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.
From 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.
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.
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.