For the love of the ocean, paradise is seen out on the reef and felt by the experience of sailing.
After a year and half of living in the Whitsundays, I haven’t let myself enjoy enough time being a tourist. I don’t believe we can truly appreciate what this sea side town has to offer by sticking to the mainland. We meet locals, backpackers, boaties and fellow Australians that come to our town to feel the sunshine, heat and lifestyle that isn’t known in the cities or country towns.
The true magnificence is the big blue that backdrops Airlie Beach. We have the opportunity to leave our responsibilities at the Marina and sail off into the unknown and discover our environment more intimately, something to be treasured. There are a number of boats and companies that offer trips overnight, or longer. I had the chance to travel through OzSail and was off on the sailing yacht of Mandrake.
After a long week of working nights I welcomed the 3 day/2 night break. I had never done anything like this, out of a comfort zone and ready to go along for the ride.
After turning up to my group, I soon noticed I was the only Australian guest, not so uncommon for our backpacker town. Five Germans, two Asians, one French and myself. With a warm welcome and friendly hello, the skipper of Mandrake, Paul, promised they’ll look after me. With a massive smile our host Laura welcomed us on board and from leaving the Marina until we arrived back, both her and Paul went above and beyond to assure our safety, security and smiles.
Sailing off into the sunset was beautiful to say the least. We were surrounded by rain in the distance and the island of Australia behind us. Conversations flowed of who we are and where everyone was from. Laura was our host, tour guide, Paul our skipper and they soon became our friend. With rain and roughness expected, we were still promised a trip of a lifetime.
“I love the sunsets, the wildlife and meeting all the people that come on board! I love sailing…” – Laura, OzSail host
The first day we woke up and got excited for Whitehaven Beach. Whitehaven is one of the most picturesque spots in Australia. Voted as one of the top twelve beaches in the world by Trip Advisor, it is well known for not only tourists around the world, but photography, filming and a wedding destination. It can see up to 350 people a day from the tourism industry in peak season and the visitors are still swarming in to swim in the blue sea and wander through national parks and along the white strand.
Taking time out to relax, bury my feet in the sand and zone out to the calm water and rolling clouds is exactly what I needed. Wandering up to Hill Inlet you can see why this is one of the most striking places on Earth and why it is captured as paradise.
Most days we expected to enter the stillness, but as this is Queensland it wouldn’t be true without a little roughness above the ocean. Jumping into the sea the water below was calm but chaotic with life. Water temperatures were warm and you soon become lost amongst the aquatic ecosphere. With so much life surrounding you, it feels like you’re accepted into a new world.
This is why we have so much demand on tourism and OzSail will meet those needs.
Paul educates us on the species we are visiting and it is obvious this isn’t just a job to the crew, but their passion. To sail the Whitsundays is an option, but to sail with a company that have love for our environment that they see daily, is a charm.
Our last morning was astounding. We woke up and dived into Blue Pearl Bay. One of the captains favourite spots for free diving and all of us were able to be encapsulated by the beauty. Blue Pearl Bay was beloved.
As our trip came to an end, we relaxed or even gave our best to try sail the boat ourselves. I left with new friends, an amazing experience and eagerness to get back to paradise one day soon.