- 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
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