Friday, 11 November 2016

Mackay to Keppels or close encouter to moonstruck

Back in Mackay and we met up with Pierce and Janine before we left heading south.  We'd become friends during the trip north in different anchorages and a more lovely couple you couldn't hope to meet!

But for some reason, they think they need two hulls for cruising instead of one.  Go figure..

The footpath along the docks at Mackay Marina.  A lovely spot.

We left Mackay end of October heading south to Bundaberg.  Before we left, we decided not to fill the fuel tank at the fuel dock but to use the last of the diesel in the jerries we carry on deck instead.  That turned out to be a bad decision and more on that later..

We chose Bundy this time to lay over for the cyclone season because we needed to get some work done on the boat while we went back to Adelaide for Christmas.  We've met people along the way who recommend Bundaberg because the hard stand rates are quite reasonable and the trades are all there apart from a rigger.

First stop was the southern anchorage at Curlew.  Protection from the north but the anchorage is a bit rolly so we only stayed one night before moving on to the Duke Islands.

We anchored next to Hunter island which is a lovely spot to hang around for a while.  We spent three days in there in the end and took a couple of trips onto the beach.  Lots of deer on the island and a lovely long sandy beach.

Hunter island is a lovely quiet anchorage but you wouldn't want to be there in a strong westerly.
This chap pulled in next to us and proceeded to drop his anchor almost on top of ours.  As he pulled in, I thought he was a bit close and pointed out where our anchor was (about 30 meters north of us) but he ignored me.

I've no idea why he anchored there as there was heaps of room just a bit further north that is too shallow for us but ideal for a cat.  We've found it a bit annoying that a lot of cats take the deeper anchorages making it difficult to find a spot sometimes in a full keeler.

Anchored just a bit close
About 4 hours later, the tide changed.  Multi hulls tend to lie to the wind a lot more than our full keel mono which is affected by the current a lot more so we swung with the current (now heading north) and he basically sat still.  He eventually noticed things were not right and moved further away.  When he pulled up his anchor, he found it was actually under our boat and I had to fend him off our stern.  Maybe he'll learn a lesson from it but there were no apologies, just angry looks.

We left Hunter island and headed further south down to Island head Creek.  We motored all the way as there was very little wind and what was there was directly behind us.  We dropped anchor in the northern anchorage at Island Head Creek to shelter from the northerlies.

When I checked our fuel level, I found we were low on diesel (about 40 litres in the tank).  We carry 80 liters in jerry cans on the deck but I'd emptied the last two into the tanks (40 litres) only a few days ago so we had no reserve which was a real worry.  No sign of diesel in the bilge and none coming out the exhaust.  40 litres is good for about 20 hours or more of motoring so it was a real mystery.

At the time, I was worried that I'd emptied the jerries into the aft water tank instead!  The filler for the diesel is right next to the filler for the aft tank and it's always worried me that this could happen.  I took the top off the aft tank to check and luckily, it was diesel free!  But we still had a decent distance to go before we could get some fuel so I bought 20 litres off a friendly cruiser in the anchorage to ensure we had a reserve just in case.

The lesson I learned from this was that you need to dip the tank instead of trusting the fuel guage.  The bottom of the tank is in the bilge so it's quite narrow meaning there's actually a lot less in there than you think when the levels get low and we'd never run the tank that low before.  I sort of knew this..  Go figure.

We stayed there one night and moved down to Rosslyn Bay marina the following day to fill the tanks!

We did a bit of a walk on Great Keppel Island from Long Beach back to Monkey Beach.  The paths are well defined and it's quite an easy walk. 

I've no idea what this boat was doing there on Long Beach but it was locked up with nobody around. 

Midden near Dingo Beach

Long beach is a very nice spot!
Venture at anchor on Long Beach

Large stingray in the shallows on Long Beach

View from the shadows Dingo Beach

Gorgeous Osprey caught in flight

While in Rosslyn Bay, we did an awesome walk up to the top of the hill next to the marina.  Definitely worth the damage to legs and wind!

The start of the climb up the hill

Rosslyn Bay Marina

View from the top across to the Keppels

Rosslyn Bay Marina from the hilll

The zoom on the Nikon camera is pretty awesome

Beach south of the Hill

Emu Park

Top of the world..  Well this small hill anyway.

Young Indian Minor shouting for food

We met up with Pierce and Janine again in Rosslyn Bay and got a bit moonstruck one night after sundowners :-)

We were in no hurry so we hung around the Kepples for a couple of weeks before heading south through the narrows to Gladstone.

Location: Kippel Islands, QLD 4700, Australia
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Sunday, 2 October 2016

Airlie Beach South to Mackay or Kayaks to Swallows

We left Airlie early heading south back to Mackay to catch a plane back to Adelaide for our grandie Peter's third birthday.

First stop was back at Macona inlet where we took the dinghy in to the beach at the northern end to have a look around.

Venture at anchor in Macona Inlet

We had the beach all to ourselves

Some very odd shapes in the rusty rocksrock formations

No trails to follow but we enjoyed the serenity :-)

Leaving Maconna Inlet heading for Linderman

We stayed a couple of nights and headed south again to Linderman Island.  We really like this anchorage..  It's basically a really large bay sheltered on the East and South by Shaw Island and the North and West by Lindeman.  Lot's of sandy beaches and very peaceful surroundings.

While there this time, we broke out the inflatable kayaks!  We carry two on board but rarely use them mainly because they are a real hastle to blow them up and re-pack them afterwards.  But it's fun when we do get them out.

We were anchored in the second bay from the western end of Lindeman so we hopped in the kayaks and went around the point into the first bay.

About half a mile or a bit less than a kilometer

It was quite peaceful when we left the boat :-)

Terry in the new kayak had the camera

Dave in the ancient one did not have a camera :-)

Bloody hard work!

Nice view over to the Northern end of Shaw Island

Terry on rubbish collection duty.

On the way back though, it was a different story.  The wind had blown up, there was a significant current against us and my kayak was deflating!  It was really hard work right until we got back to the boat and by that time, both ends of my kayak were sticking up in the air.

Terry was laughing so much she didn't take a picture :-)

We stayed a couple of nights at Lindeman then headed directly back to Mackay to avoid thunderstorms predicted for the next day.  It was a relatively pleasant 6 hour passage sailing SSE in a Northerly wind at around 10 to 15 knots.

We were overtaken on the way by a couple of light day sailors flying their kites.  We rarely get our asymmetric spinnaker out as it's tricky to find the right breeze.  15 knots from behind just doesn't work, we need around 10 knots from 80 deg to 120 apparent on either side. More wind and it can get hairy and if the wind is too far aft, it keeps collapsing.  We've got a spinnaker pole attached to the front of the mast but that just adds another complication and I've not worked out how to use it yet..

We left Venture in Mackay while we headed back for the birthday party.

The undercover car park in Mackay is home to a bunch of swallows..  Not very good pics but it's pretty spectacular to watch them fly in and out.  I believe they are called "welcome swallows" and everywhere we go, when we anchor, we're greeted by a few who drop by for a looksee.  Aptly named!

Location: 44 Mulherin Dr, Mackay Harbour QLD 4740, Australia
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