With thanks to:
Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

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Easy like Whitsunday

3: In the tropics

The Whitsundays are about 40km west of the Great Barrier Reef, just off the coast of Queensland. There are over 70 islands, in two main groups — the northern Whitsunday group and southern Lindeman Group — plus the Molle Islands closer to the mainland. If you had a couple of weeks — and your charter agreement allows — you could pretty much explore the lot, but with just five days on the water, we stuck to the Whitsundays group. There are plenty of anchorages around 10 miles apart, and the area is pretty much all line of sight navigation, although there are sufficient hazards that some level of competence when it comes to reading charts is pretty much essential.

This close to the tropics (between 20-21 degrees latitude), the temperature rarely dips below the high 70s, but then again neither does the humidity, and so we shouldn’t really have been too surprised by the recurring rain. Mildly disappointed, perhaps — but it was at least a relief not to be constantly dodging the searing Australian sun.

The one thing the high temperatures do mean is that the fridge is on pretty much constantly — and not just to cool our ‘tinnies’ and ‘stubbies’ (Aussie beer in a can or short bottle). We’d opted for the Rent a Yacht provisioning service, which was extremely thorough, but not particularly cheap — one of several extras that really added up over the course of the booking.

Whilst never ones to complain about having too much food — we opted for only ‘partial’ provisioning, yet still ate three meals a day on board for the duration of our trip — I’m not sure that two people were ever going to use an entire bottle of olive oil, or three different types of cleaning product, over a five-day stay, and therefore I didn’t really appreciate paying for it. The flip side is that no matter what we might’ve needed, we had it on board.

With thanks to:
Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

Previous page:2 Meet the boat

I’ve experienced briefings varying from the lackadaisical to the excessively scaremongering

Next page:4 Sharks and jellyfish

The Whitsundays effectively have one giant ‘No feeding the animals’ sign

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