sleep at one point or another during the afternoon – little nana naps.
In the same anchorage is the sloop SASHA B, the dad of Brett on Swanning Around. It is too sloppy to drop the dinghy to go and say G’day.
Our guests seemed to sleep okay that night, especially after our lazy afternoon of a few beers, some snacks followed by a great steak dinner and loads of chit-chat. Even with the not so comfortable condition – but not really that bad – we all were having a great time. This is what happens when you get together with good friends- it outweighs everything else.
Saturday 12th May 2012
Dot and Jono Explore Great Keppel Island
23’09.836 S 150’57’134 E
Very warm, light breeze, calm seas
The wind changed slightly more to the south during the night to make it a bit rockier; it woke me for a toilet visit and the bright moon was shining through the top hatch. This did not worry me and I went straight back to sleep.
MrJ and I were up early as usual having out morning cuppa; he checks the weather on the computer while I do my back exercises. I must have strain my back yesterday in the rush to get the supplies or whatever and now this morning my back is giving me curry, but I don’t tell anyone. Why spoil everyone weekend?
0730hrs our “tourist class” passengers are still below tucked up in their cosy bed when MrJ starts the motors and I begin to winch in the anchor chain. Nice wake up alarm for Dot and Jono! ;o))))) We motor across to GKI (Great Keppel Island).
Looking out the cave on Second Beach
0850hrs I drop anchor off the western headland in Second Bay and all four pitch in with the breakfast cooking – bacon, sausages, pouched eggs with grain bread toast and tea or coffee. Without wasting too much time we ate, washed up and then got ready to go ashore. Johno helped lower the dinghy; everyone hopped in stowing their backpacks with camera, bottles of water and walking shoes. We had already covered ourselves with sunscreen on board. This little party of four was ready for a big adventure; off we puttered to the shore.
The little wavelets were rolling in and breaking on the shore pushing the dinghy sideways. Johno was the first out to save the girls from being swamped. It wasn’t that bad – I’m just getting carried away and it does sound good. Ha-ha!
Jono and Dot
The first walk is along Svendsen’s Beach to the eastern headland and across some of the rocks. We decide to come back and take the track across the point to the beach on the other side of the headland at Butterfish Bay. Someone, whether it was Parks and Wildlife, National Parks or the Svendsen’s themselves, has put in a rough boarded walkway and steps at the beginning of the track making it a little easier to get across the point. We do some more beach and rock walking; we meet a lady who has been coming over to GKI for several year as an escape holiday for the rat-race of the mainland. On the walk back to the dinghy we take a look at the boaties camp on the western end of Svendsen’s Beach. This is where we and several other boaties met up for sundowners and beach night fires last season also on the way north. The camp was still being used by other boaties or visitors to the beach and there is now a good stock of utensil for cooking, homemade tables and a locker and some fold up chairs. Isn’t this so good; no one seems to take any and it is there for anyone to use.
Back in the dinghy to wiz around to Second Beach where we walk the length of the beach and do some more rock walking up to the old cave that was once used by the visiting boaties but is no longer allowed to be occupied due to the park rules. The big tree near Frying Pan Creek with the salvaged and found articles that were washed up on the beach hanging all over is still there and so is the net hammock further back in the trees and the rope and wood swing.
The next beach we explore is Leekes beach further to the west. At the eastern end of this beach is the entrance to Leekes Creek which opens out into the salt Flat Lagoon and dries out at spring low tides. At high tide some boaties take their boats in here to clean the bottom or tie down to the mangroves in big storms or threatening cyclone. Today the tide is at halfway mark and there is a quite a lot of water in the lagoon and we are unable to go in very far.
Leekes Creek
A young family has come across from the mainland in their motorboat runabout and have pulled their boat up on the sand just inside the entrance of the creek. The mum and grandma are set up with an umbrella and shade shelter further up the sand while dad has the kids and the fishing lines along the waterfront. Some of the kids are running and playing all over the sand hill and splashing in the water – not where dad has his fishing lines – having a great time. Their little dog rushes up to greet up and is all excited to meet us receives a pat and runs off. It is great to see a family having so much fun in such a beautiful natural wonderland.
Back to AR for us for a late light lunch and an afternoon relax. That means MrJ has a nana nap while Dot, Johno and I laze about in the shade on the front deck till MrJ stirs and then we get a welcomed visit from Mark off Perfect Solution bearing fish and prawns. Wow I am gob-smacked! Mark has been out fishing for most of the day and has come in here to anchor for the night just to see us. Truly amazing friendship...!
That afternoon we are also blessed with one of those magnificent red sky sunsets.
Sunday 13th May 2012
Mother’s Day
23’09.736 S – 150’47.155 E
Very warm, no or very little wind, calm
This morning I wake up to a dead calm sea; hardly a ripple or roll to be seen and not felt. The sun has just peeped its face over a hill on the island and there is a small tiny with man and dog going ashore. So Peaceful!
Going ashore
MrJ and I kept really quiet to let the “tourist class” sleep in. Round 0800hrs we were all in helping to cook another one of those big breakies. Gotta feed’um good! Can’t have people going away and thinking that we don’t feed them enough then telling the world! Ha-ha!
After breakfast we got underway to motor through the western passage between GKI and Middle Island and drop anchor off Fisher’s Beach. We scramble to the dinghy going ashore to explore this side of the island. Fisherman’s Beach is where the ferry drops people off on the beach, it is where the holiday cabins and accommodations are as well as a couple of cafes and the old disused, fenced off resort still stagnates. The local people from Roslyn Bay and Yeppoon still make the trek across the waterway on warm calm day with their power boats, runabouts and jet skis to use this part of the island as the beaches are so clean and pristine.
Fisherman's Beach
Back on board for lunch and now it is time to be heading back to the marina for Dot and Jono’s “tourist class” weekend has come to an end and all good people need to go home to go back to work tomorrow. AR motors across a dead flat sea, taking our friends for their last ride of the weekend, back to the marina where we say our farewell with lots of hugs. It has been one of the best weekends that we have had in a long time. Thank you my friends!

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