Schools friends at the Keppels

We came back to the Keppels for a break from the Reef and a choice of well sheltered anchorages behind these islands while stronger winds were blowing. We got that plus a bonus of school friends.

The Keppels are only 8 nm from the mainland, Great Keppel Island being the largest with multiple anchorages. Here is a chart that shows the island group as well as the outline of the Southern Great Barrier Reef we came from.

KeppelsFrom some of the anchorages you see the beautiful outline of the mountain range, the sunsets are to die for, foggy mornings are surreal and pirate ships can appear out of nowhere. You can go ashore for walks, Bengie can stretch her legs too.

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Notorious, the Pirate’s Ship! A replica of a fifteenth century caravel we first met in Victoria!

Another great thing about this place is… you guessed it, the snorkeling. It is not as breathtaking as the outer reef, but still spectacular and more accessible. One aspect we have noticed with our daily snorkels is that every spot we go to has something unique to offer. It might be the type of fish or the variety of corals. It might be an irridescent fish you have never seen before. We look forward to the “wow factor” at every location and are not disappointed.


Scribbled Angelfish

At Monkey Beach, on the southwest side of Great Keppel Island, the wow factor is our friends the fishies, but this time in schools: a school of tiny little damsels, a school of big long barracudas, a school of painted sweetlips, a school of whitings, and more schools, with the odd colorful angelfish to distract us. It is amazing. You wander around in the middle of these and they are so close to you, not at all bothered by your presence, unless you make a sudden move. We try to be as smooth as possible, gliding through them.

As we select a series of watercolour like photos to share with you, we reflect on our last three weeks: active, filled with beauty, warm… just what we signed up for! Too much of a good thing can be wonderful. Here are our school friends.


We are here, taking it easy for a few more days. We had a few things ordered and delivered to the local post office at Emu Park. We are still waiting for a replacement bung for the dinghy. Next destination? Not sure. May be back to the Reef on the Capricorn Group, or further north. We will see what the weather brings.

Take It Easy Catamaran

16 thoughts on “Schools friends at the Keppels

  1. Terrific Chris. I can’t wait to get back to school!. Great Keppel Island claimed to have the clearest waters of all the Great Barrier Reef. I don’t know if this is true but they were fantastic last time I swam in them.

    • I would agree with the clarity, Trish. I actually took a photo of the bottom from the boat… will post it in the next one… crystal clear. And the school times here are much better than I remember!

  2. Great photos all! There are more fish this time, are the long fish barracudas? Your sunsets are always incredibly beautiful! Take care Chris! 🙂

  3. I love your school friends, Chris, but it was the seascapes that really caught my eye. The hazy mountains and the beautiful water made for some spectacular shots.

  4. I am enjoying your stories, photos and discoveries up there in warmer climes. Just got word of “a job” starting 27th August to bring Baruch from Hammo to Gold Coast, so we should cross paths somewhere, and maybe we will ‘lose’ some time near the Keppels ! Will have to bring my snorkel-gear!
    I have had to change phones without retrieving all the contacts. Would you mind sending me a short text to catch your number/s please ?

    • Hi Doug, the Keppels are well worth ‘losing’ time at… lots of accessible snorkeling. Although it is busier than the outer reef, it is still beautiful and we manage to find anchorages to ourselves. We are hanging around here longer than anticipated as we are waiting for bits and pieces to be delivered, but the last bit has arrived today, so we will head off in a day or so. Likely to go to North Keppel for a few days then jump off towards Port Clinton, Pearl Bay and some of the islands further north. Will text our details to you. We might see you along the way.

      • Interesting that ‘Notorious’ was sighted. Did you get to speak with Graeme and Felicity?
        Yes, Pearl Bay has been well-recommended to me as a good and attractive anchorage.
        Last year, on the Helia cat we needed an overnight anchorage when close to Corio Bay, and found it good, even with a lee-shore approach. After a good recce, we took an approach more northward than Lucas suggests; closer to the land, and with more than half tide level. (Google Earth currently shows where the deeper channel was last year ! )
        We also enjoyed Island Head Creek as an anchorage, after ‘feeling’ our way in to a safe depth.

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