|Imagine yourself sailing on a 65ft Schooner surrounded by islands, magnificent boats, white sands, blue skies, gliding on crisp waters like glass displaying a whole new world below – coral, hundreds of fish species of vibrant colours – it’s the Whitsunday Islands in Queensland, Australia. It’s easy to get there and at a very affordable price.
Sailing on the “Iluka”, for three days, two nights is a must – even if you don’t have sailing experience or knowledge. You can be guaranteed to leave this adventure more the wiser and, like myself, even addicted to sailing.
The “Iluka” with its sails, trimmings and beautifully maintained wood and of course the beautiful scenery really had you feeling that you were on a great adventure. The boat only takes 16 passengers in one double cabin, one twin cabin and 4 cabins with a double and a single above.The bunks were sizeable and comfortable to sleep on. There is a lounge area and eating area and plenty of room on deck for lounging around in the sun or sleeping under the stars at night.
The journey begins from our hotel where we are picked by bus to take us to Able Point Marina where we help stow all the gear and begin feeling that we are already part of the crew.
The crew were absolutely terrific. throughout your trip, not only did they teach you about sailing and get you involved (if you wish to), they also provided you with information about the Whitsunday’s, its geography and history. On a lighter note, they also entertained you.
Iluka1.jpg (17820 bytes)Each day the crew would whip-up the most amazing banquets. You certainly did not leave the trip undernourished!There were three main meals each day – each meal was never the same and varied from fresh king prawns and salads to roast beef and cooked steamed vegetables. Nibblies were also supplied.The only thing you had to take was alcohol.
Snorkels and flippers are provided if you fancy yourself as a diver and really, this is a must. You don’t have to be a keen swimmer to do this. Wading in the crisp water amongst the abundance of brightly coloured fish and coral is just simply amazing. We met up with dive boats for those that would like to scuba dive and see the Whitsundays from another angle. Paragliding is also made available too at just a small fee so it is handy to take along cash if you wish to embark on these latter activities.
However, just because you are sailing does not mean that you don’t do anything else. You do make contact with land during this time. One of the stops is Whitehaven Beach and as the name suggests, it has the most incredible white sand and sand dunes. Here you can either soak in the sun or explore the island.