Sailing the Whitsunday Islands

Hook Island in the Whitsundays

Hook Island in the Whitsundays

I boarded WINGS III at noon on Sunday to set sail for the Whitsunday Islands. WINGS III is a brand new catamaran – with a hot tub on deck – that is decked out with all the dive gear you could ever dream of. Sigh…. heaven.

It was a lovely boat with an even more lovely crew! They kept us well entertained, and took good care of the folks that got sea sick.

Crazy divers...

Crazy divers...

The Whitsunday Islands are a chain of 74 islands near the Great Barrier Reef. There are ferries that scoot through the islands, but the area is too well known for sailing to pass up. We also stopped at the famous Whitehaven Beach. It was a cloudy/rainy morning, but ended up clearing up around the time we had to leave. Made for a beautiful sailing day!

Whitehaven Beach photo credit: Sailing Whitsundays

Whitehaven Beach photo credit: Sailing Whitsundays

Heather, Zoe, Kat, and Me on Whitehaven Beach

Heather, Zoe, Kat, and Me on Whitehaven Beach

To be honest, I got on the boat with no intention of going diving. I suppose that I had decided that all the doom and gloom of climate change had already completely destroyed the Great Barrier Reef.  There was only one other certified diver on board, so that meant there would only be 3 of us down there… very tempting because dive groups to the reef can get up to 80 people! The price was affordable too – $50, so I figured I’d do just one dive to take a look around.

My initial assumptions about the reef were a little off! It was beautiful! Don’t get me wrong, the Reef is definitely in trouble – only 15% will remain 40 years from now. However, it is still an amazing sight to be seen! I’ve never seen so much diversity of hard and soft corals, with vibrant colours, and lots of fish. I can’t imagine how incredible these reefs were 150 years ago… or even 1000 years ago! Magnificent I’m sure. In total I did three dives. We saw a shark, eel, barracuda, Nemo and Marlin, anemones, lots of corals, bat fish, angel fish, parrot fish, and lots more!

Moray Eel

Moray Eel

A tiny piece of the Great Barrier Reef

A tiny piece of the Great Barrier Reef

hi!

hi!

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2 Comments

Filed under Travel

2 responses to “Sailing the Whitsunday Islands

  1. spiainc

    Wow – what a trip. I’ve been to Australia many times but always on business (darned it). Being a sailor, you’ve renewed my desire to go there and spend a month doing nothing else but sail and scuba. That’s what life’s all about – right?

  2. dad

    thanks for the updates emily, sounds like you’re doing just fine on your own. is miranda coming back, or are you solo for the duration?
    enjoying a hot dry summer here, forest fires are blazing all over. parts of westbank near kelowna and lillooet near whistler have been evacuated. so far no major damage to residential areas. we were in the okanagan over the long weekend and it was pretty smokey, ash falling from the sky. mom and dad are on the oregon coast with mike & shari & the kids, so we had a visit with like & mojo who have recently relocated to penticton, then we went to osoyoos to visit deb & jack.
    thing have become political on fringe. mike our pm has been replaced, so he’s now the 2nd uni manager and i’m just a day call mook! bummer- i always felt it was too good to be true, but honestly there wasn’t enough work to justify a full-time position. so i’m looking at working on the A-Team movie, and interviewed for another series just yesterday. in the meantime, we’re just chillin’.
    take care, love dad

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