Before we left for Brisbane I met a couple on their sailing boat few boats down from us, Dave and Rae. We hit it off immediately and I asked million questions about going to Lady Musgrave Island and generally about sailing north. Didn’t think more of it but we did meet again in Keppel island few weeks later…..
Our house sit was for Wilco the dog and Cookie the cat for a week. It’s always nice to have some land time and we were marathon watching tv, making ice cream smoothies, kids got some new clothing ( that’s a miracle ) cinema and the trampoline was a hit. The week went quickly and before we knew it we were all back in Bundaberg.
Generator was fixed, engine back together and things were looking good.
Alice met a friend, Veda, a land kid as we call them and soon became best of friends. It became a whirl of sleepovers, dinners together and having fun. I was dreading the moment we were leaving….
Finally we left. We had a beautiful day and night sail to Keppel and we were soooo happy to be back in anchor and living the beach life.
Kids went bonkers in the water although the water was to cold for me, I’m a wimp….
Took a walk to the other side of the island and guess who we met? Yes, Dave and Rae. Decided to have a beer and kids an ice cream and that was the start of a great friendship. We were in Keppel for a month and ended up hanging out together as well as many sundowners on the beach….and a possible future housesit in Toowoomba…..
Suddenly the kids got into baking. It started of with bananas that was just to ripe to eat so James made muffins out of them. Too many so I said go and sell them. They did and sold all within minutes….
So the baking frenzy started. Next one was Charlie and brownies, sold. Alice’s choc chip cookies, all sold as well….and so on the week went and they made money, split evenly between them.
At one selling session Alice had 9 cookies left. They came by the boat saying they are done and can they have the rest of the cookies. I said no, go on, go to that big boat over there……maybe sell few more. They came back, Alice crying……” what happened?”
“They bought the lot,” she wailed. “ and now we have none left” 😂
We also had few days of spectacular lightning, thunderstorms and high winds….
James’s 14th birthday
Don’t think much of his choice of colour…..
Halloween boating style
Then Cruising Kiwis rocked up with two other kid boats and the serious fun began. Wake boarding became a hit, took few attempts for the boys to get going and Alice did bodyboarding.
The wind direction was changing so we all left Long beach and took shelter on the west side of the island. Now we were even closer to the bar for happy hour!
At this point we realised that the engine wasn’t good. Couldn’t get the revs up past 900 which is no good when you need a bit of umph, like when you anchor. Chris was trying to check this, check that, YouTube, talk to other cruisers to no avail. It bothered me immensely as now I couldn’t trust the bloody thing. So out trip to Lady Musgrave was scrapped and we decided that we head straight back to Bundaberg with the next weather window.
We moved back to Long beach, like everybody else when the wind shifted again. All the other kid boats decided to carry on so suddenly it felt a bit lonely for the kids. We took them to a little beach with a cave and nobody else around and played Robinson Cruise. Got a fire going and had a bbq and marshmallows on stick…..
Re anchored again to the west side as south easterlies was coming , we were the last boat to leave and as we took the anchor up and we were free I had no power to get us going forward. We were leeshore which means if you drag you are on the beach. That split second when I realised we were getting closer to shore and then, the revs shot up and we were on our way.
At this point I was so done, worrying about everything and we had to wait 5 days before we could leave. We called Bundaberg marina to book us in and to be lifted out as the bottom was due for painting as well.
Meanwhile we took a walk on the derelict airstrip and had a look inside the terminal. Very sad as Keppel use to be a busy holiday place and all the big villas are just rotting away. We were told the story, can’t quite remember but something to do with the ownership of land….
We ended up motor sailing most of the way back and anchored for the night. Following morning at 06.30 Chris manoeuvred us to the sling with James in the dinghy to keep us in position as it took some faffing to get it right.
Finally on the hard, bottom washed and here we would stay for the next 3 weeks fixing and painting.