11 Dec Skipping down the Queensland Coast
We had a lovely two-day motor sail from Island Head Creek to Great Keppel Island (GKI) and spent a fortnight in the area. We went back and forth between the Island and the Marina. As the refrigerator and freezer were not working properly, we were hoping to have a refrigeration guy take a look while in the Marina. It appears that most of the trades people, “tradies” were “flat out” (super busy) with work, so he was not able to come by. However, our time in the marina was well spent as we met new friends, made an early morning trip to the farmers market, borrowed the marina car for a trip to the grocery store and had a fun evening of dominoes.
We spent the majority of our GKI time at Long Beach anchorage and it swiftly became one of our favorite Aussie anchorages. We explored the island, hung out with mates, enjoyed hikes, sundowners, paddling, swimming, Yoga, and beach walks. While at GKI, we enjoyed the beautiful calm days and were less excited about the stormy afternoons and evenings. However, we did see some amazing lightning storms and Maia received some cleansing showers. As we were closing in on two weeks in paradise, we decided it was time to make our way further south. Pancake Creek was next on the agenda!
We had an exciting entrance with wind against tide, 1-2 metre swell on the starboard aft quarter, giving Maia a lift into Pancake Creek. Our week went by quickly as we engaged with old mates, met new ones, participated in sundowners on beach and on the middle sandbar. One calm day at high tide we succeeded in a dingy ride up to the mouth of Jenny Lind Creek, just having enough water to row through the shallows. We enjoyed walks to Aircraft Beach, out towards Clew Point and across the low tide sand bar. When the winds picked up, we spent several days hanging aboard Maia. We stayed longer than others and watched the ebb and flow of boats in the anchorage go from 13 to 3!
We had heard wonderful things about Lady Musgrave Island, and she did not disappoint. We had an amazing four days and it revolved around beautiful weather, snorkeling, rowing, turtles, mates, and more turtles. While snorkeling we were amazed at the clarity of water and the abundance of fish life. On shore we saw where mother sea turtles had made nests and laid their eggs. At night when we went to the beach to watch the sunset, we were spoiled as we able to observe the mums crawling up the beach, digging their holes and laying their eggs. It was sooo special sharing the sea and the shores with these beautiful creatures!
Our next stop was Bundaberg Port Marina (where we had entered Australia a little over a year ago). Some work and some play made it a fun place to be! We celebrated our American Thanksgiving with 3 other Americans, 1 Brit and 4 Aussies. We had 2 turkeys and all the fixings!! Feeling grateful that we have been able to spend an amazing year in Oz!
As we were leaving the Bundy and raising the main, unfortunately we tore the main sail. We went back and anchored in the Burnett river across from the Marina and sail loft. After realizing that we would not be able to repair the sail ourselves we took it into “Port Canvas” and were able to have the sail repaired and we were ready to sail away within three days.
Afterward, we sailed quickly through the Great Sandy Strait while the tides were right and arrived in Mooloolaba, while the bar was passable and before high winds and big seas. We spent five wonderful days exploring and visiting with mates, getting a rig inspection, before sailing on to our new home in Scarborough Marina where we expect to spend the next 3 months or so. We have a list of projects and are looking forward to a little land life and catching up with our friend in the area!