After a long drive from Townsville, via a beautiful lunch at Horseshoe Beach in Bowen, we arrived at Airlie Beach. The town doesn't really have much of a beach but is a tourist hub with two marinas servicing trips to many of the 74 Whitsunday Islands.
On our first day, we caught a boat over to Daydream Island where we had a relaxing day using the island resort's cafes, pools and crazy golf. It was another day of clear blue skies and intense sunshine.
We arose the following morning ready for our sailing day to be greeted by thick clouds and heavy rain. Spirits were low as we all bordered Camira, our catamaran for the day. We sailed to Hook Island, slipped on stinger suits and snorkelled near one of the beaches - plenty of coral and fish but poor visibility following the rain meant that it didn't compare to the snorkelling on our earlier Great Barrier Reef trip. After a long sail involving a newly wed guy vomiting over the back, the sun came out and we stopped for an hour at Whitehaven Beach. The sand there was incredibly white and fine - apparently because it is 98% silica. Mark seemed to take half the beach with him, glued by sunscreen to his bushy legs. Once back onboard, it was time for a big barbecue before more sailing round several of the islands, now drenched in glorious sunshine.