Monday, May 5, 2008

Australia - Whitsundays - Our sailing adventure begins

Bright and early the next morning, I am up and finishing off the last of the laundry. I am awake so early that I actually watch the sun come up and the birds appear out of nowhere right at 6AM. The birds that we think are so great and cute are real pests here. The purple crested Lorikeet that looks like a small parrot and the grey headed Gallahs can wake the dead along with their friends the crows!

Our briefing with Sunsail over and our extra bags stowed with them, and it is off to Airlie Beach to provision the boat (without mortgaging the house). Our boat does not have GPS in the cockpit or a radio so it is all about the charts like in the good old days. there is a book called 100 Magic Miles that is all about sailing in the Whitsundays and is like the Bible out here. It does a bit of talking about all the jellyfish and which ones need immediate evacuation and which fish not to touch and it is enough to make you not go in the water! It is, of course, a bit of a CYA so that we are aware and can't say we weren't. We could buy jellysuits to protect us from them, but we are told it is the wrong time of year for them and that we likely won't see any.

Over to Airlie Point we put up both the jib and the mainsail and enjoy a great sail all the way there. We pull into the most amazing harbour with huge boats and we feel a little bit like the SS Minnow next to them. We find out later, that many of them are boats that go out for 2-7 days with backpackers and anyone who wants an adventure on the open seas.

We had hoped to provision and make our way to our first anchorage all in one day, but it is May 5th which is the Aussie Labour Day. We opt for a roast beast dinner instead and go back for our first of many Scrabble Games and our last of any quiet, calm anchorages.

A quick couple of hours in the morning have us all provisioned up and we head out away from the mainland and to our first destination at Butterfly Bay.


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