The archipelago is made of 74 islands of different sizes along the coast of Queensland, Australia, 900 km North of Brisbane. Five have got resorts but most of them are inhabited.
Whisunday Island is the centre of the group. It was named by Captain Cook by mistake. He thought that he discovered it on Whitsunday, Pentecost. He was wrong.
The landforms seen from above are a blend of colours: turquoise, aqua, indigo, bottle green, yellow and white… They are protected from the ocean by the Barrier Reef, that is why the waters are relatively calm, perfect for sailing.
My adventure on the Golden Plover began. It was a wonderful sunshiny morning. It was early but I could feel already the powerful rays on my skin.
A couple of sailors help me to get into the brigantine, while the Captain was hectic welcoming each one of us.
There were already many people aboard. Folks of different ages and diverse countries. Many were from the USA and Canada, others from various European nations; there were a few Germans.
Seniors were wearing bright Summer hats and most of us had sunscreen on our skin.
After the safety instructions, we were shown the ship and its interior. We were all assigned cabins or bunks that we shared with our travelling companions. The plan was to travel around the islands for a week, have meals on board or stop and have lunch and dinner on the beaches on our itinerary. In the evening sometimes we had an option… sleeping on the beach or on the ship…
I was over the moon… You know my deepest love for sea and ocean…
We finally left the harbour at Early Beach and commenced our voyage.
The feeling of sailing in those turquoise seawaters with all those islands around us is indefinable.
We were offered breakfast and that gave us the chance to break the ice and meet our fellow travellers.
Days were beautiful. Once on the seashore the sailors organized the meals, set up tables and chairs for us. It was lovely to have delicious fresh food every day with a couple of glasses of chilled wine, happily chatting away with my new buddies. We all got on well, we were great companions.
After helping, it never took too long, I had, we had, time for ourselves.
We explored the beaches, we went bushwalking where possible and mainly we all enjoyed the white soft sand and the crystalline waters.
I was incredibly dark. I love to sunbake, even now… I always will… The sun-rays on my skin renew me, give me energy, power. To swim and relax in the pure waters was reviving and refreshing. The view around me was stunning.
I had a tiny purple bikini that suited very well my bronzed skin. On the glittering white sand, I really stood out.
The evening meals were exquisite, not only for the delicious nourishment, but mainly for the great atmosphere. We were all sitting together along the tables chatting away, laughing, having great conversations. Candles, moon and stars created the light we needed.
Someone played a guitar and we all sang along. The setting and the ambience was perfect.
Sometimes we slept on the beach. We had sleeping bags. Older people preferred to rest in their cabins. The sand was warm. The merciless sun during the day kept it that way. The firmament was awe-inspiring.
What an emotion to wake up and admire the breath-taking dawn…
Some evenings the anchor was dropped in the middle of the ocean and we all slept on the vessel, in our bunks. It was lovely to be cradled by the sea.
At night, I went up the deck and I just laid there, with my back on the wood, staring at the stars and moon, listening to the calm sea and to the brigantine steady creaking.
Some people jumped into the sea for a swim… No fear of sharks.
During the voyage we visited other islets, probably the Molle Islands, Hamilton Island and Lindeman Island… but the highlight of the trip was, without a doubt, our stay at Whitehaven Beach. I will tell you about that some other time…
I met some beautiful people during my sojourn on the Golden Plover and I have the pleasure of being still friends with them.
Travelling is not only about sight-seeing, it’s about meeting people.