Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Blue skies, blue seas and perfect tell-tales

Hill Inlet at the top of Whitehaven Beach
A week has past since my last Blog entry because the weather has been so beautiful it seemed a shame to sit inside on the computer. Also because internet and phone connections are spasmodic depending which side of the islands we are on.

After leaving Gloucester Island we sailed south (again with northerlies) to Double Bay West for an overnight anchorage and the chance of some fish for dinner.

They continued to elude us!

We moved the next day around to Double Bay East with a similar result despite the boys’ best efforts trolling the bay morning and evening.

The locations more than made up for it though.
Reasonably relaxed in Double Bay.
Lazy Saturday arvo
On Saturday morning we grabbed an early start and sailed around to Airlie Beach in time to get some fresh fruit and veges from the weekly market, and to meet up with David and Vikki who had driven down from Townsville for the weekend.

We all spent the afternoon on Sea Piper and planned a sail for the Sunday.
Please explain David Kirkpatrick - mini-tinnies instead of man-cans?
We couldn’t have picked a more perfect day. The wind took us around to Woodwark Bay (with a perfect tack off the point!) and pods of dolphins greeted us as we headed deep into the bay for a lunchtime stopover.

The sky was cloud free and the sea was aquamarine and crystal clear. Superb!
Please note: Perfect tell-tails on the headsail. Ditto the main though you can't spot them in the photo.
Take up relaxation positions
We managed to get back into Airlie around 3.30pm and dropped David and Vikki off at the public jetty where we topped up our water tanks before heading to Funnel Bay for an overnight anchorage.

Big mistake.

The bay lived up to its name and funnelled bullets of wind down on us for the first half of the night. The rest of the night the anchor chain scraped on the rocky bottom. It was nice to up-anchor at daybreak and head for Whitsunday Island and the famous Whitehaven Beach.

Just like the brochure!
The `Wow' factor was in full force as we passed through the passage between Whitsunday and Hook Islands. The outer face of the islands is quite different to the inland side. Hoop pines grow prolifically in the rockiest, barest locations and the rocks have an array of colours from black, to brown, cream and green.

Many of them now have new names – Cow Face Rock, Bambi Rock, etc.

Securing the dinghy in Tongue Bay
We anchored off the northern end of Whitehaven but the sea was pretty lumpy so we opted to tuck into nearby Tongue Bay and dinghy across to its beach which has a walking track to both a lookout and Whitehaven.

The tides were perfect for this manoeuvre and we spent a lovely couple of hours walking and swimming in this pristine place.
The clear waters of Windy Bay made spotting turtles and stingrays easy.
The view from Windy Bay across to the top of Whitsunday Island
Yesterday morning we moved anchor to the east, across to Windy Bay on Haslewood Island – a gem we hadn’t discovered before. It would appear the charter boats aren’t allowed to go there as we had it all to ourselves before another private catamaran Mojo came in.

It was a great island to explore with a huge sandy beach, especially at low tide, stingrays, turtles and a rough track across to the south side of the island. The bay emptied out quickly at  low tide so we had to keep moving the dinghy to keep water under it.
Windy Bay beach
The boys had much fun trying to dislodge (unsuccessfully) some coconuts from the one palm tree on the beach. It involved a long rope found in the scrub and a rock swung like a hammerthrow. Hilarious!
Fishing proved a little more successful and tonight's menu will include some fillets.

Newly named no-name-island - Cutest Island Ever
This morning we’ve come back through the Hook Passage as the winds are going to increase to 20 knots plus today and remain so for the next few days.

We’ve anchored in Cid Harbour, off Whitsunday Island, amongst at least 50 other boats with numbers set to increase throughout the day.

On previous trips over the past five years, we have never seen so many boats around the Whitsundays. Great for Airlie and Hamilton Island’s economy!





1 comment:

  1. Great to hear you are having such a wonderful time. Make the most of your last week. xxx