- Sailing from Whitehaven’s bay through Solway Passage past Hazelwood Island one can expect strong currents and it did not disappoint.
- Sailed past Hamilton Island, and Catseye Bay admiring the 5 star resort Qualia and of course Gunther reminded me as he participated in the Hamilton Island race week many times in the past years that he had the pleasure being invited by Amanda and Brian to a Chandone dinner, dress code white and black during the race week. It truly was picture perfect sailing past the Island. The Island offers many luxurious accommodations and lots of restaurants.
- Sailed past South and North Molle Islang to Airlie beach anchoring just outside the marina entrance in Airlie Bay. Skyline is just beautiful. We launched our dinghy and explored the town that provides lots of shops, restaurants and 2 harbours. We found a great pub in the middle of town and treated ourselves to a counter meal and a beer that was included in the offer yep Gunther got 2 beers for lunch.
- In Airlie the dinghy can be either left on the public wharf or one can leave it at the sailing club jetty. We preferred the sailing club. It is however a good idea getting the tide right if one leaves the dinghy at the sailing club. Well, we did not get the tide right and we waded through mud getting a free mud bath.
- To Gunther’s delight, or maybe not, there are lots of boutiques that one just simple has to explore. It was a cheap outing as no purchase was made of course not counting the chandlery, electrician and mechanical bills.
- There is a lovely seaside board walk to Cannonvale. Cannonvale also offers good food shopping; excellent butcher that vacuum seals all your meat. We walked there and took a taxi back to the town ($7-$10).
- We stayed at Able Point marina several times due to much needed maintenance and repairs. The harbour is not very deep and we did have to asked to be shifted as the tide was still going down and we only had 0,2 under the keel.
- Sailing from Airlie to Hook Island and staying overnight at Stonehaven Anchorage. This is once again a lovely sail. There are also several moorings that one can take up to 2 hours or if you get there around 3.30pm you can stay the night. Getting a mooring is great as one would have to anchor in deep waters. Bird Island and Hayman Island are just across the bay. We got greeted by mum and baby whale who seem to frolic around this area as we saw them several times thereafter. The water is just crystal clear and beautiful the only downfall was that we also saw lots of jelly fish in the water. Identifying them is pretty hard as there are many different species. No swimming for us.
- Sailing around Bird Island above Hayman Island we had the pleasure again sailing next to 2 whales as they were splashing around. Blue Pearl Bay off Hayman Island is beautiful boosting a large rock formation. We sailed past Butterfly Bay as this anchorage is only recommended in calm waters.
- Filling up diesel at Airlie Marina one has to book ahead and one only gets a ½ slot. Not ideal! However we just managed in time and picked up Murry, Margo, Mike Mindy at the same time. Mike and Mindy came with us for a day sail sailing past South and North Mole I. and coming back between North Molle and Mid Molle Island described as unsafe passage. As we sailed through this passage prior, our guests were in good hands with skipper Gunther. After lunch we dropped off Mike and Mindy back at Airlie and Murry (Margo, Gunther and Erika relaxing) sailed us back to Cid Harbour for a more pleasurable overnight stay due to continuing strong winds. The evening before we truly had a miserable night due to high winds and big waves just off Airlie Bay. The wind was that strong that we could not even deflate the dinghy. Mind you, Gunther came up with that brilliant idea of hoisting the dinghy up on the front deck so that he can get the outboard safely off. This was a success. We sailed around the Island with Murry and Margo sharing lots of stories, having great dinners and laughter on board of Cool Change.
14th of September/October +++ exploring the Whitsundays Island
12-13th of September exploring Whitehaven’s beach
We completed a lovely walk on the white sandy beach of Whitehaven’s.
We completed the walk from Whitehaven Beach to Chance Bay 3.6km one way. The track winds through some of the Whitsundays finest forests and woodland (easy walk).
11th of September hello Whitehaven’s Bay
It is time to head off to the famous Whitehaven’s Beach location. We decided to sail through Hook Passage as our timing for the tide is excellent and the wind is just perfect. We had a great sail and anchored just off the world famous beach due to its incredible fine, salt like sand.
8th of September strong wind continues
As the wind continues to blow and after 4 days of being in a rolling anchorage we decided putting in 2 reefs and sail towards Cid Harbour as friends of ours alerted us that Cid Harbour is well sheltered and totally calm. Just what the Doctor ordered. The sail towards Cid Harbour was fast and lovely and by now we or should I say I am getting a little bit braver and we decided to take the Hunt Channel leading into the Sawmill Bay Anchorage. Once inside the anchorage we are greeted by our fellow sailors and were invited for 5pm drinks on Barrenjovy Lights (John, Ruth, and Eva and Brian of Zofia) sharing stories. What bliss as it is absolutely calm.
The following day Gunther gets the dinghy ready for explorations. We completed a lovely walk at Sawmill beach going towards Dugong Beach.
4th of September good by Mackay and hello Lindeman Island
Good wind was predicted ESE with 20 knots plus. After several hours we had to put in 2 reefs as the wind was gusting up to 25 knots regularly. Cool Change was travelling at about 7-8.5 knots in a very uncomfortable see. Short and high waves.
Gunther did some research and found his answer why the waves we encounter have been rather unpleasant. It appears as we left the wind was from ESE however the tidal change was on the rise hence coming towards us creating the sharp waves. One never stops learning. Gunther was in heaven though as we finally sailed without turning on the engine.
We anchored at Lindeman Island at boat point as it provides good shelter and holding. We will stay for several days as the wind continues to plough through the islands.
Yesterday I planned to go for a dip. All this despite everything in Australia wants to sting you, bite you and/or eat you, as our friend Otto from Austria would say, who we had the pleasure sailing these waters on his 62 foot Hallberg Rassy some years ago. We did purchase a stinger suite just to be safe.
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