Border, Haslewood and Whitehaven

Having not been out yet to Border Island this was next on our list (along with Whitehaven beach and a rubbish clean up at Haslewood). We set off in the morning to go and discover this island passing up through Hook Passage to get to Border, which is an interesting part of water in terms of tidal flow and eddies. It took us most of the day to get out there and when we arrived all the moorings were full but there was still sufficient room to anchor outside of the protected zone and we found a spot not too deep at 12 metres.

Once all secured and happy we still had time to head off for a walk along the beach and up the hill that had magnificent views over to the other side. After coming back down we checked out the bay’s northern beach.

The following morning it was off for a snorkel. First we moved off anchor and onto a mooring. A boat (with no English speaking crew) had decided to anchor themselves a little too close for comfort so we thought we would move to save the hassle, and considering we were planning to leave after our snorkel anyway. So onto the mooring then off we slid into the water for our snorkel. It was fantastic and a place I hope we get to visit again. Unfortunately we didn’t bring the camera so we have no evidence, sorry. The water was clear and there was a variety of shallow and deep snorkelling, which is always interesting, oh, and lots of coral variety.

After our snorkel we had some breakfast then threw the line off to head to Windy Bay. The wind was going to be picking up later that day and Windy Bay provides good protection. After arriving we chilled out for the afternoon ready for our big rubbish clean-up day tomorrow. Well tomorrow came and off we went.

We then continued to the main beach at Windy Bay, and then over to the other side (Whites Bay). We didn’t get the whole of Whites Bay completed unfortunately, that would have taken another day. But we did get a good pile. As per a conversation on the Women Who Sail Australia group if you are in the Whitsundays and do collect more rubbish than what you are able to bring with you, leave it in as ideal position as possible as to not end up back in the environment and get in contact with the Eco Barge (www.ecobargecleanseas.org.au) who will try to get there to pick up at some time.

Later we sat on the deck and contemplated the beauty of this place and our individual roles of impact that we have on the environment and other living creatures. Let’s face it we unnecessarily consume and that is the beginning of the problem. As found in the enlightening Vedic Yoga teachings, we need to find happiness within, rather than looking for external, material items to fill our voids. That is the solution to the environmental problem.

The next day we headed off down to Chalkies in a search for internet but to no avail so we sailed over to Whitehaven to walk this icon beach and spend the night. With the wind expected to pick up we tucked in behind between the reef and the bommie. And yeah we saw a turtle straight up! Despite the crowds that were there during the day, once they went home it really was a serene place.

Now the wind did pick up, so we were a little bit nervous being in such a tight situation if we dragged. The wind was still blowing in the morning and I noticed that the cardinal mark for the bommie had disappeared (somewhere between 4am and 7am)…hmmm…that could be interesting. We decided to walk the beach and then we would head off back to Airlie.

Well it was time to say goodbye. With tide nor wind being agreeable to go through Solway Pass we went back up around the top of Whitsunday Island doing a comfortable 5 – 6 knots downwind. Then we went around the very lumpy top back into Hook passage. Always interesting this passage, best to be on the ball. Not too far in from the entrance we experienced some ‘confusing’ conditions with smooth water being met by rough water and waves, along with some really strong bullets of wind. We were like what the!? But it only lasted a few minutes luckily. The wind remained strong and we were on a close haul with main and headsail reefed. She was sitting nicely as she always does in her so far apparently favourite position of upwind sailing. From Hook to Airlie we were no longer close hauled but here the waves picked up with white tips across the bay. To cap off another interesting sail we also got a rain squall, the strongest we had been in yet. It was a complete white out but we had plenty of open space to move in while it passed (which didn’t take long). Well a change of clothes and then it was pretty much time to anchor. Back in Airlie again.

Fair Winds,

Radha and Pam

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