SEGMENT 15; GREAT KEPPEL ISLAND TO ISLAND HEAD CREEK
MONDAY 20 AUGUST 2012; 51 nm
As Capt Ray and Maggie did not have the best of nights sleep, Capt Ray was itching to get under way ( short for, ...."let's get out of this bloody swell"was quite prepared to break his promise of cooking the world’s best scrambled eggs for breakfast.
Flexible Capt Barry is happy to accommodate this request and whizzed down stairs to tell ( the sleepy ) rear admiral Julie not to get up, but to stay in bed and we would be under way in 15 mins.
Capt Barry did the usual engine room and oil checks , had two multi grain wheet bix ( for added strength ) , then started engines , lifted the anchor and LAST WORD was under way at 7.40am, just as the rear admiral made an appearance.
Capt Ray had laid in a track, to Island Head Creek, and checked in with VMR Yeppoon for permission to go into Island Head Creek (as sometimes it is a no go zone when the army is holding exercises).
There is no internet or phone reception at Island Head Creek so Capt Barry bashes out another blog , down loads the Fin Review and and gets some Etrading out of the way, asap, while Capt Ray and Rear Admiral Julie catch up on some reading.
We passed one solitary motor cruiser going the opposite way.
The Islands and formations passed along the way look pretty desolate , but some are spectacular.
As the trip is only 51 NM we sit LAST WORD on 1150 RPM , managing between 9 and 10 kts, using only 50 l/h total, and whip in a couple of speed runs every two hours to clean out the engines and exhausts.
We arrived at the entrance to Island Head Creek 2 hours after high tide , as the extra depth is preferable in parts, as the Creek depths vary dramatically between 25 and 2 m.
The creek looks very wide , but is deceptive, as large areas dry and become exposed at low tide.
Capt ray and Capt Barry check the depths carefully , noting the shallow areas, and we lay in a track to ensure we go the same route the next morning when leaving , as it will be at low tide, and LAST WORD will go close to touching he bottom.
Upon arrival we have a light lunch and while the ladies bead once more , Capt Ray blows some ZZZZZZs and Capt Barry does some fishing.
Capt Barry’s score after an hour or so was two dugongs and two turtle sightings ( all within 10 m of LAST WORD ) , caught one toad fish and let one good sized mud crab hop off the hook ( he was holding on for a swim ) about a foot below the surface.
Capt ray tries his luck and the result is some funny sea slug ( two actually ) with spikes that Ray manages to get in his hand.
Tonights meal will be roast chicken and vegies with a surplus of wine and the obligatory DVD, followed by an early night and ( hopefully no wind and wave action on LAST WORD ) as we have a longer leg tomorrow of 120 NM to Mackay, where Capt Ray and the delightful Maggie will leave LAST WORD for their return to Sydney.