South Percy to Curlew Island

After not enough wind yesterday, today the predicted increased wind strength occurred. It actually started last night along with a direction shift which made the anchorage at South Percy feeling not very safe, nor the most comfortable. So again another weather based decision; where to go now. Never having been to Middle Percy we were unsure how the anchorage would be considering the weather but it was only 2 hours away. Our other option would be 6 hours to Curlew Island.

The wind was up to 25 knots with choppy swell in mixed directions. As we came closer to Middle Percy we saw a yacht leaving, considering what they were leaving into we decided to just go to Curlew,  having more confidence in its’ protection.

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Island Head to South Percy

It was off early in the morning for us, but we hoped not too early as the tide was still low and according to our Navionics it gets quite shallow. Surprisingly where it was showing 2 – 3 m of depth on the gps we were in 6 -8. So we got out no problems.

Unfortunately the wind was around somewhere but we just couldn’t seem to catch it so the motor stayed on and the headsail ended up getting furled in due to its annoying flapping. Well it wasn’t long until there were 7 boats all out dotted across the ocean and we weren’t the only ones having trouble catching the wind. We saw one boat a fair way out east with spinnaker flying and it was then we made a vow to learn how to fly one of them and bring our spinnaker next season.

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Port Clinton to Island Head

Port Clinton to Island head was to be a short trip, a little hop that helped reduce the length of the next part of our planned passage to Hexam Island. Radha worked out a route for us to take that would include some sight seeing and possible going ashore somewhere, depending on the weather and swell. It was expected to be rather light winds so we knew the headland conditions would be better than when we came in but were not sure how different.  It was a world of difference. We even left with the tide coming up. Although this meant going against it to get out of Port Clinton, once outside the tide would help push us up to our destination. As predicted the wind was very light so our trip up was a combination of downwind sailing and motorsailing.

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North Keppel to Port Clinton

One thing about cruising is that you always find yourself in new situations. This stretch of the coast between Yeppoon and Mackay is some of Queensland’s most remote coastline. There is not much civilisation on shore and as far as other boats, some days you are the only one you can see. Today was one of those days. Yesterday we saw about seven boats heading up north but today we could only see us.

The other new experiences that we were, well experiencing, was swell, tides and the effects of islands buffering the weather. So we left a little before sun up with the mainsail reefed as conditions were still expected to be lively. Well the wind actually didn’t seem to be doing much so as soon as the sun cast a little light we took the reef out of the main.

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Great Keppel to North Keppel Island

With North Keppel less than 10 nm away we thought we would leave the tender down for this passage. Sure…except we didn’t take into consideration the steep swell that pops up in Keppel bay which was still hanging around from the week of strong winds. Radha considered trying to pull her up on deck but with no protection down was where she stayed. There were a couple of hmmm moments as she navigated her way across the swell but luckily we all made it to anchor. That was definitely a lively sail. The waves can get pretty boisterous here in Keppel bay we have concluded. Glad it was just a short trip.

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