Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Lady Musgrave to Great Keppel Is

Saturday 20th July

We left Bundaberg early on Thursday for the 50nm run out to Lady Musgrave Island as there was a great forecast for the next 4 days.

The wind started off as a South Easterly of 5 to 10 knots and slowly swung to the North East of about 10 to 15 knots with 20 knots during the rain showers.

Lady Musgrave is part of the Bunker group of islands and is a coral lagoon of about 12 square kilometres in area with a sandy cay situated at the western end.

The entry channel is on the Northern side of the lagoon and is one of the very few coral lagoons where vessels can safely enter in almost any weather.

Allusive motored in through the narrow, deep channel and anchored in 9 metres of crystal clear water with about a dozen other vessels. Apart from a quick run ashore late in the day we didn’t do a lot as the breeze had picked up to about 20 knots and the lagoon was a bit lumpy with the swell breaking over the reef top for an hour or so either side of high tide. Once the tide drops the reef is exposed and the lagoon becomes very peaceful. The holding here is excellent and during the night the breeze slowly died away.

Friday turned out to be a million dollar day with no wind all day and lots of sun. We spent the day snorkelling, taking photos and cruising around the lagoon in the dingy looking at the various reefs.

At one spot we found a turtle cleaning station where the turtles gathered in a depression in the coral and small fish nibbled away at the accumulated algae on their shell. The fish life here is very colourful and abundant and the tour boat Lady Musgrave calls regularly with day trippers who hand feed a lot of the fish life, so they are fairly tame as you snorkel through the schools.

The dogs get a quick run ashore in the morning and evening but as there are a lot of ground birds in the undergrowth they are kept on the surrounding coral beaches on their leads.
 We have enjoyed the company of Greg and Karen from the Grainger 43 cat, Entice for a few sun downers and beach walks.

The weather is still holding on Saturday morning as I write this with a 5knot breeze coming in from the North West.

During the day we took a walk on the reef at low tide and found heaps of tropical fish and numerous turtles in the reef pools. Another snorkel along the edge of the reef then a snooze and sundowners with 3 other couples off the surrounding cats finished off another great day.

 Sunday 21st July

Out departure from the lagoon this morning wasn’t without incident as the engine of the mono hull departing 2 minutes in front of us stopped just as they got to the entrance. We managed to get a line onto them and towed them out through the coral pass into deep water where they made sail and headed off for Gladstone
The 100nm run to Great Keppel Island was a mixed bag of showers, multiple reefs in the main and eventually motor sailing in light breezes. This is a picturesque run up through the Capricorn group of reefs and small coral fringed islands including Heron, Masthead and other less known islets. The fishing is usually pretty good up through this area with Entice picking up three good fish (tuna and Spanish Mackerel) on their trolling lure around Heron Is. Our luck was out but we did lose another lure to something big.

We arrived at the anchorage at 9.00pm under a near full moon and spent a quiet night.

Hoping to improve our luck we set 3 crab pots in the mangrove lagoon behind the beach on Monday morning, but only picked up a couple of small ones overnight.
Dawn Monday at Great Keppel Is
Today, Tuesday is overcast and a bit windy, a good day to catch up on the blog. We are both well but the midges are leaving their mark on Di.









No comments:

Post a Comment