Having replaced our defunct anchor winch with a brand spanking new one, the shiniest piece of gear on deck, we were keen to put it to work. However there was the small matter of some wild weather, complete with thunder, lightning and heavy rain, which descended on the region. So we opted to spend an extra night at the Keppel Bay Marina and caught up with a few “Cat People“.
We took the opportunity to meet up with fellow catamaran sailors Amanda and Neville on Bossa Nova, and Brenda and Marty on Waterfront. Put three catamaran crews together and there are lively stories recounted and anchorage information exchanged.
But you know us, staying at the marina is not our thing and we much prefer to anchor out somewhere peaceful, scenic and free. So as soon as the conditions improved, we left and enjoyed a brisk sail to North Keppel, to anchor at beautiful Considines Beach.
Our friends from Skellum, Paul & Sjany, who are also “cat people”, sailed in later that day on their way south from the Whitsundays. And you guessed it, it was another excuse for a catch up, sundowners and a couple of nice wanders ashore, in particular a great loop walk of North Keppel Island. This island is more rugged and much less frequented than Great Keppel Island.
We then moved back to Great Keppel Island, and could not resist returning to the snorkeling heaven of Monkey Beach. The visibility was not as good as last time because of the amount of coral spawn on the surface. But we still found some nice creatures to look at, both Wade and I trying to capture some of them with our cameras. Watch out, more underwater photography coming up! Click on the first image to display the gallery in full screen slide show.
The wild weather and thunderstorms have abated, but with lingering strong winds and two meter swell, we are waiting at the Keppels for a window of calmer weather to get out to the Southern Great Barrier Reef. It looks like it might happen at the end of the week. That is the thing about cruising, you are at the mercy of the weather and are not totally in control of your sailing program. You might go, or might stay, you might head to where you wish to go, or you might have to be flexible and alter your destination and the timing of your departure.