Thursday, July 14, 2011

Brampton Island to Airlie (via Hammo and other islands) - 9th to 15th July

After a few lovely days at Brampton Island we started to make our way north towards Hamilton Island (more affectionately known as "Fat Island")  The first trip we did on Saturday was a 10NM hop to Goldsmith Island  We had a lovely sail with gentle winds and arrived at Goldsmith at around 11.30am.

Sunday we had a similar jaunt but this time around 10NM to Thomas Island sailing via Coppersmith and Silversmith Islands.  The winds were a bit more lively and we made good time into Thomas Island.  As there are plenty of fringing reefs in the anchorage at Thomas it was an excellent spot to go for a bit of a snorkel and check out the local coral in the arvo.  To our surprise we happen to come across 3 turtles during the swim which was pretty awesome. Not sure who was more surprised - the turtles or us!!

We know we must be getting close to the madness of the Whitsunday's as we spotted our first bare boat today!  Monday and we have another short hop to Shaw Island which is part of the Lindeman Group.   Today we did a PB and managed to get our anchor down well in time for morning tea at 10.00am.

Tuesday morning and we are off to Fat Island.  We took the scenic route to Hammo via Pentecost Island as they wont allow arrival's before 11.00am.  The marina crew at Hammo are fantastic and not only lead you to your berth but also help out with lines, setting fenders and anything else that might be required at the time.  Hamilton Island, as is expected, is a hive of activity and there are plenty of holiday makers which is great to see as many of the other resorts are looking a little down in the mouth or shut.

Cocktails at the Bommie Bar - HIYC
We went up to the new yacht club for a couple of pre-dinner drinks and watched the sunset which was pretty nice before heading over to Romano's for a swish dinner!  The next day at Hammo we decided to take the bus ride around the island and went over to the main resorts to check out life on the other side!

As the winds are forecast to blow again on the weekend accompanied by some rain we decide that it would be prudent to head over to Airlie for the weekend - via Long Island.  This will also enable me to go and watch the big game of Carlton V Collingwood (not sure if that is a good or a bad thing yet!)

Thursday and we leave the madness of Hammo and on the way to Long Island we spot our first Maxi - Ragamuffin - heading over to Whitehaven Beach.  We pull up a mooring in Happy Bay which is just off the Club Crocodile resort and make our way to the beach.    The resort hasn't changed very much since we were up here in 2003 but seems to be doing quite well and we find out that there are some nice walks on the island so figure the walk over to Palm Bay would be a nice way to spend the afternoon.  Along the way we spot a wildlife in the form of a scrub turkey.  There seem to be plenty of these on the island along with the usual Curlews that hang out in the resort and also the Lorikeets which flock around the resort at dusk for the daily feeding.  After having a couple of sun-downers at the beach bar whilst we wait for the tide to come back in we then went back to the boat for a quiet evening on board.

Long Island - Scrub Turkey
Curlews @ Club Crocodile

Friday and the forecast is pretty much holding up so we are going to head into Airlie Beach for a few days to do the usual marina stuff before heading out for a couple of weeks exploring the Whitsunday's
Bird Feeding @ Club Crocodile

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