We're officially in the tropics!

We are now safely tucked up on the north side of Great Keppel Island, after a very hard sail from Mooloolaba. We had Julian onboard for a few days and so decided to take advantage of the extra pair of hands to make some headway up the coast. Unfortunately the weather forecast gave us a rather false impression of what conditions were going to be. We ended up experiencing steady winds around 30 to 35 knots and gusts well over 40 knots. The forecast said 20 to 25 knots. Fortunately they did predict the direction correctly and so we had the wind behind the beam the whole way. We sailed with two reefs in the main and a half furled headsail for the complete journey. We also had two out of three of us sea sick for the first 24 hours and the third person feeling decidedly queasy. 

On the positive side we absolutely flew up the outside of Fraser Island, past the busy port of Gladstone and past Cape Capricorn, to complete 309nm in just 44 hours with an average speed of 6.95 knots and a top speed of 13.5 knots. The anchorage was a very welcome sight even though it was raining. We spent the rest of the day recovering.

Today the weather is horrible drizzly rain. We have been into Rosslyn Bay Harbour, Yeppoon to drop off Julian and fill up with diesel and water. We then decided to return to Great Keppel Island rather than proceeding north and had an absolutely spectacular treat coming back. We encountered a number of humpback whales, some with calves, which were splashing about in the bay. Two of them surfaced within 20m of us and earlier we had a pair which swam directly under the boat giving us some serious cause for concern. What a privilege to sea these fantastic mammals so close.

We are now tucked up from the wind and rain and hoping for better weather tomorrow.

Humpback Whales, Great Keppel Island

Humpback Whales, Great Keppel Island


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