December 4

We left Port Clinton early this morning at 6am sharp. Our goal is Great Keppel Island which lies about 48 miles to the South. Winds are light at about 10k but are forecast to build to 15-20k later in the day. Wind is from the NW or NNW, skies are mostly sunny with about 30% cloud cover.

At 8am the wind has come up sufficiently and we have the main out far on the port side and are sailing downwind wing on wing (the Jib on the starboard side). We are making 5.5 – 6.5k and the ride is not too bad though being downwind inevitably creates roll as swells from astern skew the bow back and forth.

At 1pm we are closing on Great Keppel. We have passed Miall Island to our Port and made a turn to Port on a new heading of about 128M putting the wind right on the beam. We moved the main boom over to the starboard side about an hour ago and now after sheeting in the sail we are making 8-8.2k. The Queen has a bone in her teeth as the small islands to our North block the swell and the wind pipes up to 20-25k. We have about half the genoa out and the main fairly slack as well. We have about 4 miles to cover to reach Long Beach on the South side of Great Keppel.

At 2pm we are securely anchored at Long Beach. There are about 6 or 8 other boats here including our friends Paul, Kate and Shane on “Kekaimalu II”. The wind has been fluctuating between 12k and 24k but the bay provides excellent protection from the North and it is very comfortable here. We may stay a day or three. Our next stop may be Fitzroy Reef about 70 miles to the ESE or we may head for Gladstone, a town about 45-50 miles South of here.