Monday, 21 October 2013

South to Yeppoon

The last few weeks have seen us leave the Whitsunday Islands and start travelling South again. We hopped down through a series of islands including Brampton, Curlew, Hunter and then into Island Head Creek before finally arriving at Great Keppel Island.

On the way to Brampton Island we finally got lucky with the fishing and hauled in a school mackerel. We had nearly landed one earlier in the day but it got off the hook right beside the boat. Just before arriving to anchor at Brampton we pulled in the line with a good size fish on the end.

Reeling in the big one!
The islands south of the Whitsundays had a remote feel after the busy scene in the Whitsundays. We had anchorages to ourselves and some nice sandy beaches to swim on. The tides here are big so we often encountered choppy seas, strong tidal races and overfalls that were at times a bit disconcerting and made for a bumpy and wet ride.
Beach and anchorage to ourselves at Hunter Island

In Island Head creek back on the mainland we watched bushfires burn in the surrounding hills while we waited for Southerly winds to abate. We did school and cranked up the Aratika bakery to pass the time.
The Aratika bakery at Island Head Creek

Fire at Island Head Creek
At last we got a break to head South again and sailed to Great Keppel Island where we enjoyed the crystal clear waters, great walks, sandhills and beautiful beaches.
Great Keppel clear water
D'Arcy dives

Sandhill running
We are now in Yeppoon for a few days while Em is in Canberra for work and we restock the boat. Then it will be off Southwards again.

Kite flying at Yeppoon

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Furthest North

We've had a great last few weeks catching up with friends and further exploring the Whitsunday region.

Our friends the Johnston family were at Hamilton Island for a week during the holidays so we took the opportunity to visit them and also check out Hamilton island. The girls had a ball playing with the Johnston kids in the resort pool and on the beach.
Fun in the pool

Living Large at Hamilton
Off to do the Laundry.
It was school holidays so pretty crowded at Hamilton so after a few days we were kind of happy to leave the crowds behind and get back into some of the great Whitsunday anchorages.

In Stonehaven we caught up with friends John and Jo on the catamaran Kirra Kirra and with their advice and bait we even managed to break the fishing drought and catch a few edible reef fish in the form of a stripey snapper and a grassy sweetlip, yaaaay!!

We then chose to go further North to Gloucester Passage and Gloucester Island to escape the crowds and we weren't disappointed. Nice national park beaches and a few low key resorts greeted us in the area and we enjoyed being one of only a handful of boats in the anchorages we visited. Gloucester passage is also the furthest North we will go this year as we have decided to start our journey Southwards again.

Beach in Gloucester Passage
Relaxing at Gloucester Passage
We then went to Butterfly Bay for some more snorkelling before returning to Airlie Beach, where we are now, to provision and do chores before heading South. We are now looking for Northerly winds for the first time since rounding Tasman Island in late January!  There's lots we want to see and do on the way South again with many places we either missed or just really enjoyed on the way up that we want to visit.