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Old 26-09-2013, 18:57   #31
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I am an owner with Sunsail and have been to the Whitsundays and the Grenadines. I prefer the Grenadines....especially if I lived in the US and could get there easier. Here are the reasons:

1. At present exchange rates, Australia is &")@" expensive. Worse than the Caribbean

2. While the sailing there is good, there are a lot of narrow passages with strong tidal steams that drive the timing of the trip....fine if you can plan ahead. Frustrating if you don't

3. The coral is better in the Whitsundays. However, the visibility is not good at all, especially if the wind is up.

4. As has been said earlier, there are deserted islands and spendy resorts with NOTHING in between. There is no Admiralty Bay...

5. The Australian regulations on charter boats are a pain. You will have to check in twice per day.....

All of those negatives aside, here are the upsides:

1. If you like beaches, Whitsundays have more nice ones than anywhere in the Carib.

2. All of the sailing legs are short, 15 miles is a big day

3. The views from the top of the islands are breathtaking

4. That time of year the weather will be cool enough that you won't mind hiking up to the hills.....

Good luck with your trip planning.

P.S. the first time we went to the BVIs, we hated it for the reasons the OP gave. We included St John and Culebra on our second trip and that added enough variety to vault the VI into our preferred destination list. We're going back in a couple of weeks....although I don't know if we'll get Culebra this time

P.P.S. Culebra is my favorite spot that we've sailed to, worldwide so far
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Old 26-09-2013, 19:18   #32
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Oh and one other good thing about the Whitsundays as opposed to the Grenadines, NO BOAT BOYS!!!
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Old 26-09-2013, 22:30   #33
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Re: Sailing in Whitsundays

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Originally Posted by drunknsailor View Post
Oh and one other good thing about the Whitsundays as opposed to the Grenadines, NO BOAT BOYS!!!
And, in general, no tipping anywhere.

Jim
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Old 28-09-2013, 00:16   #34
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And, in general, no tipping anywhere. Jim
Well I just seen a charter yacht tipped over near the entrance of Nara Inlet, apparently the tide was a bit low.........
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Old 28-09-2013, 00:22   #35
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Re: Sailing in Whitsundays

No tipping Here is a tip!! left Brisbane 14 days ago & had the delight of 20-30kts nth winds for 600 nms. Just pulled up at Hamilton Is.

Regards Bill
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Old 28-09-2013, 01:42   #36
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Re: Sailing in Whitsundays

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Originally Posted by surfingminniwinni View Post
Well I just seen a charter yacht tipped over near the entrance of Nara Inlet, apparently the tide was a bit low.........
The area is generally very easy sailing and with the mandatory moorings in the more difficult bays there is not even much challenge anchoring these days.

However, do watch the navigation. The coral rises almost vertically from deep depths giving no warning on the depth sounder and the murky water makes the shallow patches more difficult to see. 2m tides mean that if you ground on falling tide there is little hope of getting off. Coral and gelcoat is not a good mix.

It only needs a little care, no great skill, but when everyone is relaxing and having a good time on charter boat the basics are sometimes forgotten, especially if you are not used to sailing in areas with significant tides and their associated currents.
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Old 29-09-2013, 02:17   #37
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Originally Posted by surfingminniwinni View Post

Well I just seen a charter yacht tipped over near the entrance of Nara Inlet, apparently the tide was a bit low.........
Lol we heard the guy asking for help from another charter company on the vhf saturday morning. The charter guy asks "Are you stuck bow or stern in?" After a pregnant pause, the skipper replies "Umm, I'm not sure what you mean??"

True story and the moral of the story is avoid the Whitsundays during school holidays!
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Old 29-09-2013, 02:54   #38
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Re: Sailing in Whitsundays

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Originally Posted by bill good View Post
No tipping Here is a tip!! left Brisbane 14 days ago & had the delight of 20-30kts nth winds for 600 nms. Just pulled up at Hamilton Is.

Regards Bill
Sorry to hear that Bill but there are many places to stop off and BOM give good weather forcasts to move with favourable winds. Enjoy the Whitsundays but remember cyclone season is approaching!
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Old 29-09-2013, 05:18   #39
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Re: Sailing in Whitsundays

many years ago chartered out of Airlie Beach with QYC. we found them wonderful to work with! And it was a trip that will never be forgotten
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Old 04-10-2013, 18:59   #40
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Re: Sailing in Whitsundays

why not go in early aug next year and be there for race week?

weathers spot on at that time and with 100 plus boats racing around the islands theres lots to keep you amused,


steve

25th Anniversary | Airlie Beach Race Week
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Old 07-11-2013, 18:18   #41
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Re: Sailing in Whitsundays

I'm about to start booking a Whitsunday trip in late June or early July, looking forward to a relaxing and quiet sailing trip, but just ran into a youtube video of a huge party on Whitehaven beach. Looked like every college-age kid in Australia filling the beach and boats of every kind in the bay.

Also found in Wikipedia "Hamilton Island Race Week has a number of social events at the island resort during the racing week. The most famous event is the Whitehaven Beach Party where boats from all over the Whitsunday region converge on the white sands of Whitehaven beach to drink, eat, and dance in a festival celebration to mark the end of race week." (16 - 23 August 2014)

That might be great for some, but not for me. What holidays, parties, or events that time of year (June/July) should I look to avoid before I book my dates?
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Old 07-11-2013, 18:29   #42
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Re: Sailing in Whitsundays

School holidays is the big one. Check for all states especially Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria.

Hint: the Charter Co's charge premium rates during the busiest periods.

On Whitehaven, the southern end of the beach is always busy (and the Northern end at Betty's Beach not much better). It does stretch for a few km however, so in between is much less crowded (just need to dodge the seaplanes lol). It will be more swelly than the south anchorage, but you should only consider it a daystop anchorage anyway unless the wind is light. There are a few good anchorages in close proximity for overnighting however.
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