Who would have thought that you could hire a 40 foot luxury yacht for about the same price as a posh hotel room and sail around tropical paradise without any formal qualifications?!? Well that's essentially the size of things in the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia ... an opportunity like this is too good to be missed!
We spent 7 days cruising around the many islands with Gill's parents Mike and Maggie and it was one heck of an adventure. You'll notice two types of boats featured in the pictures / videos below and that's because we pranged the first one! Not our fault of course, merely in the wrong place (boat on beach) at the wrong time (low tide). First Golden Rule - think twice when letting somebody else park your boat.
The Whitsundays are naturally blessed with beautiful aquamarine seas, white silica sand beaches, lush tropical vegetation, good snorkeling and easy navigation for novice sailors. The only annoyance to speak of were the giant flies that seemed to take great pleasure in landing on you in a stealthy manner and then drawing blood with their sharp fang. Second Golden Rule - stay armed during daylight hours with a damp tea-towel.
All in all, a great trip. Our thanks to the Whitsunday Private Yacht Charters company for the opportunity and all of their assistance.
Update: Whitsunday Private Yacht Charters is no more since 2011 (R.I.P.). But you can make enquiries with Cumberland Charter Yachts who offer similar packages and also operate out of Airlie Beach.