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Another Whitsunday question????
Many thanks for all the great info, just a question for anyone who has been to Whitehaven Beach, did you approach it or even depart it through the Solway Passage or did you come down from the North after Hill Inlet and then head north again, the 100 Magic Miles advises that trailer sailers should not attempt that passage but I suppose unless it very high winds it should be okay, it also says not to attempt Fitzalan Passage or around Long Island, did that pose a problem for anyone and did you avoid the whole of the southern Whitsunday Island / Hamilton Island area???? We are looking at about 8 days of sailing so we are heading from Abel Point for South Molle Island, then over to Cid Harbour, onto Nara and Macona Inlets, then onto Hill Inlet and down to Whitehaven, we are keen to head to Hamilton Island but all fingers point away from that area???? Anyone have any advice!!!!!! again any info is greatly appreciated,

Nick26-Jan-2003    Edit    Delete 
Whitsundays
Well we did / went thru all those spots from both directions but like all sailing in new locations we were conservative and picked our winds and tides went thru Solway. Each time 3 or 4 with the motor down and running...usually around slack tides and under/around 20 knots SE We did see an RL 24 hammering thru Solway fullsail no motor two up (we a had a reef) on one of our choppier trips thru...spoke to the fella later he seemed pretty relaxed about it and explained it was a test sail for a new boat! ( Yup he bought it)Hill Inlet is a little hard to spot and you need to be there on the last of the ingoing tide or at high tide... A low tide approach is perplexing as the entrance almost disappears and the banks you sail over are 2m out of the water! Fitz Pass can be gusty and bulletty but no more so than the Gippy Lakes or anywhere else...It all depends on wind direction tide direction and the time of day. We always had the VHF radio in good nick and usually kept touch with another boat ....The Charter companies run morning and arvo check ins and this is an invaluable source of info re passage times and best anchorages for the night...call into Airlie Beach and chat with the yatch shop people or one of the hire co.s for frequencies and times. Usually they are reluctant to track boats other than their own but this may have changed and there may be a coast guard sched you can use. Final advice is perfect your reefing and carry a storm jib if you can or sail jib free on windy days. start off conservative each day, and shake it out if bored later in the morning once the wind fills in. Went little further than Long island paid the $70 to moor there amongst a building site! Noisey and overly busy during rennos last year we wished we'd tied up in the mangroves one beach closer to Airlie and saved the loot. The circult you mention seems the regular route roughly ...If its likely to be strong winds for your 8 days and offshore consider a coastal run towards Bowen stopping at Double bay, Orlandos and Gloster Pass/Monties then pulling out at Bowen-and bus-ing back..we reckon this was a good warm up and under played in 100 magic miles...it was pretty quite when we did it in Oct ..both in # of Boats and weather. If your time is short and its blowing resist the temptation to go if not confident. Better to be late than wringing wet and a little shaken..after all its a holiday! I've emailed our phone number to you if you would like to have a talk..we are no experts but we do have an RL perspective...
Wayne Hill26-Jan-2003    Edit    Delete 
Whitsundays sailing
We cheated,chartering a Benateau 40 from Sunsail ,Hamilton Island:But we cruised through Solway passage,South to North,(picking the tide and winds carefully),and wondered what 1000 Magic miles was making all the fuss about.But when we got to Hill lookout and saw a trailer/sailer motoring up the inlet;2 of us RL24 owners on board wish we had had them with us.Would love to return to the Whitsundays with a t/s but it's a long way from WA.Anybody on the East coast MUST do it.Don't forget the fun of tying up to a palm tree on long? Island.Just hope you get more favorable wind and weather than we did in August 2000 (pre race week) when it rained most days and blew S.E.25-30 knots.
Neil Ensor28-Jan-2003    Edit    Delete 
Whitsundays
The Solway Passage and Fitzalan Passage question has an easy answer. We went through both in our Hartley 18 years ago en route from Cid Harbour to Whitehaven. The secret is to travel in the same direction as the tide. Wind against tide can do some nasty things in that part of the world, so factor both into your plans. And be prepered to hole up soewhere for a day or ten if it gets blowy. Any crossing of Whitsunday passage should also be wind with tide in any sort of fresh breeze.

Enjoy

Mike

Mike3-Feb-2003    Edit    Delete 

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