Thursday, August 4, 2011

Airlie Beach to Bowen (30th July to 5th August)

The Skipper
First Mate & Navi-guesser
After spending a few nights in Airlie, which included a lovely sail with Michael Arcaro + friends on his big cat "Verve" on the Saturday arvo, we were up early on Sunday to get ourselves sorted to get over to Hamilton Island to pick up Rick Potter.  Our timing wasn't all that great as it took us a bit longer to get over to Hammo (would you believe it - we actually had to sail to weather!!) and to make it worse Rick's flight was running ahead of schedule.  Eventually we did catch up and had a pleasant afternoon at Hammo which included a ride on the free bus around the island and a stop over at the resort for a holiday beverage. 

The Crew!!!
View from the Solway Circuit Walk
Monday morning and we were on our way to Whitehaven Beach to give Rick a little glimpse of the chaos that is Whitehaven Beach and it did not disappoint with the usual array of charter boats, ocean rafters, sea-planes etc arriving at various times during the day.  We took the very scenic Solway Circuit walk which has some excellent views over the Whitsunday Islands

Tuesday and we are on our way to the top of Hook Island to re-visit the snorkeling spots in the Whitsunday's with the first stop at Manta Ray Bay - Rick was champing at the bit to get in the water and before we knew it he was all suited up and off to check out the underwater activities.  After a couple of hours at Manta Ray we then headed off to Butterfly Bay night for a peaceful night on a mooring. 

aka Jacques Cousteau
Wednesday morning was a stunner and we are off to the pick of the snorkeling stops at Blue Pearl Bay.  On the way we were lucky enough to see a newly born humpback whale calf and mum, which as you can imagine, was pretty special.   As it has been a bit breezy the last few days we pretty much have the bay to ourselves which was excellent.  The fishies were as friendly as usual and the coral amazing.  Rick (aka Jacques) had the pleasure of hand feeding the Bat Fish that collected at the back of the boat. 

Feeding the Bat Fish @ Blue Pearl Bay

Drinks at the
Gloucester Passage Eco Resort
It is now time to leave the fantasy land of the Whitsunday's so after our time at Blue Pearl we are off through the Gloucester Passage to Monte's Resort.  As Mark keeps telling us - you haven't lived until you have been to Montes!.  We had a rollicking sail across as there is a good 20-25knts blowing.  After negotiating the passage we picked up a mooring in the bay but only got to see Monte's from a distance as we actually ended up going to the nearby Eco Resort for drinks and dinner which was rather pleasant

Cocktail Hour!
Thursday and it is a quick jaunt over to Bowen which is quite a tight little harbour but there is a pen at the yacht club that we can fit into so all is good.  We went for a wander into the township of Bowen and are planning to catch the bus over to Horseshoe bay this afternoon which is apparently a nice little beach resort area.

All going well the plan is to leave Bowen on Saturday as we start to make our way north towards Townsville with our first stop at Cape Upstart

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