A Bit of Wind, 4 Sailors & The Tale of a Master Blaster | Bundaberg to the Keppel Islands

Despite expectations, Bundaberg (or Burnett Heads) gave us some much needed chill time, some great seafood and a terrifying stand off with a big ol’ Kangaroo.

Weary eyed from the long day prior, the banks of Burnett Heads and beautiful blue skies were a welcome sight for our band of travellers. No time was wasted before taking a walk on the shore. Bad Mickey insisted on buying us fresh prawns for lunch – he was on holidays after all! Ask and you shall receive.

The poor captain and first mate certainly had no complaints about this rich people’s lunch.

Walks around mainland rounded up the afternoon of a pretty nice day. Don’t know if I have ever ran away from a Kangaroo before… but there is a first time for everything! This resident of Burnett Heads obviously wanted to cross the road and we were in his way.

Over the northern bank of the river were bushlands, mangroves and streams to explore. No fish were caught but we got to appreciate the area in a different way to normal. And what anchorage would be complete without a little bit of boat work to be done?

New skill acquired. Herringbone stitch for a sail repair.

We also had some cracker sunsets with red wine to match!

Adios Bundy! Pancake Creek is calling our name!

Anchors away and we were off! Out the channel and northbound. It was also time to trawl a line. Bad Mickey thought he would call on the help of an old friend. A Master Blaster that hadn’t splashed for a number of years. A veteran in his field. Hero of his time. This little beauty of a lure hit the water and was swimming just like he did back in his day. And next thing… before we knew it…..


All hands on deck!!! Nathan wrestled with the rod as the mystery fish put on a real fight. As he got it near the boat we knew we were in for a treat. A tuna! A Northern Blue!

Within an hour we had lunch on the table. Fresh panko crusted tuna steaks with kale slaw. I don’t know if lunches get much better than that!

Well after that, the rest of the day didn’t hold much excitement… We arrived into Pancake Creek in pretty good time actually. Everyone was pretty shattered though so we stayed onboard to savour yet another sunset before hitting the sack. We had a 3am wake up the next morning for our longest leg to Great Keppel Island!

Ohhhh I so badly wanted to silence that alarm and pretend I never heard it!

We are actually getting pretty good at “ninja’ing out of anchorages in the dark. Soon enough we were underway. Bad Mickey and Trishie the Menace took the luxury that extra crew have and went back down for a quick nap. We were expecting good winds for the entire trip and they had already started right on cue. The morning was MAGICAL. We were scooting downwind. Sun was just starting to peek over the horizon as we glided silently through the sea.

UGH! Another one of those “pinch me” moments. Can’t believe this is my life right now!

The rest of the day was just as magical. We made the best speed we ever have on a passage. We were swapping between “wing-on-wing” and a glorious broad reach. No engine the entire day! WOOHOO! As much as we love Bad Betty our engine. We love her the most when she is quietly waiting under the counter.

Lunchtime came around and we were still enjoying the spoils of our tuna. Fish tacos always hit the spot. The Master Blaster was also itching for another swim. And after his tremendous performance yesterday we were all too eager to let him strut his stuff again.We had him trailing behind us for most of the afternoon doing what he does best. We had just passed over Lisa Jane shoals and sadly no fish for the day. The sun was just starting to lower in the sky and Bad Mickey thought it was time to put Master Blaster to bed for the night.

And then it happened.

The whir of the reel gave everyone whiplash and before we even had time to move, the line went slack and started waving around in the breeze. NOOOOOOOO! There was no longer anything attached… the Master Blaster had swam his final race. If we had been that little bit quicker, perhaps we could have saved him… but there is no sense blaming ourselves. Laid to rest on Lisa Jane. He had a wonderful life. He served us all well. RIP.

Moods were soon lifted as the Keppel Islands appeared before us. In front of the setting sun like the beauties they are. We couldn’t believe we made it in the day light (well pretty much daylight…)!! We have finally reached the islands! I could basically taste the white sand and palm trees!

We dropped the anchor at Fisherman’s Beach. We made it. All the way from Sydney NSW. Holy moley! Can’t believe the miles we have covered so far but I am am pretty damn excited for the next part. Bring on the sunshine and clear water.

Keppel are you ready for us?!
Can’t complain about water so clear you can see your anchor chain!

Until next time.



  • Asha Hamilton

    Such amazing adventures with such beautiful people. It’s awesome to see you young people taking on a challenge and mastering it with love and laughter along the way. Thank you for sharing. Keeping enjoying living and loving life you guys and stay safe. ????????????

  • Catherine

    Loved it and so lost for words to describe your adventures. Unbelievable as to what life has to offer when you just go for the challenges and experiences. GO KATE AND NATHAN.

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