Alongside Keppel Bay Marina

Where Next?
Bob Williams
Wed 4 Sep 2013 06:45
Position: 23 09.71 S 150 47.26 E
Alongside Keppel Bay Marina
Weather: mostly sunny, warm
Wind South east F6 strong breeze
Day’s run: 40 Nm

As we were approaching Rosslyn Bay, where I was planning on anchoring for the night, I had a closer look at my plan and realised that it was not going to work. The bay was both too shallow and too exposed for the prevailing swell. Not to worry, Great Keppel Island was only a short distance out of the way and offered a much better anchorage, so at four p.m. I dropped the whisker pole, gybed the jib and altered course to the north to pass to the east of the island. We worked our way round to the leeward side and eventually tucked into the bay on its northwest side.

There were about twelve other boats at anchor in the bay and I started making our way towards what seemed to be the most popular part of the bay, and therefore I presumed the most sheltered. I was surprised therefore, as we got closer, to see the boats rolling to the swell that still managed to bend its way around the eastern side of the island and into the bay. Further the winds were being funnelled through a valley and gusts of about 35 to 40 knots were blowing through the anchorage in violent short cat's paws across the water. Sylph leaned over to them, as I luffed her up to reduce their effect. It was all quite reminiscent of sailing the Chilean channels and I was glad I had left the reef in the mainsail and furled most of the jib. I tacked across the bay once to see if there might be a better spot, but came to the conclusion that the majority view was in fact in this instance correct. Finally I picked a spot just short of a few boats, furled the jib, rounded Sylph up, then strolled forward to the bow, dropping the mainsail on the way, and lowered the anchor, letting out ample scope to ensure we did not drag in the gusty conditions.

Despite the gusty winds and the swell invading the bay, we still had a relatively peaceful night. The wind held Sylph at a steady angle to her advantage over the swell, so we rolled hardly at all.

This morning, I followed the night of virtually uninterrupted sleep with a relatively relaxing start to the day as I did not want to get to the marina too early, their advertised check in time being one p.m.. After breakfast, some reading and a little study, I weighed anchor, set the jib to starboard, and set the course to the west to track track in between Middle and Miall Islets just to the north west of Great Keppel. We covered the short seven miles to the marina in a bit over an hour and now here we have arrived. I am making the best use of our time here and thus far have given Sylph a good wash down, done a large load of laundry, and given myself a much needed scrubbing as well. Tonight I have a few social plans. Tomorrow will be another day of domestics, and at this stage my plan is to get under way again on Friday.

All is well.