Day 175 to 177 – (25th – 27th Feb) Whitsundays Sailing

23 03 2011

Lazy days out on the open sea…

We literally rolled into Airlie Beach and jumped on the next boat leaving town, and she was a beauty – a classic looking 95 foot royal blue tall ship. Despite all this I was still bricking it as we sailed out of the harbour. You see the weather was looking a trifle dicey. The skies were overcast and it rained that evening. As luck would have it the next three days sailing were nothing short of glorious.

The gem of the area and the real tourist draw is Whitehaven Beach. With its 98.89% pure quartz sand beach it is just about the finest and whitest you’ll find anywhere in the world. Along with the turquoise waters and blue skies it makes for a wonderful photo from any angle. The origins of the sand are unknown, but it is believed ocean currents brought quartz rich sand from Antarctica to the East Coast and a longshore drift system brought the sands north up the Queensland coast. During this drift process all heavy mineral sands and impurities were dropped out. No one really knows, but one thing is for sure, Whitehaven Beach is stunning and not to be missed.

Our highly entertaining easy going captain had us sailing around Whitsunday, Hook, Border and Hayman Islands. In the evening we would drop anchor in quiet secluded island inlets. When not lazing up on deck or eating any of the five meals served daily (it’s been a while since we have had afternoon tea) we could go on island walks or snorkelling in the Great Barrier Reef. Dinner was up on deck allowing us to enjoy some spectacular sunsets. Under a clear sky thousands upon thousands of stars could be seen, so despite having a private cabin for one night I chose to sleep on a sun lounger on deck in the warm insect free air.

Against our better judgment and the closing weather, we then took to the skies to have an aerial peek at the Islands and reef we had spent the last three days sailing around. The views were naturally stunning; however the picture postcard blue skies were substituted with grey rain clouds.

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