Whitsunday Islands (Whitehaven Beach) - 20 17.506S 149 03.215E

Mike and Liz Downing
Fri 12 Jul 2013 11:57
The most famous beach in the Whitsunday Islands and one of the most famous in Australia, Whitehaven Beach, and we're anchored off it for the night. Haven't been ashore yet as the tides meant we couldn't get here until this afternoon and it was a grey, overcast day, so decided to wait until tomorrow. This is one anchorage which is well known for rolling (the wind and swell come from different directions so the swell causes the boat to roll from side to side, sometimes quite violently). To try and stop it we have a second anchor out at the stern to try and keep the bows into the swell rather than the wind. That way the boat goes up and down fore and aft rather than rolling from side to side and is a lot more comfortable. We're having moderate success as generally it's working, but we didn't decide to put it out until it was getting dark and haven't got the stern anchor in the best place. We deployed it from the boat (going back on the chain and then bringing it in again) rather than the dinghy, which still needs to be pumped up (another reason for not going ashore!). The wind has still been blowing 20-30kts and although the passage was only just over 13 miles, one part of it was just a bit too exciting as we went through the pass between two islands to get to the beach with a big breaking cross sea that threatened to join us onboard on several occasions. With the tide with us we shot through the pass at close to 9kts. The seas were flat once through. A lot of places are just overnight stops along the way and we head off the next day, but the Whitsundays are one of those places that deserve a few days to explore and we hope to do that before moving on again.

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