Friday, 16 November 2012

segment 48 : Great Keppel Island to Pancake Creek

segment 48 : Great Keppel Island ( GKI) to Pancake Creek
Friday 9th Nov 2012: 72 NM 

It was a really rolly night at Great Keppel Island , so much so that about 3.00 am crewman Phil moved out of the front VIP cabin to the saloon lounge for a better sleep.

Capt Barry is not certain that was a good decision , as crewman Phil reported the next morning that he rolled  off the lounge, twice, during his sleep on the lounge.

crewman Phil asleep on th saloon lounge

Capt Barry has decided to find another anchorage for future trips.

Capt Barry was up early, at 6.00am and crewman Phil was not long behind.

Capt Barry reviewed his notes ( of the passage  north to Pancake Creek and the tides recommended ) and reminded himself that last word should not be taken across the Creek mouth in less than 1 m of tide.

After consulting the tide charts and calculating distance and passage time, Capt Barry settled on a 7 hour passage time at 10 kts , and calculated the tide to be approx. 1.9 m if LAST WORD crossed the mouth of the Creek at about 2.00 pm.  Depending upon the route taken and the shifting sands , Capt Barry calculated about 1.2 to 1.4 m under the props at the shallowest points.

After a quick breakfast , Crewman Phil lifted anchor at 7.10 am and LAST WORD was under way.

There was not great signal strength at GKI  so Capt Barry was relying on yesterdays weather reports until later that morning.

When we left GKI , going around the western side of the Island for some protection from the swell, we noted three large sail boats anchored on the southern tip of the western side of the Island, and may investigate that as an anchorage next trip (in between the two half anchorages recommended by Alan Lucas.

Capt Barry logged on with  Coast Guard Yepoon on channel 21,  at 7.40 am , and asked for a weather update.

As the passage was to be a little rough Capt Barry again went through the safety procedures with crewman Phil ( ie location of EPIRB, grab bag , hand held back up water proof VHF radio ,life jackets , and how to quick release the two tenders, and we  both put on wrist bands ( that set off an alarm if they get wet or are moved  more than 15 m away from the base station ,  which is in the pilothouse).

As the seas were about 1.5 to 2 m and wind 12 kts from the 10 o'clock position, LAST WORD  was rolling a little more than usual ( probably just a bit much for her one remaining stabilizer  fin ), so Capt Barry looked at the possibility of passaging  behind Curtis Island , and taking on the narrows ( a passage that dries, and is more than a metre  above water level  at most low tides ). However, a quick look showed that this was not remotely possible with the tides predicted, so on we pressed on for Pancake Creek, on the outside of Curtis Island.

Capt Barry sat on 9 to 10  knots in the lumpy conditions and did the usual speed runs every 90 mins or so ( 18 to 22 kts ) , which usually takes the average fuel and speed up somewhat.

Off Cape Capricorn,  at 10.00 am , crewman Phil made some cheese rolls ( vegemite for Capt Barry ) , and we radioed in and changed over our guardian angels from Coast Guard Yepoon to VMR Gladstone, the latter on VHF ch 82.

During the passage crewman Phil caught up on some sleep, while Capt Barry updated weather reports and made some telephone calls,  sent emails and did some share trading to while away the time.

crewman Phil enjoying a few ZZZzzzzzzzzzzssss as LAST WORD  made passage 

Off Gladstone LAST WORD passed through many of the waiting coal ships , and even came across and passed the  47 foot Nordhaven , "DAUNTLESS" which was chugging along at 6 kts.

LAST WORD sets a track through the middle of the twenty odd ships waiting to be loaded with coal off Gladstone.

LAST WORD sneaking up on the Nordhaven DAUNTLESS.

LAST WORD  flew past DAUNTLESS doing 10+ kts at 1150 rpm and using 50 L/HR.

the 47 foot Nordhaven DAUNTLESS, making about 6 kts

LAST WORD was off the entrance to Pancake Creek at 2.10 pm, and after checking the entrance waters ,  and being satisfied, Capt Barry took her in for the zig zag and hoped the shallow parts had not changed for the worse.

During the run through the markers to where Capt Barry wished to anchor LAST WORD ( using the way points Capt Barry used last time at Pancake Creek) we saw 1.3m under the props, at two spots ( slightly less than Capt Barry calculated ), and anchored in 5 m of water ,allowing for another 2 m of rising tide.

DUANTLESS  arrived 1 and a half hours later and anchored nearby.

The current was running very quickly past LAST WORD so a swim was out of the question , and due to the over cast conditions ( and sand fly bites Capt Barry received at GKI ) , Capt Barry opted not to visit the Bastard Head light house , but offered to launch a tender for crewman Phil to go ashore for a walk to the light house. However, Capt Barry warned that Phil  would need plenty of insect repellent. 
Crewman Phil decided on a beer or two, instead of the healthy excursion,  then fell asleep AGAIN on the back deck.

crewman Phil, asleep again . Not sure if he was really relaxing or it was the beer.
Pancake Creek is certainly the spot for R & R for a few days.

We enjoyed a cooked meal, and a glass of wine , a movie ( crewman Phil declined another refresher course of squidding ) and an early night.

TRIP ;  7.2 HRS,  431 L,  72 NM ,, av 9.7 KTS and 55 L/HR


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