Well I’ve been a bit slack in updating everyone, but we have reached a major milestone and have made it to the Whitsunday Islands!!! I’m so proud of our family travelling up here together, and that we have had the tenacity, teamwork and spirit of adventure to make it happen! We have had so many mini adventures, let me tell you about a few.
So when I last left you we were waiting out some weather in Island Head Creek. We left there in the company of Blue Bayou another family boat we have been travelling with, and bashed into some crazy seas on our way to the yachting mecca that is on middle percy island.
We arrived in Middle Percy (about 60km offshore near Mackay) which has a huge A-Frame which yachties leave momentos attached to and there are thousands and thousands. Not long after we entered the anchorage the locals came down to invite us to a goat stew cooked over an open fire. Just bring some veges to contribute, so goat is actually quite good and we met some nice people including most of the residents of the tiny island. When we got back to our dinghy it was swamped and FULL of water, after bailing it we rowed it back to the boat just in case our petrol had water in it (it didn’t) but we couldn’t tell it was dark. During this time I had all the phones in a bag around my neck, the beach had quite a good surf and I was lucky none of them got wet, but after escaping total ruin I never took the phones back in the dinghy there, and so no photos!
In the morning we decided we would go for a walk (middle percy anchorage is exposed and very very rolly so not pleasant spending time on your boat at anchor). We started following a track and nearly 5km of uphill walking later we made it to the Islands major homestead (we thought it said 2.5km not 2.5 miles!!!), the track was marked with funny quotes and mementos and there were millions of blue tiger butterflies to walk through, it reminded me of the butterfly room at Melbourne Zoo. The kids invited themselves into the homestead so they could look at the baby chickens and we visited with the owners being treated to a tour, some of the islands history, lovely lime and honey drink and homemade bread. It was amazing how they lived, quite self sufficient with fruit and veges, chooks and goats, its an 8hr boat ride in a trawler to get to Serena for supplies which they make every 6 weeks. We then walked over the hill to another of the residents house so we could visit with the tame baby goat there. Then after another walk with quite a steep descent we arrived back at the beach to find that Blue Bayou had arrived! We made plans to continue on and left the next morning for Scawfell Island, one of the most southern Islands in the Whitsunday group, we had a great motorsail there.
We only stopped there the night and didn’t get off the boat but it was a rocky, lush island and quite imposing, on arriving to it we had a group of dolphins bow ride and do tricks with us for about half an hour, it was a magical welcoming to the Whitsunday Islands and better than any seaworld show!
The next day we sailed to Lindeman Island (which has a closed resort on it) we covered 110miles over the 2 days in our eagerness to make it north. This marked the last of our full day passages, it had been a month of travelling a 12h day having 1 or 2 days off and then another 12h day, this means constantly getting ready for passages, packing and unpacking the boat and although our trip up has been amazing we were ready to stop for a little bit and slow down.
After some beach time and some swimming, we hauled anchor and sailed to Hamilton Island, we anchored by the airport, dinghyed into the beach and hauled 5 children 2km up an insanely steep hill down to the road and caught the free shuttle bus into the resort, a couple of drinks by the pool then we headed down to the shops to get the hugest, bestest burgers we have ever seen (they were the size of a side plate and packed full), gorging ourselves, we then caught the bus back, and walked the crazy hill in the dark again with 5 children, carried the dinghy 100m down to the water (tide had gone out!) motored over the coral in the pitch black, climbed up onto the boat and tucked into our beds. Now who ever said we aren’t adventurous! (you may be able to tell from this story but this is not really the paying way to enter Hamilton Island).
It was then time to head to Airlie, a supply run was desperately needed, especially for Blue Bayou.
We tucked into the Marina for a week, visited the Lagoon multiple times, stocked up on groceries, Jas did a two day mission down to the Gold Coast to get the car. Then headed back out for a few more days in the islands.
After a beaut bbq and raft up with Blue Bayou, Jas as usual, had too much to drink and so we killed the hangover with some snorkelling off Bali Hai (even Holly is snorkelling now). A bumpy dinghy ride back to the boat, a pie and an afternoon nap. Life is good!
I have got a job here in the Whitsundays working as a midwife and Jason is going to do some marine courses here. So we planning on staying and exploring the Islands here for the next year before moving on. The kids have been enrolled in school for a bit and we will be topping up the kitty before leaving again.