Day 58, Monday 16.03.2009

Great Keppel Island 50 km

I had to stop to fix some gear issues for 4 hours…

It turned out that I didn’t put the hatch on wrong the last day to get a fully flooded stern compartment – I guessed on the next island – the beautiful Hammocky Island -I rather gave it a check again.

And f… again!!! The same stuff…if the last campsite wouldn’t be so full of bugs in the morning and if I would have not arrived in last light, I think I should have better given it a try with an empty boat before heading out again…but I paddled for 70 km fully flooded already, so those 10 km to Hammocky I won’t sink I reckoned…actually, my mind was fogged by the hope to have put on the wrong hatch position rather than the thought of a hole in the stern somewhere…

I stopped first on a very small beach for the check, but after that new discovery I had to paddle around to the main beach. It was the first real “island feeling” beach I found – and then this chore to solve…

It was hot and sunny, luckily. So I took it slow and dried out all gear, including the tent, and went for some swims in between the chores.

I gave it a close check up then, and found out that the uphauling cable tube from the new rudder came out of the glue through the hull. It was not possible to fix it on the spot in the same old mode, but I could at least stuff a piece of two components putty into the hole that I could keep on paddling. I stuffed the rudder uphauling string into the hollow rudder itself, lucky I didn’t have to cut it.

The whole new rudder was still working, but no uphauling possible. It still retracted itself on touching the ground…I just had to be careful to not slide in sideways. Temporary fix done, I could leave the island with dry gear and no hole in the hull any more. It would have made a beautiful campsot though…the first “real island”…

It is tough to be a test paddler…but the issue is easy to improve once going in serial production.


I paddled over to Great Keppel Island, a beautiful holiday island.Coming around the reef in last light showed a fascinating island feeling again…five moored yachts, some people on the beach…

I had planned to fill up my waterbags on this “civilized” island, and was asking some partying people for a fresh water source.

They told me resort and campsite were closed already…offseason…why?? It was perfect holiday time :-)) I had to ask at the private holiday houses for some water.

A lovely lady gave me most of her canned water, and filled the last bag with treated drinkable rainwater. Many thanks! Then she was heading off with a fresh drink to the party group…

I headed fast a bit further off the crowd for a quiet campsite on the white sandy beach. These were really paradise islands! But with internet acces…so it was some work after 7.30pm…but e-mails only, sorry, no time and energy for updates…

5 comments on “Day 58, Monday 16.03.2009


funny, I’d advise NOT camping at Peter Bay…our gear was attacked by feral rats who ate through dry bags, tents and plastic bottles! And there is potential for a VERY long carry.

If you do stop in the Whitsundays, Whitehaven is heavenly when all the day trippers have gone, it has soft white sand and a short carry from landing to the campsite.

Perhaps you will stay closer to the coast, in which case the beaches on the Molle Islands might suit. One is right opposite the entrance to Shute Harbour.

Further south, Goldsmith, Thomas and Shaw have some beautiful campspots.


Greg Harm

Hi there,

Loving the trip and the updates.
The Whitsundays are a very special place to paddle. Steer clear of Whitehaven Beach and camp on Tongue Point or Peter Bay (bit of a portage at low). Hope you have a snorkel cause the coral around Hook Island is wonderful, especially up around the top.

All the best.


G’day Freya……
Glad to hear you’re doing well. How is your skin holding up?
You look like you’re having a great time. Know that you are always thought of on your journey.

Godspeed, beautiful……..keep up the good paddling!!

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