Weaving in and out of Yellow Sands

After an early morning stroll and swim around the Great Keppel beachfront (including a visit to the coffee shop), we pulled anchor and headed south.

And when I say “pulled anchor”, I literally mean pulled anchor as our anchor windlass was playing silly buggers. It had started slipping at the whitsundays and now it didn’t have enough grunt to pull the anchor up. We took it apart and cleaned it up thinking it may be the clutch, but over time it got worse until it stopped working all together. The motor wurrrr’ed away but the shaft refused to turn. We will get it replaced/fixed in Brisbane.

We found ourselves running a bit early for a reasonable tide at yellow sands, so we decided to stop off for some lunch at Hummocky Island, which was about half way.

We phoned Gladstone VMR and they kindly gave us some waypoints (5 in all) into Yellow Sands, which is a shallow tricky entrance. We weaved out way around the sand banks, getting down to less than 2m under us at one stage, and made it in.

We first anchored in the deeper water, around from the impressive yellow sand dunes that tumble straight into the water, but a combination of the sand flies and another boat that was too close, drove us to seek an anchorage just the other side of the dunes. We worked out that we had just enough water, give or take a millimeter or two, and were prepared to touch bottom at low tide if it so happened (which it didn’t).

Anchored up, we hoped in the dingy for a short ride across to the dunes. Hoping out of the dingy we ended up up to our knees in the quick sand like sand that lined the shore. It hardened up as we got onto solid land and we got our daily exercise climbing up the steep, high dunes.

We got up there just in time to witness an amazing sunset, looking down over the deep, rich, yellow dunes down to the water far below and across to Camelot. What an amazing end to the day.

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