Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sailing North: Great Keppel Island (or GKI to us Cruisers)

18th July

Another Bloody Sunset in Paradise Boats at GKI
I loathe acronyms, that’s why I joined the AAA, which surprisingly for those who know me is the not Alcoholics Anonymous of Australia but the Australians Against Acronyms.

We are at GKI having left here in perfect weather and battling the worst the benign Coral Sea could throw at us, steamed into a bare foot skiing flat Keppel Bay. It’s a secluded little anchorage, just us and the 30 other yachts all sailing north. K Mart car park on Christmas Eve has more room.

It is seriously beautiful here though and with the clear blue sky and flat sea, the thoughts of my now sulking Auto Pilot are behind me. I don’t know what it is with Dreamagic instruments but they are like every BMW I have ever owned. If you can get 80% of it working at any one time you feel faintly smug with yourself. I know the instruments are all integrated because they take it in turns to play up. Just when I am about to throw the sounder over the side so that it actually knows where the bottom is, it behaves itself, says “Your it” and the autopilot takes us on a mystery tour of Keppel Island. Bloody Germans! It’s a shame the Japanese haven’t decided to build yachts. They would be boring, but they would work.

Of course the instrument vagaries could be connected with the Military Operation at Shoalwater Bay. Dreamagic’s instruments are made by Raytheon, the company that gave us the Exocet missile and worlds largest supplier of things that go bang in the night. The boys over at Shoalwater have all the new toys and naturally want to play with them. Perhaps they have some sort of jamming device that makes instruments go weird. Just the thing if Australia is ever invaded by feral yachties trying to sneak up the coast in stealth mode at about 5 kts. I think it’s time to wear the tin foil helmet under my sailing cap.

We lowered the dinghy off the new davits and settled down to some lunch. It took about 3 minutes. (The launch, not the lunch) I rather miss the old system of untying the dinghy from the foredeck, throwing it over he side where, like buttered bread it lands upside down, righting it and then dragging it to the stern of the mother ship. Tying it off, undoing the outboard perched precariously on the rail, handing it down to some poor fool sitting in the dinghy who tries to attach it to the transom without, as happened in PNG, dropping it so that it bounces on the rubber float once, then pierces it and falls over the side. Then again, if you put it like that. No, I don’t.

At dusk we took off for sundowners on the beach which is our custom. We enjoyed blue cheese and biscuits and a cheeky Sauvignon Blanc while feeding the sand flies. We then wandered along the strand stopping only to admire the work of a group of yachties who had decorated a tree with all manner of baubles. The things you see when you haven’t got a camera! Sorry. I do know the history of this actually and it was one Christmas when a group of yachties were celebrating Christmas here and set about making a Christmas tree. It is now resplendent with fishing floats, streamers and even a windsurfer.

Back on Dreamagic for a Rona speciality, Tequila Chicken with Salad. We listened to an album of songs from the Second World War era with a final port before an early retire. We have a big day tomorrow.

No comments:

Post a Comment