The Whitsundays, Australia
The Whitsundays, Australia (Audrey Adamson)
After a few days in MacKay getting Lush in order we set sail for the Whitsunday islands. Martin and Bernice McCarthy (of National Yacht Club fame) joined us for the trip and were a joy to have onboard. They brought out a package from my folks. It’s just such a treat to get some handwritten letters and always a joy to get some new sunnies (thanks Clods!!).
We weren’t particularly sad to leave MacKay that’s for sure. It was just a bit too chilly for our liking, wearing long sleeve tops and jackets is just not part of the contract! The fact that we couldn’t get into any pub/bar in town, as they wanted ID from us (clearly the sun is doing our skins wonders!!??), had absolutely nothing to do with it!!!!
Now, I’ve heard so many wonderful stories of the Whitsunday islands from every Irish backpacker that’s been to Oz and boy did it live up to its reputation. It’s class to see lots of day-tripper boats along with sailing schools and weekender trips in operation, certainly a thriving marine industry (they’re certainly not plagued by the same rules and regs as Irish sailing businesses are thanks to our beloved Dept of Marine and all that unnecessary red tape!!!)
On route to the Whitsundays we pulled in at Brampton Island and on exploration ashore came across hundreds of kangaroos!!! Wow, it was just sooooo cool to see these guys, one jumped out at us unexpectedly and we got the land of our lives! We were walking around the island keeping an eye to the ground for fear of snakes and so were fully caught off the hop (excuse the pun!) when the kangaroo jumped out at us. Onto the Whitsundays and we couldn’t pass on the chance to visit Australia’s famous Whitehaven Beach, a 7km strand of white silica sand (as fine as my baking flour). Breathtaking!
There are some 74 islands in the Whitsunday group (discovered by Capt Cook in 1770) and we hardly saw them all, however we weren’t going to miss the chance at calling to Hamilton island where all the rich and famous Aussies holiday. This is an island full of activities, resorts, pools and restaurants. Everyone drives about in golf buggies. There’s just a total holiday atmosphere ashore and we had access to numerous pools around the small island. Our holidays in the Whitsundays finished up with a stylish Oyster Rally party. We all glammed up and were served the finest platter of shellfish ever. Just scrumptious!! We partied the night away and dropped our lines the following day sailing north to Cairns. LUSH sailed along the shore all the way, this was a first for us on a passage and certainly a welcome change to sail by such a spectacular mountainous coastline.
Now, in Cairns it was work as usual using this as the main pit stop of our trip. There was a seriously massive list of jobs and servicing to be tackled in the 10 days there and we were delighted to have our mighty engineer, Alan, back onboard after his two months off. He had a fantastic break back home with his wife Kizzy and daughters and was all set now to tackle LUSH and her systems!!