We have been enjoying sailing through many of the islands in this region. They are everywhere, and you need to stay on top of things at the wheel. Currents are strong, winds have been gusty not steady, and tides play a major roll in how fast or even if you can get to where you want to go. This might be a bit like Seattle but oh so much warmer!
We did stop for 3 days of luxury at Hamilton Island marina and hit the resort pool each day. We tried to get a dive boat out to the outer reef but the weather has been too windy and choppy and the boats keep canceling their run out there. We will soon be at the most talked about location for diving in the area, Blue Pearl. That is supposed to be incredible and the visibility is very good right now. Attempts have been made for snorkeling at several islands in reefs noted for excellence but visibility has been very poor, so hopefully the Blue Pearl will make up for that.
The last few nights we have been anchored in a stunning cove of Whitsunday Island with only 3 other boats around. The water is calm. Turtles are floating around. The trees are lush green, kind of remind us of Nuka Hiva, and there are loud birds singing and some that sound like monkeys? Could there be actual monkeys on this island? The dingy engine just threw a fit and so we are going back to Hamilton (darn) for more resort marina time to get it fixed at the shop there. Not sure why it is acting up as we just had it serviced, new prop, etc, but hopefully it will be up and going and we can quickly get to that elusive Pearl dive location. (Side note: engine was serviced, and got it running. We will be testing it out today: 4/24 at our anchorage on Hook Island).
In true cruising fashion we have also been doing wood work sanding and oiling the wood. After all the definition of cruising is fixing your boat in fun and exotic locations. 🙂 Kids are almost done with the second to last lessons for their school, and the end of home schooling is now in sight. We have lost two lures but not brought on any fish. Ugh!.
Regarding Vanuatu, we have heard from some of the businesses there, and they say now a month later after the big cyclone they now are up and running but need tourist to come. The dive sites Paul dove all are still untouched and great according to news. Also the volcano in Tanna is still open for visits, and the road across Tanna is functioning again.
Paul also was just informed he has the feature article in Cruising Outpost for June on Niue! That is two in a row! Be sure to pick up a copy on June 3rd!
These islands are so wonderful. We wish we had more time, but at least we have another week or so to enjoy the region before our long run back to Brisbane.