Sailing in the Whitsundays

Trip Start Mar 31, 2004
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Trip End Jul 14, 2005


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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

We arrive in Airlie Beach on 22nd June ready to head off sailing around the Whitsundays the following day. Staying at Reefos which is a bit out of the way but does offer $5 dinners - nice. We had been feeling paranoid about getting a bunch of weirdos on our boat but thankfully all is well when we meet them all the next day. Our boat is called Otella and as we're walking up to it looks a tad small for 14 people but strangely enough we all fit. The rest of the group are great - we have an irish couple, three irish girls, Jesper - a very hot dutch guy (obviously it's Carol writing this...or is it)two german girls and a Japanese couple. We also have Ben and Greg - the skipper and the host. Weather isn't the best on our first day as we set off but it's great just to be out on the boat and chill out. We stop for a snorkel and have to don stinger suits - think leotard when you did gymnastics or dancing as a kid (boys use your imagination). As the sun sets we 'drop anchor' in a small seculded cove and watch a stunning sunset. We spend the night sitting out under the stars, listening to Jack Johnson, drinking wine and talking. Bedtime is interesting as we try to get up in to our tiny double bunk - rocked to sleep by the swaying boat - at risk of falling out of bed!

Wake up the next day to find the skipper crawling out of the sail - he sleeps in there and he got lucky last night with one of the irish chicks. We set sail towards Whitehaven beach. The view from the lookout is absolutely stunning and Whitehaven beach is the most beautiful beach we have ever seen - it is one of the top ten in the world. We head in for a swim and then go for a walk where we spot a lemon shark in the shallows.
Then it's back onto the boat and we sail to Hook Island where we moor up for the night. Lots of batfish surround our boat looking for an easy feed. Barbeque tonight before we take the dinghy over to the island for a visit to the pub. Get obsessed with a great game involving a hook, a metal ring and a bit of string.
The next morning I wake before everyone else and head up on deck - its early morning and very quiet and still - feel like I could stay there forever. Unfortunately the boat has to be back in Airlie for 1pm so we start sailing home. Finally get to do some proper sailing and head back at a 40 degree angle. Both of us get a chance to steer the boat and pull some ropes.
Back in Airlie tonight we meet up with everyone again for dinner and drinks at Reefos and watch the All Blacks beat the Lions in the first test. Discover cowboy shots - yum! And that's that - sailing in the Whitsundays has been amazing. If we lived in New Zealand we could come here on holiday!
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