Have to admit though we haven't gone very far this time - about 1200kms though!!! Left home on Tuesday morning heading north to Airlie Beach for a couple of days where we had pre-booked our accommodation at "Marina Shores' and 2 day trips out on the water. It is now Saturday and we've done all that and ready to head south again!
Spent 8 hrs driving on day one to get just to Rockhampton, then another 6 hrs on Wednesday to get here to Airlie Beach. Kemm has been here more recently than me but the whole hillside up behind Airlie has now been taken over by apartment and holiday units. The main street in town is much the same but as places do, the shops all seemed to have changed hands and things look reasonably touristy and 'okay"! So all good up here for tourists anyway.
The main reason we have been this way is that Kemm put the winning bid in on an online auction for 3 nights accommodation, a sailing day trip around the islands and out to Whitehaven Beach, and a 2nd day trip out to The Great Barrier Reef. And the reason I am writing this new 'trip blog' is that certain very good friends of ours are in the outback and OUT-WRITING me!!!!!! I have to keep up. They will very likely be out of reach for the next 5 or 6 days so gives me time to get my blurb in!!! Bit of a worry this trend I have started!!
Anyway our accommodation is a new resort "Marina Shores" very close to Abel Point Marina. We have noticed there is now a new walkway all the way round from Cannonvale and into Airlie so for all early morning walkers/joggers/dogs etc, it's a fabulous trail to wander. It's not actually a 'trail', it's a full boardwalk that would have cost taxpayers an arm and a leg!!!
"Camira" was our large catamaran sailing vessel for the first day we were here - maximum capacity 80 and it was full for the day but not so full that we were all on top of each other. There have been high offshore winds here so Camira put on its best and went into full sail mode crossing the Whitsunday passage. Engines off and we were sailing along at 12 knots - it was a huge big sail!!! Dropped in to pick up some extras at Daydream resort on West Molle Island then on and around to Whitehaven Beach. I think it was 18 years ago we were there and guess what - it's still the sane!!! Absolutely beautiful, white 80% silica sand. We all offloaded for an hour on the beach - it's winter here in QLD but it was definitely shorts and T-short when out of the wind. Out on the water sailing though, I at least had my jumper and track pants on whilst watching silly young 'things' strut around in their skimpy bikinis so we could all see their tats, piercings and skinny bodies - and goose bumps!!! They were cold! Duuuhhhhh.....
The day was a bit later than usual but we came sailing back into Airlie Beach under full sail and into the sunset over the water - I sat up on the boom net with my camera and although a little cool it was a magical way to finish up. Loved it! Fortunately I had bought a couple of steaks and a red thinking we might be late back in so at least we had something for dinner when we got back.
Next day (yesterday) we took the large 3 level reef cruiser out to the outer reef and it's permanently anchored pontoon. It was rather a rough trip heading out there and all on board were advised that even if they sometimes had the slightest seasickness, today was the day you need a pill!!! I was way ahead, I had taken mine an hour before we left! Yes, it was a rough ride out there and I managed the trip without any problems - just!!!! The trip was 3 hours so I was pleased when we finally hit the pontoon.
We spent 4 hours out there, glass bottom boat, semi=submersible sub thingy, snorkelling, diving, heli flights etc all available - and remember it's still the middle of winter and very windy!! 25 - 30 knots wind was the calculation so quite a cool day. I thought about doing one of the introductory dives but wasn't allowed - asthma - then said yes, I would do a helicopter ride over the reef - needs 2 people and no-one else on the day trip wanted to go so that was out as well! Ho hum, it's cold but yes, I'll go snorkelling! On with the wetsuit, goggles and mask and out into the water - did the compulsory 10 minutes snorkel (too cold for any longer and there's a million kids in the water also who were learning how to snorkel!). I enjoy snorkelling, my last lot being in the warm waters off Phi Phi Island in Thailand and so much more pleasant! but at least I can now tick the box that I've snorkelled on the Great Barrier Reef!
The trip back from the reef was announced to us as being much rougher than when we went out!!!! Ohhhh... And it was!!! This time once again I had taken a pill but did a quick dash to the back deck half way back for a bit of fresh air. Asked a crew member for a bag (just in case). They carry them in their pockets for urgent ‘just in case’ cases!!! Anyway didn’t need it and the horizon looked pretty good whilst the boat went uuuppp... and ddddoooowwwnnn..... and uuuppp... and ddddoooowwwnnn..... and uuuppp... and ddddoooowwwnnn..... and ....... land never looked so good!!!! The deck below had a group of school kids – most of whom were out the back and ensuring that hosing duties by staff were being maintained!!! From what I gather half their group were out the back spewing everywhere!!! Ewk!
Anyway we both enjoyed the trip although the cool windy weather and rough ride home did put a bit of a dampener on it.
So today Saturday, we head back south again and home Tue/Wed - not quite sure of plans at this stage. Though we might attempt a game of golf at Horton Park which 'may' become a regular course for us if we start to spend some time at Maroochydore. (In our new apartment - as yet unfurnished but have I got some fun coming up doing that!!!).
So for now, it's pack up our stuff and head out of here in a little while!
Till our next journey..... (It's the biggee in September!)