'I was flabbergasted': Boatie's rare sighting off CQ coast
CONOR Delalande was picking up rubbish on his way back from North Keppel Island in his "twelve foot tinny" when he saw something he never thought he would have seen in this part of country - a seal.
Mr Delalande, a concreter from Yeppoon, says he was on his way back to Yeppoon from North Keppel on the weekend when he discovered the furry visitor.
"On the way back, I was just picking up a bit of rubbish and I saw a little bit of plastic in the sea and I slowed down and picked it up," he said.
"I then looked over and there was another bit of rubbish that I thought was a big bit of rubber or something.
"So I cruised over to see if I could get it, it looked pretty big, and then it moved."
Mr Delalande says he has spent much of his life in the waters between Yeppoon and the Keppels, and in that time, he's seen many whales and dolphins, but never a seal.
"I was flabbergasted, I just said hello," he said.
"I said hello and then it sort of darted off.
"I still had some pilchards left for bait and I started throwing them out to try and attract it back to get some photos, but it wasn't coming back.
"I was by myself that's why I knew I had to get the photo because no one would believe me,
"Then I saw it again and got my phone ready and I scooted over and took a few photos before it went again, but I didn't want to bother it too much."
Mr Delalande says he was making his way back from the island for the first time in his new boat, and was pretty happy with how it turned out.
"The family's always owned boats...and I've just recently bought at cheap little tinny for myself and that was my first time out at Keppel in my own little boat so I was very happy with it," he said.
"I didn't catch many fish, but I did get to see something cool."
Multiple reports and photographs have since emerged showing a seal enjoying the warm winter weather off the coast of Yeppoon.