Monday, 29 August 2011

WOW - whales.

Humpback off Hook Island
We've been out of phone and internet range for quite a few days .... days filled with snorkelling, whales, dolphins and dead calm.
After picking up Mog and Kal from Hamilton Island, we were holed up in Gulnare Inlet (Whitsunday Island) for three more days while the 30 knot wind blew itself out (even some of Hamilton Island's yacht races were cancelled).
In the chilly morning ....

... and in the afternoon
We had an overnight in Cid Harbour before heading to the northern bays of Hook Island for some snorkelling. Thursday brought great sailing weather and with main and head sail set we were coasting along at a comfy 5 to 6 knots when the first, of what was to be many, whale and calf appeared just south of Nara Inlet.
It was a taste of what was to come. As we neared the passage between Hayman and Hook Islands, another whale and calf were making their way through the passage ahead of us.
They gave us a spectacular show as we held back to let them pass.
An overnight mooring at Maureen's Cove gave us access to some beaut coral reefs. We followed up with another dive in the morning before shifting along to Manta Ray Bay.
We hadn't snorkelled there for years but our memories of it weren't diminished.
Along with Cataran Bay, it offers some of the best snorkelling in the Whitsundays. We agreed we all could have spent longer looking at the coral except the water was a bit chilly and the shivering sent us back to the boat.
It was in these bays I discovered that our newish (Dec 2010) Olympus underwater camera didn't function too well underwater at all. In fact it stopped working within seconds of getting wet. Very disappointing. Luckily Mog's on board with his camera to capture these wonderful whale pics.
Heading off from Manta Ray Bay around the east side tip of Hook Island to overnight closer to Whitehaven Beach, we again came across whales. Two adults and a calf. They were so beautiful to watch.
The sea over the past two days has been like a mill pond and there has been low cloud giving the Whitsundays a misty effect - at times more like thick fog. But when the sun breaks through it is glorious.
More whales were spotted when we motored over to Cataran Bay for another great snorkel.
We're currently anchored in Nara Inlet at the base of Hook Island.
Mog and Kal have to be back on the plane tomorrow. We'll miss them. 

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