A Sunsail Whitsundays bareboat yacht charter.
Imagine enjoying the beautiful Australian Whitsunday Islands aboard a new Sunsail bareboat charter yacht. Well two of CharterWorld's staff were lucky enough to do just that and recently spent five days on a bareboat in the Whitsundays, exploring one of the worlds most beautiful cruising grounds ~ compliments of Sunsail Australia. Here is a journal of their fantastic experience.
JUNE 2005 - DAY ONE
Flying into Hamilton Island in the heart of the Whitsundays is an experience in itself. The views from the air are spectacular and offer a taste and promise of the beauty to come - sparkling Pacific, mountainous green islands, long sandy beaches and the occasional yacht below. Make sure you get a window seat so you can begin planning your yacht charter adventure from the air!
After being met and transferred to the base from the airport (a couple of minutes), we received a full hour long chart and location briefing, including plenty of good tips and itinerary suggestions, plus an extensive boat briefing. It needs to be mentioned right away that from start to finish Sunsail offered prompt, friendly and professional service.
Hamilton Island, located in the central Whitsunday Group, is the ideal location from which to begin your charter. The island is a beautiful holiday destination in itself, with swaying palm trees, quaint boutique shops, a pretty little palm fringed harbor and a fantastic yacht club. You?ll know you?re on holiday from the moment you arrive and with such an idyllic setting the thought of a night or two in port, is actually rather appealing. We are on Island time now!
Our Beneteau 423 bareboat offered plenty of space to comfortably accommodate three couples in cabins ? all with double berths and private ensuite heads. The boat was fully equipped with good boat and location information including a great local cruising guide called ?100 Magic Miles of the Great Barrier Reef? which is clear, yet comprehensive. The charter yacht was also cleaned and ready - and finished off with a few little luxuries including spa therapy toiletries, a coffee plunger and a very enjoyable bottle of Australian Red.
After enjoying the first night in the comfort of the modern Hamilton Island Marina, we set sail for famous Whitehaven Beach. Whitehaven stretches for 16 miles along Whitsunday Island?s eastern shore and is one of the most photographed nature reserve beaches in the world ~ rightly so! On approach, you will be awed by the startling intensity of the pure white sand and the dense blues and greens in the water. These clear tropical waters are home to an abundance of sea life including mammoth turtles and playful dolphins. We also kept an eye out to catch a glimpse of the migrating whales which frequent these waters each year.
Our mooring for the night was Tongue Bay, a protected anchorage around the northern tip of Whitehaven Beach. Tongue Bay offers three public moorings, one of which we were fortunate enough to secure, ensuring a relaxing sleep for all. From Tongue Bay one can take an energetic walk up the hill to a lookout, offering spectacular panoramic views of the stunning Whitehaven Beach, Hill Inlet and the surrounding islands. This short walk is definitely worth the visual reward. Make sure you take your camera as you?ll want to capture every moment of this experience.
As the last of the fading sun sank down below the horizon, we settled into the roomy cockpit, with a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and sat silently appreciating our first magical day in the beautiful Whitsundays.
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