With thanks to:
Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

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Easy like Whitsunday

8: The verdict

Personally, I canít wait to sail the Whitsundays again. If youíre looking for a totally relaxing holiday spent lying in the sun with only a few hours motoring, then the Whitsundays might not be for you. The islands certainly get their fair share of balmy conditions ó but then again you might get a windy week, and Iím not sure our conditions even qualified as unusual. If, however, youíre happy doing a spot of sunbathing and snorkelling but equally keen to get your teeth into some proper sailing, then they should definitely be top of your list.

Likewise, if you enjoy pulling into a different port with new bars and restaurants to try every night, the Whitsundays are not what thatís all about. Whether you do your own shopping or go for a provisioned option, make sure you have enough food and water to survive for several days on board, as the Whitsundays are all about glorious isolation ó swinging on your anchor, showering off the back of the boat, and spending the evenings watching the sun go down from the cockpit, with the barbie smoking gently in the background. Chartering with a local operator such as Rent a Yacht certainly has its advantages, and our boat proved robust and seaworthy (apart from an unfortunate leak in the forepeak as a few of the more determined waves forced their way in to soak our bed). Whatís more, the Jeanneau had the distinct advantage of looking different from the front and the back ó not always the case of purpose-built charter boats ó which made it surprisingly rewarding to sail.

Rent a Yacht were very accommodating, and their handovers were particularly low-hassle. But their booking procedures proved exasperatingly high in hassle-factor, with umpteen repetitive forms to fill in, and annoying extra expenses (a non-refundable AU$200 damage deposit for example, surely if you havenít damaged the boat you should get your deposit back?).

But overall, itís pretty hard to worry about the little things when youíre either blasting along in a breeze or stretched out on a blissful beach with sand as far as the eye can see. And for me, that combination of relaxation and excitement makes for the ultimate sailing holiday.

With thanks to:
Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

Previous page:7 Surfing home

We popped the sails up and headed north, enjoying some high-speed surfing

Next page:9 Further information

Australia is a dauntingly long way away for many people

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