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Published: January 19th 2014
On Thursday 16th we left Keppel Bay Marina for a short cruise of a couple of weeks to the Keppel Islands and onto our first visit of Yellow Patch. It was a bit of a blustery ride close hauled into almost 20 knots. Naomi's parents on their motorboat Neesea left a short time after us and overtook us about half way across to the islands.
We came around the top of Great Keppel Island, turned to motorsailing and then straight motoring to get us more quickly into the shelter of land. Anchored behind Neesea at Svendsen's Beach, pleased that there was only a slight roll.
We spent three nights here in mostly pleasant weather. Occasional rain allowed us to top up our solar shower bags so Naomi was allowed to wash her hair. Did the usual island relaxing - fishing with yabbies (one small dart), Don & Cheryl caught 2 mackerel trolling, visiting the beach, swimming, and short walks. Saturday at high tide we took our convoy of two dinghies up the creek to the lagoon which is usually a sand flat and that's how it's marked on the map. Came ashore at the large farm shed
and followed the track to the Leekes homestead just in time to take shelter from a downpour of rain. Walked around the farmland a little which had a large heard of big goats and headed back before the tide dropped to leave us high and dry.
We were warned we could be near a sand bank where we had anchored but we were reassured when we rode out the first low tide with still about half a meter to spare. However at the next low at 3 am the wind dropped and the small swell pushed us further forward which is how we found the sand bank. I was awake and it seemed we still had enough water and I was about to head back to bed but then as the boat rose and dropped with the swell the boat jolted as we banged on the sea bed!
We the got the engine and as we went forward to collect the anchor into shallower water we knocked on the ground a few more times with an unsettling thud but we had the anchor up and were away. Fortunately the full moon made finding a nearby spot
to rest easy amongst the other anchored boats.
Sunday we had a lie in until 8 am to just catch sight of Neesea leaving the anchorage. They were heading back to the mainland to collect some more petrol for the dinghy. We had a lovely hour sailing the few miles around to the resort beach via the gap between GKI and Middle Island and dropped anchor next to Neesea.
Monday morning I got us underway just after 5 am and headed south for Yellow Patch. We had a few hours of lovely calm sailing at 2 knots but once Neesea caught us up we put on the engine so we can cross the shallow entrance together just before high tide. And then I wrote this blog.
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