Sailing through the Whitsundays

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For the end of 2015 Cam and I had developed a very strong dream and thought that before pursing this dream we had to experience what it would be like first. Our dream is to buy a yacht and sail around the world seeing as many different countries, experiencing different cultures and enjoying the activities we love. My mum recommended that we hire a yacht in the Whitsundays to see weather it was something that we really wanted to do and guess what it made us more determined to fulfil our dream as soon as possible haha. I had organised to hire a yacht out of Airlie beach for 4 nights and 5 days, although this was a short expedition it was enough time to experience sailing alone. We hired a 43ft Beneteau called “Olivetta”, this is the size yacht we are looking at buying so it was a perfect opportunity and also it was the only one they had left over the New Years Eve time period. The first night we had to find an anchorage somewhere close to Airlie as we only had a few hours sailing time after the morning briefing. We decided to go to nara inlet as my mum and keith were also on a boat anchoring in that same bay. It was blowing at least 25knots so we were advised to only put up the head sail until we got use to the conditions and felt comfortable. As soon as we got out of the chanel this over whelming feeling of freedom and peace struck me. It had been a long time since I had felt this way and I knew when I looked over at Cam he was also having these feelings. We were free….. well for the time being. As we sailed past islands and other yachts cam, his parents and myself couldn’t contain the excitement.

Day 1 – Nara Inlet

 

We woke up around 5.30 sweating and ready for the day after a calming yet light sleep at anchor. We had to try and leave pretty early so we could sail to our next anchorage spot which was Tongue Bay. We hoped that it would not be too busy for New Years Eve as we heard over the radio a lot of people were going to Hamilton Island to celebrate the night. It was blowing around 20 knots and we cracked up the main sail and the head sail for the first time, we were pumped. We had to zig zag up wind to get to the inlet that goes past Hook Island and Whitsunday Island that would take us around to Tongue Bay. The views of Whitsunday Island were incredible, huge dramatic cliffs and we could just sail past, it was just beautiful. Once we dropped the anchor at Tongue Bay we immediately wanted to have a Gin and Tonic with lime and mint and some nachos. Now that is how you relax on a yacht. We sat there and watched boat after boat come in to drop tourists off at Whitehaven beach to get that perfect picture of Whitehaven beach. After all the boats had calmed down and left we thought it would be a perfect time to head around the point and see Whitehaven beach. We all tried to stay up for as long as possible but still did not make it till 12am.

 

Day 2&3 Tongue Bay

The yacht was rolling so much at anchor and although I had a pretty average sleep I was up around 5 and Cam and I decided to take the dinghy for a little spin to one of the beaches in the bay. It was so nice going to secluded beaches, although many people had probably been there before in the moment it felt like we were the first ones to ever stand on it. As we were departing from the beach we saw sooooooo many stingrays and turtles, which was definitely a huge highlight, there is nothing that beats seeing wildlife in their natural habitat. We left around 7.30 to sail down wind to our next anchorage, it was our last night and we wanted to spend some time exploring the area. At this point Cam and I had became serious chess players and we were glued to a chess board. As soon as we got to butterfly Bay we noticed the beautiful light blue water, it was so different to the other two anchorages and we were so excited. This was our last full day on the yacht and we did not want to waste it so we took the tender around the point to some reef and go free diving.

 

Day 3&4 Butterfly Bay

 

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