Friday, August 27, 2010

Final Impressions of The Whitsundays

The urge to travel further north is urging us onwards and so we spend our last few days in this famous playground. I have loved the markets at Airlie – they provided me with a bounty of salad ingredients. Cooking is fast becoming one of my favourite pastimes with salads being the number one meal.

We sailed across to Cid Harbour to meet Rene's uncle Nick. He helped us out (again!) by welding a new head onto our winch handle. It now works so much easier and makes us a safer vessel which we can only be happy about. Roseanne, a boat we'd met back on Scawfell Island anchored next to us with two guests on board. One of them, Fiona, cut my hair on the back deck and now I'm sporting a very short, boyish look! Both my sister and Rene have also had a turn at cutting my hair the week prior, so I've got a variety of styles going on! 
A very sweaty climb up to Whitsunday Peak.
We went on a fantastic walk up to the highest peak of the Whitsundays. Rob, from Roseanne, impressed us all as he ran up! - he actually enjoyed doing so as he's a marathon runner! For us, walking, it was a slow, steep climb through picturesque humid rainforest. Amazing panoramic views from the peak. Well worth the sweat and sore calf muscles. Looking back over the photos, I discovered that the camera lens is dirty and needs to be serviced. Oh no! Now both cameras are out of action! 

Stunning views of The Whitsundays.
No wind so we motored over to the southern anchorage of Haselwood Island. It is famed as being an important spawning ground for the coral reefs of the area. Our snorkel there was indeed the best we've seen on this trip so far with some deliciously visual corals. Amazing soft corals moving and swaying about with the underwater currents, a Nemo fish peering out from his sea anemone, gigantic groper and surgeon fish lurking in the darker waters, tiny fish that stared up at me with their innocent eyes. Brilliantly coloured corals growing haphazardly like they belong in a Dr Zeuss book. The visibility was still quite murky – it always seems to be here. A romantic night at anchor alone with the brilliant full moon.

Hopeful Rene with windgen #2
Second attempt at a wind generator is proving to not be as successful as we'd hoped. It only puts in a little power and only if the wind is 20knots or over! I'm dissillusioned with ebay and will try to avoid it. All purchases we've obtained through the site lately have been duds. I even had to sell my fold-up bike back in Yeppoon as it didn't work!

We've been having frequent soul-searching discussions about what to do next. By next I mean, once we reach Cairns (which is fast-approaching). When we set off 3 months ago, we said that we would make a decision once we reached Cairns. Along the way though, we've discovered that there are many things to organise and do in order to take a yacht to another country so our decision has been pushed earlier. Our current plan is to attempt to sail into Asia. It seems to be the calmest, safest route to take and we can both pick up work there easily enough (we hope!). It's also not too far away to come back if things don't work out the way we hope they will. My only real reservation is that I still don't enjoy sailing that much (unless it's calm!) I'm hoping to have a third crew-member to help split the shifts more easily... any takers?

So, after hopefully getting at least one of my cameras operational again, we're heading towards Bowen and beyond...

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