Well we’re back on dry land, or it would be if it wasn’t still raining….
We had a bit of a tough go with weather on our cruise, lots of wind, 25 – 30 knots most days which made for rather lumpy sailing, as well as cloudy days with some rain and cool temperatures in the low 20s. That said we still managed to have a great time exploring the islands, snorkeling on the fringing reefs and relaxing on the Solway Lass. Our crew was very knowledgeable about the history and marine life of the area and we had a great cook on board keeping us very well fed. Isaac did great on the trip and was a huge hit with the crew!
Highlights of the trip included spotting dolphins and turtles, snorkeling with hundreds of different kinds of fish, wading with stingrays and sharks, exploring beautiful whitehaven beach and just getting to sail on the 110 year old Solway Lass, a steel hull square rigged ship originally built in the Netherlands. It made it through two world wars changing sides multiple times and was sunk at least once; it saw shipping service throughout the worlds oceans and was abandoned in Fiji before it was rediscovered and then restored in the 80’s for a fleet reenactment during Australia’s bicentennial celebrations. Since 1999 it’s been retired, that is its been sailing around the Whitsunday Islands which is something I would definitely like to do again, hopefully with a bit more sunshine next time though!
We arrived back in port Friday at 4pm and found a cabin at a caravan park in Airlie beach for the night where we all felt a bit like the ground was moving after 3 days on a rocking boat! Today we drove to Rockhampton about 5 hours south and will check out a few things in the area before moving on again. Next stop will be the town of 1770 and then the sunshine coast!