Solway Lass

Excited to discover the Whitsundays !

Excited to discover the Whitsundays !

Crystal  blue waters, colourful reefs, white sand beaches & green hills covered by rainforests overlooking infinite sugar cane fields are the setting for Airlie Beach, a small coastal town in the south of Queensland. The town itself is a rather touristic place with heaps of apartments, hostels, shopping streets, … Not really my favourite destination but it happened to be the getaway to a place I dreamed of for many many years… the idyllic Whitsunday Islands!

Hundreds of options to explore the Whitsundays… Renting a boat is an option but if you’re into a guided sailing trip, there are 3 criteria to be considered to make the ‘perfect’ choice… 1- The lenght of your journey 2- Which kind of boat and 3- The daily ‘promotional’ offers.  Don’t hesitate to hop in different agencies and bargain for prices.

Our choice was this magnificent ship... Solway Lass

Our choice was this magnificent ship… Solway Lass

After many hours of consideration, we opted for a 3-days/3-nights sailing cruise on the old 1902 vessel ‘Solway Lass’   By ‘we’ I mean my travel buddies Collin – a Dutch dive instructor & tour guide – Nicole, a German girl, assistent to the CEO in the port of Hamburg and Andrea, a German interior designer from Karlsruhe.

It felt unreal to finally be here, a few miles away of the beautiful Whitsundays!
The Whitsundays form the largest group of islands on the Australian coast and count 74 islands located right in the centre of the largest reef on earth, the Great Barrier Reef.  The Whitsundays offer a treasure trove of colourful sights & activities such as swimming with the marine life, amazing island coral reefs, pure white sandy beaches, crystal blue waters, … It seemed paradise on earth!
Great momentz with Cathelijn & Nicole @ Whitehaven Beach

Great momentz with Cathelijn & Nicole @ Whitehaven Beach with our sexy stingray suites

Exploring it in the ancient ‘Solway Lass’ was the best choice I could ever make!  With a length of 127ft, 10 sails & a magnificent wooden structure, the Solway Lass provided us with an authentic & romantic feel of a bygone sailing era.

On the first night we were welcomed by the crew Elliot, Brandon, Lauren, Zahailey & the captain, Reg. All great people and off we were to our first destination for the night… Macona inlet, meeting some of our fellow passengers such as Cathelijn from Holland, Finn & Larissa from Germany, Anais & Adrian from Spain, … to name a few.

Sand football with the Spanish & Italian dudes

Sunset sand football with the Spanish & Italian dudes

The next morning we sailed to Tongue Bay and walked through the rainforest to the Hill inlet lookout of the worlds renomated ‘Whitehaven Beach’ with breathtaking views.  We spent the morning on that beauiful white sand beach, wearing the unavoidable stingray suites if we wanted to go swimming due to the deadly stingrays in the exotic waters.  in the afternoon we sailed with a gentle breeze to Hook’s Passage relaxing on the sundecks & in the bow net.

At sunset we enjoyed a delicious ship made bbq on deck.  In the morning we went snorkeling in Mackerel Bay followed by some beach time on a long white sand  stretch and more snorkeling for those who wanted in Langford Reef.  Alvaro & Adrian, 2 Spanish guys & myself got into a small sand football competition on the beach against Jacobo, Andrea & Alex, the 3 Italian dudes on the ship.

Captain's 'Hal Yard' to raise the sails... Great fun!

Captain’s ‘Hal Yard’ to raise the sails… Great fun!

We spent all afternoon on that long stretch of white sand beach and enjoyed a unique sunset in the Whitsunday Islands.  The last day, we sailed to Caves Cove for a dive to explore the colourful reefs & fishes.  Amazing views, great people, delicious food, swimming, snorkeling, relaxing, sunbathing, diving & sailing the prevailing Whitsundays breezes taking in the beauty of the islands were the main ingrediënts of the journey.  Assisting the captain ‘Hal Yard’ to raise the massive sails & swing the famous Tarzan rope while at anchor provided really fun momentz as well…

It took some time to make up our mind but we did the perfect choice! If you’re into an authentic journey without big parties and into a genuine experience, I would definitely opt for Whitsunday’s Magnificent Tall Ship built in 1902 in Holland… Solway Lass !

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