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Published: June 19th 2013
After a casual start Friday 14th June
we motored to Keppel Bay Marina, Yeppoon. Naomi was nervous as she returning to her homeland (for the second time by boat). There we were met at the jetty by Don and Cheryl (Naomi's parents). They helped us tie up, gave us a warm welcome and our car keys.
Naomi's brother Andrew, and owner of CQ Sailmakers, was coming later that day to measure up the boat for a new foresail. So for this the old sail had to come down and for this Naomi needed to go up 3/4 of the mast to release a rope. She complained that I was wobbling the boat too much as I moved around the deck- not sure how she will cope if she has to do this out to sea!
After some tidying up, and back to Naomi's parents' house for lunch and showers, we drove to Rockhampton airport to pick up Michelle. Then back home again for a big BBQ for my 40th birthday that was actually the next day. Had a lovely time, even cake and sparklers, but was too tired to stay up to midnight to see my actual birthday in.... must
be getting old. Saturday
was a gorgeous clear day and this excellent weather held up for our whole weekend out at the Keppel Islands, albeit a little cooler. I got the boat ready, sail up again with Don's help, whilst Naomi and Michelle went shopping for food and booze, and Don & Cheryl headed off before us on Neesea with their passangers Julie & Myron (Naomi's Aunt & Uncle). With all 4 of us on board we set off late morning, with light offshore winds to push us over to the island. Infact the winds were so light to start the chartplotter was estimating out 10 mile trip to take 4 hours! Fortunately the wind picked up later, we steered beteen Middle & Miall Islands and dropped anchor next to Neesea at Leekes Beach after about two and a half hours, just in time to crash their already prepared lunch.
Had an afternoon of relaxing in the sun drinking cocktails--- finally... this is how our cruising life is supposed to be. Had dinner and more drinks on Neesea with pizzas made from both boats, and a beautiful sunset. A good birthday. Sunday
Everyone together for Sunday Lunch
Left to right: Myron, Naomi, Amy & Lucia, Andrew, Jordy, Michelle (hiding) Don, Cheryll, Alex, Julie
more of the same. Visits to the beach, morning tea & lunch on Neesea. Andrew and his wife Amy and kids Jordy & Lucia came over on the resort ferry, so the Neesea Crew went to pick them up from the resort beach, so then we had an even bigger group.
Took the dingy over to the creek to explore. Apparently there's a hut up there somewhere but we never found it. Did come across some posts for drying out and also sailboat "Prosper" tied upright on the bank - apparently this boat comes up in arcticles written by Jill Knight as its owned by one of her friends. Andrew & Amy had to head back in the afternoon so we went with them to drop them at the ferry so Michelle could see the resort remains and we took a drive-by Monkey Beach too.
That night we hosted dinner on our boat, wrapped up well as we had it in the cockpit as we were having BBQ - the first time we have used it this trip. Bangers and lamb chops - despite burning on about 5 minutes after I turned the gas off it came out
Oil slick like water
leaving Monkey Bay on Neesea
well. After desert in the cabin, the others went back to their boat and we carried on drinking and chatting but then the night turned foul.
I was just about to turn in when the boat toilet ceased to flush and now we had a bowl full of dirty water - on the plus side it wasn't the brown variety. Probably blocked, but it would not shift with much pumping of the flush and a plunger. To add to this Alex woke up and was very hard to settle. Finally went to bed with the dreaded prospect of taking the toilet apart in the morning, and to make matters worse Alex kept waking all night and in the end had to sleep in our bed which is quite a tight fit in a small double. Monday
the toilet still wouldn't clear so I set to taking it apart and eventually found a large lump of toilet paper stuck in the outlet pipe valve (photo NOT included). Naomi and Michelle meantime had been to Neesea as they couldn't hold on any longer whilst I had the advantage of being able to pee over the side - they
had declined the offer of a bucket! Once this unpleasantness was over, chilled out - reading and fishing. Morning tea on Neesea again and while the others went to explore the creek we upped anchor to head for XXXX Island. We tried to sail off the anchor but the winds were too light to have much control and when we were slowly heading toward the beach, had to put on the engine.
Pumpkin Island, which is part of the North Keppel Island group, is now sublet to the makers of XXXX beer for 3 years, with the idea that guys that win a holiday there from buying a slab of beer can take 4 other mates with them for a blokey week of fishing, kayaking, drinking in the XXXX pub and other manly things like playing on the 1 hole golf course or using the dunny with a view (that's a toilet with windows on top of the hill). The idea of an island full of men only made Michelle very interested in paying a visit.
With engine on we were there in only an hour, passing between the narrow and reef lined passage between the island and
and Sloping Island we had Michelle up on the mast spotting for coral/rocks. With no wind it was easy to anchor anywhere so anchored right off the beach giving Michelle a prime spot for oogling. Unfortunaly we found out that very often the "mates" would often be wives or girlfriends, and of course the demographic of XXXX drinker do not tend to be bronzed Adonis's, and also we were not allowed to land on the island.
So took the dingy to circumnavigate the island, had to stand up over the shallow section to get a good view for coral. Then back to Luna Ray and motored back home under windless clear sunny skies to Yeppoon. A bit of tidying up, drove Michelle back to the airport, and back to Don & Cheryl house which will be our home for the next 2 weeks at least.
We have a fair few jobs to do on the boat and Naomi has friends to catch up with, and we are at the end of this blog "trip" so probably won't write again until we set off northward again. Today, with Grandma here to babysit Alex, we going to the Capricorn Coast
Resort for a night free of parenting obligations.
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