After a month in the Whitsundays, we are riding the first of the Northerlies south!
We ticked a few locations we wanted to visit while in this region: climbing the Whitsunday Peak and the Cairn, spending time in the northern anchorages of the group, especially Blue Pearl Bay and Cataran Bay, going out to the Outer Reef, and finally returning to stunning Whitehaven Beach.
We kept the best for last: before leaving the Whitsundays, we sailed to Whitehaven Beach, climbed up to the lookout and gazed at the jaw-dropping beauty of Hill Inlet. Anchoring inside the inlet remains on the to do list for next year! The sand on Whitehaven Beach is very fine and white, like icing sugar, and the ocean an incredible turquoise. This really is the jewel of the Whitsundays.
The Whitsundays are however a region we have found exceedingly crowded. Having to compete for moorings you can only stay at for two hours was tedious, forcing you to keep moving which is not what cruising life is about, neither is anchoring with 40 other boats along the beach! We also found that although the islands are very beautiful, the swimming and snorkeling are lack luster as a result of the devastation created by Cyclone Debbie. It will take many years for the water clarity to return and the fringing reef to recover – if ever at all.
Because our insurance company requires us to be south of latitude 25°S between 1 November and 30 April, we are now heading that way. We left on 5th October bright and early. With all of us on board hungry for more beautiful snorkeling in crystal clear waters and tropical island hopping, the best spot to do so is in the Keppels and Southern Great Barrier Reef. We have therefore decided to get back there quickly and skip the Southern islands of the Whitsundays… we can put these on next year’s cruising list.
So we are off and using three or four days of northerlies to spinnaker our way south quickly. Full day sails to Scawfell Island, Middle Percy Island, Port Clinton and North Keppel Island. Then we can slow down and enjoy the pristine marine life in that region.