sailing vessel Sänna

Blogs from our sailing vessel Sänna. Eastwards from England to New Zealand... & sailing circumnavigation.

30 April 2021 | Lockdown in England
14 April 2021 | Lockdown - Nottingham, England
31 March 2021 | Winterton-on-Sea, Norfolk, England
09 March 2021 | Vista Mar, Panama
17 February 2021 | Sherwood, Nottingham, England
07 February 2021 | Sherwood, England
28 January 2021 | In national lockdown, Nottingham, England
28 December 2020 | Nottingham, England
20 October 2020 | Vista Mar, Panama
23 April 2020 | Vista Mar, Panama
08 March 2020 | Boca Chica, Panama
25 February 2020 | Curu Wildlife Refuge, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
17 February 2020 | Bahiá Ballena, Costa Rica
17 January 2020 | Marina Papagayo, Costa Rica
16 December 2019 | Playa Del Coco, Costa Rica
11 December 2019 | San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua
28 November 2019 | Puesta Del Sol, Nicaragua
08 November 2019 | Amapala, Honduras
28 October 2019 | Bahiá Del Sol, El Salvador

Wot’s it with the Whitsundays?

28 September 2011 | Whitsunday Islands, Queensland.
Dave
Photo: Sänna, Lindeman Island Anchorage

Even back in the UK we'd heard about the Glorious Whitsunday Islands off central Queensland. "A Sailing Paradise" and we were now not so far away...

As we crept our way south downwind through the wild Hinchinbrook Channel to Bowen I was at last grateful to lose the relentless SE trade winds which had made our passage from the Torres Straights to Cairns so miserable. Not so now. Our decision to wait a couple of months in Port Douglas gave us the chance to travel around the interior of this stunning country and to use the wind change that Aussie sailors had told us would come at the end of the dry season. And here they were. We now had gentle downwind and beam reach NE winds allowing us to make very good progress. But, as ever, we were never far off the relentless Queensland coast.

My brother Gary joined me onboard in Cairns to help sail Sanna down to Mackay whilst Marie returned to the UK with Henry. Unfortunately, his school year is beginning and his three month sabbatical touring Australia with us in our hired camper van has ended. Gary and I would knock off a couple of hundred miles southwards until Marie returned. He knows his stuff does my brother; but he's Commodore of his local sailing club and we had to adhere to protocol a little more than Marie and I are used too. We easily made Bowen Harbour and so Gary and I, armed with a free copy of the unbelievably complex '100 Magic Miles' cruising guide, tacked our way into a northerly wind from our overnight anchorage in Woodwark Bay to the first of the 'magical' Whitsunday anchorages on the east side of Hayman Island. We both enjoyed more dream sailing and my brother eagerly played with the sails to squeeze out the extra knot of speed. When we dropped sail and motored into the bay we found it was rammed with charter boats and big plastic pig cruisers, anchored so close together that any swing in the current instantly wrought collision havoc. WOW! Later in the evening we smiled and laughed as a huge antique tripper boat with party music blaring onboard thrust his massive bow spit over us in a typical Aussie attempt to force us off the mooring buoy we'd managed to pick up to stay overnight. I've long since learned the only way to deal with these Alpha Australians is to drop your trousers and bare your arse but I couldn't get my Commodore brother to do it...

We slipped the buoy early light next morning and left, a little disillusioned to say the least. We again caught a good northerly and worked our way through the impressively scenic Islands and channels, avoiding numerous chartered catamarans, even queuing to pass through the narrows between Hook Island and the northern tip of the main Whitsunday Island. I gave these Islands my best attention and I have to say they are not as beautiful or as comparable as the remote Island groups we'd passed through off Arnhem Land, east of Darwin making for Gove. But they are very nice and I can see why most folks are impressed. I sometimes think Marie and I are a little too 'beautiful islanded out'. Eventually, we veered south east to the south of Hamilton Island on the back of an increasing NW wind that gave fast downwind sailing under full out headsail. We only just missed a huge hump backed whale that dived just before Gary could get his equally huge zoom lens attached to his camera.... and just before sundown we dropped anchor in the beautiful bay east of Lindeman Island. This was perfect; with only a few other yachts around, this was out of bounds and a little too far for the charter fleets. The next morning we took the dingy ashore over a stunning beach and walked a good few miles through the fabulous grasslands and forests... until we found a Club Med all inclusive resort over the next headland.

The Commodore paid the $70 fee for day visitors and we sat with holiday guests through the all you can eat buffet. We sat and laughed by the pool, drinking fizzy Aussie beer from plastic glasses and watched a throng of holidaymakers swinging through pool activity exercises to blaring music, presumably to keep them fit and tanned. This was exceptionally good brotherly bonding...

We drew anchor the next morning and headed south under sail for Mackay. But I will be back with Marie. She's excited about seeing the Whitsunday Islands...
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Please visit our SV Sänna website for more details of our circumnavigation voyage from the UK. Also at www.facebook.com/SV.Sanna. Like our Facebook page if you'd like to receive more news about our sail adventure. You can contact us here.
Vessel Name: Sänna
Vessel Make/Model: Ocean 50 (Bavaria)
Hailing Port: Poole UK
Crew: Dave & Marie Ungless
About:
We have sailed together for over ten years now, leaving the Mediterranean to head eastwards. Our destination was Australia and New Zealand which we achieved in 2012 before attempting a full round-the-world circumnavigation across the pacific and back to the UK. [...]
Extra: Sänna is a hybrid Bavaria Ocean 50, custom built for bue water ocean cruising. The build and re-fit specification is high and to date boasts over 56,000 miles of ocean cruising. For more information visit our main website at www.sanna-uk.com.
Home Page: http://www.sanna-uk.com
Social:
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