When you think about the Whitsundays, you usually conjure up thoughts of warm glowing sun, crystal blue skies and water warmer than a hug from your nanna.
Well i think it is also necessary to add a whole bucket of torrential rain and perpetually being a sticky mess thanks to a not-so-lovely coating of sweat, sunscreen and humidity. That was the reality when I went sailing through the Whitsunday islands at the end of cyclone season, this may sound like a rant of a miserable getaway, but i assure you it was glorious. I don’t do resorts or get mani-pedi combos by the hotel pool– that is just not how I want to experience things, so even though I was drenched with rain for the first couple of days I set foot on our yacht and my fingers were turning into prunes, it was truly refreshing to just disconnect from my phone and enjoy nature. (My willpower is not that strong to just unplug from technology for a week — being in the middle of the ocean with no reception definitely helps, and far more relaxing than any digital-detox retreat.)
Before anyone thinks I’m the next Jessica Watson-sailing superstar; I think I should admit that I have never sailed before, I didn’t even know that there are nautical terms for the left side (port) and right side (starboard) of boats. So needless to say I wasn’t too confident to be sent on my way after one 4 hour briefing, I just made sure to pay extra attention on how to call MAY-DAY in the event our 40-foot yacht starts taking in water. One of us had some sailing experience, but overall we all learnt a lot on how to navigate the seas and it felt like an accomplishment after every day we set sail and made it to our destination safely.
So I didn’t do the usual things like snorkel the Great Barrier Reef or hang out in a resort on Hamilton Island, but I did explore rockpools and waterfalls on untouched islands and witnessed the most stunning rose-tinted sunsets, and made a couple of turtle friends a long the way. When you’re stuck on a boat with no reception you don’t really get a sense of #FOMO, all you can do is lower your anchor, pour yourself a cold drink, crack open the chips and just watch the sun silently slip past the horizon of the ocean, and then you gotta think “this is pretty good.”