After farewelling Geoff’s parents this morning at 9am, we had a few more jobs to do before departing at 1:30pm for Gloucester Island. Without enough wind to sail, we motor-sailed (yes Katie we’re a motor boat again) to make it to Gloucester Passage on dusk, and anchored behind Gloucester Island for the night.
After a leisurely start to the morning, we departed Cid Harbour and headed across Whitsunday Passage for Airlie Beach. On a beam reach in 20-25 knot winds we had a fast passage across the channel and averaged 7 knots speed over ground the whole way. Dad (Frank) enjoyed some time on the helm in the breezy conditions but found the waves turning the boat challenging at times. After berthing in Abel Point Marina, Airlie Beach we had some jobs to attend to in the afternoon before heading out for a lovely dinner at the Italian Restaurant, Sorrentos.
We awoke to more rain and drizzle at Cid Harbour with clouds covering the hills and mountains of Whitsunday Island. It cleared enough in the afternoon to allow Frank, geoff and Naomi to go ashore to Sawmill Beach and climb Whitsunday Peak. We hiked up the mountain to the sounds of a flowing freshwater creek and waterfall after the rain. As we neared the top of Whitsunday Peak, fog shrouded the trees and path. Given the fog, Naomi piked before reaching the peak but Frank and Geoff continued to find Whitsunday Peak covered in mist and were unable to see any spectacular views of the Whitsundays.
Frank’s day improved as he sighted sea turtles and a dugong travelling back in the dinghy to “Ever After”. He also caught a razor wrasse and a bait fish while fishing off the back of the boat in the evening. Geoff’s day got worse as he had to stop his fishing to fix the toilet. Naomi improved everyone’s day by serving vanilla panna cotta for dessert.
After three days and nights waiting at Hamilton Island for the weather to abate, with Geoff’s parents we set sail for Whitsunday Island. We left our berth safely in the middle of a rain squall and managed to avoid three charter vessels in the Hamilton Island channel.
We encountered winds of 25-30 knots with following waves travelling between Hamilton, Henning and Whitsunday Islands and managed to maintain a respectable speed of 7 knots under furled headsail only. Unfortunately, the clouds and rain followed as we entered Hunt Channel and into Cid Harbour.
Cid Harbour proved a sheltered and protected anchorage and we enjoyed a pleasant afternoon and evening aboard “Ever After” with warm food and showers and a few games of Banangrams.
We had a lovely sleep-in this morning and woke to a strong wind warning and apparent temperatures with wind chill of 7-8 degrees. Ever After was even rocking in the marina berth.
After a lazy start to the day, we walked through the Marina Village and caught a shuttle bus across to the Hamilton Island resort for a warm lunch at Sails restaurant. We left Clymene relaxing at the resort while Frank, Geoff and Naomi hiked up to Passage Peak (Hamilton Island’s highest peak at 229m) for beautiful views and some more rain on the way down.
We also walked along Catseye Beach back to the resort. We finished the evening by catching a shuttle bus around Hamilton Island to One Tree Hill Lookout, watching the sun peaking through the clouds from the Hamilton Island Yacht Club deck and enjoyed another dinner at the Manta Ray Cafe.