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Published: February 26th 2006
Whitsundays with wind!
We are sailing.... we are.. oh you know the rest!
Having left 'Maggies' under threat from Cyclone Jim, we had our fingers crossed for good weather on our Whitsundays trip. Luckily, although it rained at Airlie Beach as soon as we got off the bus, two days later we woke up on the day of departure to brilliant sunshine. Our chosen performance yacht was called Freight Train, a former winner of the Sydney - Hobart yacht race, and would be our home for three days and two nights. Designed for racing, the sleeping arrangments were ...snug best describes it, and with eight people in the forward compartment pretty hot too. Our skipper Mick gave us a breifing as we motored out of Airlie Beach marina, warning us of vegemite fines for infringements of his rules!
Now of course brilliant sunshine doesn't always mean great sailing, so with very little wind we continued to motor around to Whitehaven beach. Dropped off by tender, we walked up to a viewpoint to see an overview of Hill inlet and then walked down to the beach itself. A stunning white sand beach which we were informed was 98% silica. Donning our anti stinger suits, we swam out to a sand bar and lazed around soaking
up this glorious place. Sorry to leave, but we had to be back on board to make sure we reached our first mooring before dark.
A beautiful sunset marked the end of a great first day...although drinking games went on into the night!
We woke on the second day to full scale drama (well almost). The yacht had turned in the night and the mooring line had somehow managed to wrap around and rip off the propellor, leaving us with no propulsion. This led to many worried faces as we feared for our trip, but we were in a great snorkelling spot so we jumped in and spent a fun hour or so hunting green turtles and coral gazing whilst the skipper and the dive instructor retrieved the propellor from the seabed.
Lunch was then prepared on the move as the tender was tied along side Freight Train to give us some propulsion. The main sail was hoisted - eventually by Keith, Skip and myself - but this didn't contribute many extra knots!
In the afternoon we reached the dive site where we would complete our 'Free Dive' included in the package. We snorkelled whle waiting for our
End to a great day..
turn and saw a giant clam, some huge fish and lots more coral (more dead than live I thought). Luckily for Lin and I , two of our group pulled out as they were struggling with the breathing techniques, so it was just us and the instructor on our dive through underwater passages , shoals of fish and we even gave the giant clam a tickle!
Our final day was started early to make sure our crippled craft would reach Airlie Beach on time. This meant we didn't make any extra stops but unlike some boats , we had the sails up all day and were rewarded with some great sailing. Making our way around the plush Daydream Island Resort was great stuff but also couldn't help thinking that the trip was coming to an end, and so it did when we limped into the marina on time at 4 o'clock.
All in all, a fantastic three days and worth every cent!
Tot: 1.726s; Tpl: 0.051s; cc: 10; qc: 49; dbt: 0.0284s; 1; m:saturn w:www (220.127.116.11); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.3mb