Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wandering Whitsunday

We are spending our time meandering around the Whitsunday Islands with no particular destination in mind. Each day we need to eventually choose a secure anchorage for the night. The wrong choice means a night of rock and rolling: no sleep on board: cranky crew! We chose Nara Inlet as our base for a few days. On the charts it looked rather cosy. It wasn't. 70 yachts were barely visible in the expanse of this inlet.

We rode our dinghy up into the upper reaches of Nara Inlet. We were keen to see ancient rock art: not the kind pictured below. Fortunately most of this vandalism was several decades old.
National Park graffiti.
This rock art belongs to the Ngaro people who have inhabited the area for thousands of years. Descendants now help in the preservation of traditions. A few simple images were visible from a viewing platform within a shallow cave. Archeological excavations have established that the Ngaro people had been living here prior to the fall in the sea level over 9,000 years ago.

On the way back down the rock stairs the stunning colours of water views again amazed us. How quickly our eyes and brains reverted to expecting the earthy colours of more familiar locations.


Glenn rushing down to save our dinghy from school kids

The Whitsunday Islands are close to the main land, and are much bigger and higher than we expected. They are actually part of the continent of Australia, and not coral islands as we imagined. This area was a mountain range prior to the end of the last ice age 9,000 years ago. The palm trees we saw were generally planted for the tourist. The Whitsunday Islands are mostly densely wooded with hoop pines and regular Aussie looking bush.

The main attraction of this area for boat owners is that it is a wonderful sailing area. The waters are flat without ocean swell, and anchorages are frequent. The snorkelling is good and the water is very clear. It is easy to find a quiet area all to yourself.

Australian magic!

Sea Trek III looking very relaxed.

Now here's a miracle. Jen decided that the water was warm enough and obviously "shark free" enough to go snorkelling! Yes folks, it has been years since this last happened. She wants to explore more sites for coral tomorrow!

Who is this woman?

Sailing creates opportunities to achieve personal goals. Hans and Burnie of SV Brahminy invited us over to share their special celebration. Today they have finally sailed into the Whitsundays. They are also happy and adventurous bird watchers who love to share their knowledge with us.

Bird fanciers: Full of happy chirps!

Finally: Oyster Pluckers (using new camera).

We don't eat oysters. Do you?

The next photos are included to help explain why I find Queensland all so crazy. Hamilton Island is just around the corner. It's a world away from our experiences of this area. These buildings are so inappropriate, and it's just a lazy form of architecture to have the international office-block style buildings here.

Glad not to be in there.

Glenn was excited by the prospect of "good fish and chips" at Hamilton Island but it's school holidays and the marina is booked out. Oh the tragedy of it all.



  1. We are really happy that you are enjoying yourselves, we look forward in reaching the Whitsundays next year Cheers Ines & Steve

  2. Hi Glenn & Jen, Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog - it makes my work day bearable :-). Nine months and counting!!. Take care, Lynne

  3. Thanks, Lynne & Andrew, ins & Steve, I know you will all love it up here! The sailing in QLD is so much more relaxed. Speaking of work days Jen & I will be looking to do some work over the cyclone season :(

    Speak soon.