Turquoise and blue are two colours that stand out in the Whitsundays. Wherever you look, whether it be the expansive views of the ocean with the islands in the background, or the bays were we stop, or the underwater seascapes, or even the fish, turquoise and blue dominate!
We have been spending time in the northern part of the Whitsunday group, in search of reasonable snorkeling. We say reasonable because Cyclone Debbie hammered the Whitsundays last year and inflicted extensive damage to the fringing reef.
Blue Pearl Bay, on the western shores of Hayman Island is so far the nicest spot in the region for snorkeling. The fish life is healthy, with many vibrant Parrotfish and Sergeants. The anchorage is rather lively though, with wind wrapping around the point and rotor coming down from the tall hills in the brisk southeast breeze.
One type of fish that is rather endearing is the huge Roundface Batfish. They are big, may be 50cm around, and act as the welcoming committee when you moor. We had them patrolling under the boat at Langford Island and Blue Pearl Bay and of course I had to join them. As Wade puts it: “I could hear some flapping about under the hulls; were you chasing the batfish?” Yes taking photos is harder than it looks when the boat is dancing around the mooring in the wind. I kept hitting the hulls as Take It Easy swiftly swung, giving me a good old knock on the head!
Of course snorkeling spots attract lots of people and there is always competition for the few public moorings. After a while, we got a bit tired of the constant mooring shuffle; the two hours hardly give you time to take a walk ashore or have a leisurely dive! So we left for the southern parts of Hook Island and western shores of Whitsunday Island where we can at least anchor and stay there as long as we like without being pestered by anyone. Macona Inlet was a welcome change with small beaches for Bengie. We had to forego the snorkeling for the peace and quiet!
With light and variable conditions for the next few days we are now very excited to head off to the outer reef – one item on the bucket list! We hope to share some good stories with you in the next post.