Leaving Whitsundays

Leaving Whitsundays

Again I am leaving a place and people I have grown to love. The Whitsundays are so reminiscent of the San Juan Islands, my home, and I quickly fell for the place.

As with all the great places I have been, it is as much the people as the terrain that captures my heart. From Marti, the Stratocaster playing, Jimi Hendrix loving refrigeration guy to Stricky the New Yorker transplant dive shop owner the characters I met were so much like home. All had a story and all had a talent and all were open to helping and making new friends.

As with many other times on this voyage I got to know a wonderful group of young people. They come here for the beauty and the fun and work in the tourist industry. They take their jobs seriously and take the stewardship of these lovely islands seriously too.

I was please to see one dive excursion shop that displayed their policy,” if you are late you are fined and the fine goes to Sea Shepherd”. of course I had to stop by that shop and thank them for their support which led to a lesson in Crown of Thorn abatement. This is a menacing invasive critter that eats coral, lots of coral.

The people come for the beauty and beautiful it is. The islands thrust out of the Coral Sea and form an abundance of great anchorages and places to explore. Again reminiscent of the San Juans, I could be in Airlie Beach, a hub of excitement and the party town, and within a few hours be anchored in remote Nara Bay and exploring aboriginal cave drawings.

No trip to the Whitsundays would be complete without a visit to Whitehaven Beach. I had seen the hype and the glorious brochure pictures but was not prepared for the huge expanse of white sand and spectacular colors. This place is simply a marvel and I had the great joy of seeing it with three lovely ladies who only added to the natural beauty. That will be a day I remember for life.

Ahh but winter is here, and the call of the tropics beckons so north we go. I have now picked up new crew, Tracey, an avid diver from California and we are headed to dive the famous Yagala wreck, listed as one of the top dive sites in the world. We just had a great dolphins show off the bow, while cruising under the warm morning sun and following seas—does not get much better than this!!!!