We left Pancake Creek early o’clock initially bound for Great Keppel Island, but unsure of the weather over the next few days, we decided to head into Keppel Bay Marina on the mainland instead. A pleasant but notoriously shallow and muddy marina, we used the opportunity to do spot of shopping and caught up other RPAYC boats Silk Road, Southern Cross, Cariad and Red Undies and swapped stories about the rough passages and rotten weather we all had!
Eager to not spend anymore time in marinas we headed out to Great Keppel as soon as we could as we were now in the tropics and it was time to start to enjoying it!
Great Keppel is different to most of the other Queensland islands in that it lacks fringing reef. So while the snorkeling isn’t great it, makes for sandy, beautiful and immensely swimmable beaches.
Discovering that we had a problem with our manual bilge pump, we however spent a beautiful sunny day, anchored off a tropical island with our heads stuck in our engine bay repairing said pump (a circumnavigator we once spoke to, told me that cruising was simply the art of doing boat maintenance in exotic locations).
The next day however with the repairs a success, we explored, walked and swam, and enjoyed the balmy weather.
Heading over to the other side of the island we ended up having a long lunch at the island cafe with Red Undies. The burgers took an hour to come, and Ken waited an hour and a half for a Frappe…..but none of us seemed too worried. Can you imagine if that happened it Sydney?? The outrage! However this was GKI, we were sat 5 metres off a sandy beach under a palm tree and we all had nowhere to be and nothing much else to do…..the owner came out casually and chatted to us for a while, the deep fryer was busted again….she would eventually try and get a tradesman out to the island…. meanwhile she would have to use a pot on the stove.