We spent a fabulous 12 days with the Thackrays (Jac, Paul and Phoebe). They arrived on Tuesday 27th September – all very excited to be finally on the boat after so much talking about it. We had absolutely beautiful weather and lots of laughs, lots of drinks and lots of relaxing.
- Tuesday 27th – First night was spent in Butterfly Bay. We all put on our stinger suits and had a snorkel. Sadly, lots of bleached coral – but also fun and we saw quite a lot of fish.
- Wednesday 28th – We went out to Hook Reef to see the low tide waterfall. Was lots of fun trying (and eventually succeeding) to get the tender to go up the waterfall into the lagoon. Snorkelling here was fabulous!
- Thursday 29th – we took Northerly into Hamilton Island. After a bit of a wander around the Marina, we took a bus up to the top to a new bar for a drink with amazing views over the Whitsunday Passage. Back to Northerly for showers then dinner at the only good Italian restaurant in Hamilton. A fun night!
- Friday 30th – we farewelled Mia who flew back to Sydney for rowing/study commitments, then had a drink with Katie and Mark Wilson (old friend’s of Mark’s who happened to be in the Marina on their boat). We then headed out to Whitehaven and spent the night.
- Sat 1st – we went to Billibob Bay. It’s a gorgeous spot and Northerly was the only boat in the Bay. It has a lovely sandy beach which was great for a swim. We watched the Sydney Swans Grand Final (they lost…). Jac collected drift wood from here to take home.
- Sun 2nd – We cruised around the corner to stay in another bay, but changed our mind when we saw how busy it was, and went back for another night in Billibob! Watched NRL GF.
- Mon 3rd and Tues 4th- It was pretty windy, so we went to Sawmill Bay. Climbed to the top of Whitsunday Island. It was a hard climb, but absolutely worth it for a stunning view!
- Wed 5th – Went to Butterfly Bay and caught up with the Wilsons. More snorkelling
- Thursday 6th – Headed up to Gloucester as we wanted to explore and see Shag Inlet. Anchored off Gloucester Resort (part owned by the Wilsons) and had lunch there. A good spot for a casual lunch.
- Fri 7th – arrived into Airlie quite early and spent several hours cleaning the boat and packing it up. Also walked into Airlie for lunch and dinner at Salt – which was pretty good!
- Sat 8th – Holiday over and we all flew home!!
In mid September as soon as Term 3 finished, we all (plus Imi’s friend, Sophie Dudley) flew up to Proserpine then took the Shuttle Bus to Airlie Beach. Mark had already done the provisioning, so we headed straight out on a hot day with sparkling water. We spent 4 gorgeous days just swimming and relaxing.
- The amazingly beautiful Whitehaven, with lots of turtles
- Turtle Bay – just around the corner from Whitehaven, so quite crowded, but very pretty
We spent our last night in Airlie (having dinner at a very average Italian place….) – but good to explore the town a bit. Airlie is a very pretty spot – clean and well maintained and with a long boardwalk around from the Marina to the centre of town – it’s a bit like Byron Bay – lots of backpackers…..
Mark, Barry Cuneo, Jane, Spot and Mark Warlow had already delivered Northerly from Brisbane to Great Keppel Island – then Barry departed and Tina and Laura Warlow joined the crew for the remainder of the trip north to Airlie Beach.
We had 5 gorgeous days:
- visited the Percy Islands and explored the “shed” full of memorabilia from visiting boats.
- A night in Butterfly Bay
- 2 nights out at the Hook/Bait Reef group – an amazing place with all the reef below the waterline except at low tide when a waterfall over the reef appears. We took the tender into the lagoon for a snorkel – beautiful coral and tons of fish.
- There were a huge number of whales – plumes everywhere. We even saw a mother whale give birth about 100m from the boat.
- A night in Nara Inlet
We berthed Northerly at Able Point Marina – fantastic marina with everything we could need.
Mark cruised Northerly from Sydney to Moreton Bay in April, and with her being berthed at RQYS, and Mia and Imi (and Ruby and Alice) off at camp, we decided to explore Moreton Bay with Rob and Sharon Bishop for a few days. So, after Mark, Spot and Nick finished an Etchell regatta (2nd by 1 point…) at RQYS, we met them for dinner on the Monday night in the clubhouse, spent a night at the Marina, and then headed out into the Bay.
Tuesday was spent cruising to Horseshoe Bay on Peel Island – a very pretty beach with a few dolphins and turtles swimming off it. We had a swim off the boat and took the tender ashore for a walk at sunset.
On Wednesday we headed to Moreton Island. It was a stunning day with deep blue skies, sparkling turquoise water and white sand dunes on the island – none of us were really expecting it to be so lovely! There were lots of turtles and big fish jumping out of the water. We took the tender ashore and thought we might swim – but at low tide, we all got a bit spooked by the huge number of big starfish, crabs and stingrays around, so decided against it…..
In the late afternoon, at high tide, we took the tender ashore again and climbed a big dune (exhausting) and ran down it (exhilarating)! It was a fabulous day, topped off, as we lay on the roof in the evening watching the stars, by an enormous shooting star!
On Thursday we cruised to Tangalooma and anchored nearby – the colour of the water is so gorgeous. We had a swim in the shallows – lovely warm water with white sand – then took the tender up to the wrecks that were sunk to make a reef off the beach.
In the afternoon, we headed back to RQYS for dinner at the club and flights home on Friday.