For a whole lot of fun in the sun on the sea, with good food, good company and a view to kill this is the cruise for you.
This is the gateway to the Keppel Islands and the Great Barrier Reef. Right on the Tropic of Capricorn, it has an idyllic climate and fantastic cruising grounds.
Keppel Bay Marina is Northern Australia's largest with 290 floating berths, boat yard with travel lift, brokerage, chandlery, bareboat and cruise boat charters, residential development and tourist services for land and sea.
If you want to arrange a fishing charter, island accommodation, camping trips to National Park islands or cruises, this is where you need to go.
Hans and Dianne Helderton are the owners of Funtastic, a Roger Simpson-designed vessel they had built in South Australia on Hindmarsh Island.
The 16m catamaran runs on two Mercedes Benz 65hp diesels, which give a cruising speed of five to six knots. It has four double and six single berths, three bathrooms, two toilets, saloon, galley, laundry and easy access flat deck with two large trampolines. It comfortably accommodates 12 passengers and two crew.
It cruised for a year between Victor Harbour and Kangaroo Island, then went to Queensland for six months, followed by 18 months of charter work from Keppel Bay Marina.
The Heldertons then took eleven months to sail to Greece and spent two seasons cruising around the beautiful Greek Islands. They then took 12 months to cruise back to Keppel Bay Marina and that has been home since late last year.
They offer several trips you can spend a day sailing and snorkelling or relax on one of their two-day/one-night cruises of Keppel Bay. There are 18 islands within 10 nautical miles of the marina and a typical cruise would involve sailing, snorkelling, boom netting, exploring deserted islands, as well as fishing and swimming.
Delicious meals are served continental breakfast is a selection of locally grown fruit, Greek yoghurt and honey, morning and afternoon tea, chicken and champagne lunch and a barbecue with wine is served on the deck for dinner.
Passengers just need to take along towels, hats and sunscreen, and for overnight cruises, your bag of toiletries. It’s all very casual, laid-back and relaxed.
If you are planning to fish, there are hand lines, game rods, tackle, lures and trawling lines on board. The best fishing spots are a seriously kept secret. Some national park and protected areas are restricted or totally closed to fishing, but there are lots of spots around the islands and fringing reef, and success depends on weather and the seasons. The waters include Spanish mackerel, sweet lip, coral trout and coral cod.
The best snorkelling spots depend on the tide and wind direction. Sloping, Middle and Myall Islands and Big Peninsula are favourite spots, and snorkellers see a colourful array of tropical reef fish, clown fish, big schools of bait fish, coral, rays, turtles and starfish. Snorkels, fins, masks, flotation devices and viewer are on board.