Sailing,  Travels

Ode to the Letter “S” On Great Keppel Island | Australian Winter, Island Style

It has been wayyyy too long since I have updated ya’ll on our whereabouts but it turns out offshore islands don’t host the best internet or phone reception… -who would’ve guessed?? SO, let’s pick up where we left off…

DISCLAIMER: The following post contains an excessive amount of bliss and happiness, read with caution. The Keppel Islands welcomed us with open arms and the best weather we could have asked for. We may just never leave. Thinking back of the bitter cold start we had in Pittwater, this right here could very well have been heaven.

Crystal clear water, white sandy beaches – this is what yachting is all about right?

Not much exciting happened in our first week here. Only good ol’ Island life. Just as I like it. And I make no apologies for that. I think I spent the first couple of days in a blissed out daze. Warm sun, slight breeze, cool water and sandy beaches.

Seriously it is like a reallllyyyy good kind of drug.

Even though this area is home to Bad Mickey and Trishie the Menace, exploring it on our own yacht brings a different kind of experience. The best part being, when everyone else has to head back to mainland at the end of the day we could sit back with a sundowner and savour those glorious sunsets.

What we have realised is that all the wonderful things in life start with S.

Sun, sand, sail, sea, salt, swim, snorkel, SUP, surf…. and you know, other activities unrelated to the water 😉

This week we are all about the former things starting with S as those sunny Keppel days roll on by.

Leeks beach gave us beautiful warm mornings where we SUP’ed and swam. We watched turtles and dugongs pop up all around the boat. It was also the beach that gave us a spanish mackerel for lunch caught by the infamous fisherman Bad Mickey.

Nathan was also determined to try stingray. Off he went into the wilderness, spear in hand and soon enough he was walking back with one of the smallest stingrays in the ocean. Nevertheless, he caught one, managed to fillet the thing and it was featured in lunch alongside the mackerel. Actually didn’t taste too bad!

One day we ventured around the back of Great Keppel Island to visit Wreck Beach in search of some squid for a BBQ. No squid to be seen but we had a snorkel and the coral was some of the best we had seen around the island!

Gosh it was so nice to be back around reef. 

With no fish or squid in tow we hung our heads and returned back to Leeks anchorage. And yep, the water was still as crystal clear as before. These days are no good for sailing but boy o’ boy is it great weather for island activities.

There are hiking tracks all over Great Keppel Island so we followed one to check out the homestead. True to style, two unprepared barefoot bandits hobbled along the rocky trail to reach the old shack and found a field of billygoats and peacocks alongside. Yep you read correct..

What kind of bizarre animal combo is that??

OH!! And how can I forget Nathan’s “shortcut” back to the beach….. For the record, mangroves are never OK as a shortcut. It started off alright following little creeks, but those little creeks soon turned into large creeks and we were forced to brave the barrier or mangrove roots separating us from the beach. Muddy, bruised, cut up and haggard we emerged from the scrub like a couple of natives.

Don’t be fooled. This was taken before things got VERY muddy.

To finish off our week we moved around to the other side of the island. We once again tried for squid. No luck. We dropped the pick at Nathan’s old stomping ground, Long Beach. Glorious.

Late afternoon walks, a killer sunset, some fresh oysters off the rocks and an anchorage to ourselves rounds off the week quite nicely if you ask me. 

Our second week in the Keppel Islands has a bit more adventure, some delicious fish and a bonfire on the beach. But for now this lazy Island therapy filled with all things “S” is just what the Doctor ordered.

Until next time.



  • Kim Gutknecht

    Fantastic to see the wonderful time you are having and your new adventures. Your photography is amazing. K and K (SV Thistle)

    • OnePartSandOnePartSea

      K and K! 🙂 So great to hear from you guys and glad you are following along. Sorry this is so delayed.. in and out of signal. Hope you are both well and still sailing when you get the chance. One day you need to get up to some of these places in Thistle – you would love it! Take care 🙂 Kate & Nathan

Leave a comment :)