The Big Trip: The Whitsundays

If you watched our most recent vlog, available here if you haven’t watched it, you’ll know that we did a 3-day, 3-night sailing trip on The Whitsundays on a ship called the Solway Lass.  This was one of the few things that was on our must do list when we were originally planning this trip and we’re so glad we did it.

The Solway Lass is a two-masted schooner originally built in the Netherlands and we chose to do this trip over the many others as it offered an opportunity to travel on board an actual sailing ship, a proper pirate experience.

We caught our bus from just up the road from our hostel and it took us straight to Abell Point Marina to board the ship.  After a quick safety briefing we were shown to our cabins and we set sail to Hook Passage where we anchored for the night.

We had a private double room which consisted of a double bed with a single bunk above.  As we weren’t sharing with anyone else we were able to use the additional bunk as storage space seen as how the floor space was very limited.  Whilst there were some cabins on board with their own sink and toilet, we didn’t opt for one since they were quite a bit more expensive.  There were communal toilets and shower facilities, two stalls in each of the men’s and women’s bathrooms.  Since water for showering and the toilets is limited to what can be carried in the on board tank, showering time is limited.  We didn’t find this to be a problem though since we were used to limited shower facilities in some of the hostels we had stayed in.

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The following day we set sail for our first location, Whitehaven Beach.  The 4.3-mile (7-kilometre) beach is famous for its white sand and is a popular tourist spot.  Fortunately we arrived early in the day, the benefit of being moored within the islands rather than sailing from Airlie Beach.  The sand is 98% silica and is extremely fine so tends to get absolutely everywhere!

Unfortunately it was quite windy when we arrived so we donned our stinger suits and went for a swim in the hopes of swimming with the turtle we’d seen.

After our swim we got back on the ship and sailed round to Tongue Bay where we anchored so we could walk up the Hill Inlet.  The walk and the outlet are a popular spot with tourists as they give a view down onto Whitehaven Beach.  It was quite busy when we arrived making it quite difficult to get a decent view past all the selfie sticks!

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As the weather was closing in and a big storm was due to hit that evening we anchored at Nara Inlet.  The crew set up a light so we could watch fish being eaten by cuttlefish and squid.  We freaked out a bit when the barracudas started eating the squid and a big hammerhead shark caught a barracuda!

The following morning we went for a swim in the rain.  It was great fun using the rope swing and bombing into the water.

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After our swim we sailed to Black Island to go snorkelling.  It was amazing to be able to see the beautiful coral and all the different brightly coloured fish.  We also had the ultimate bucket list moment when we got to swim with a turtle.  You can see it all in our video.

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That evening we anchored in Black Pearl Bay for our final night.  The next morning we had the opportunity to snorkel around the bay.  As both of us were feeling really tired we decided to stay in the dinghy.  It was great as we got to feed the fish, we even got to hand feed the massive Humphead Wrasse called Priscilla!

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We had an absolutely wonderful time and met some of the most amazing people.  The crew on board were awesome, the food was fantastic and we loved our cosy cabin.  We’d do it all over again if we could!

Featured photo borrowed from here

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