Images of a Big Island

Posts tagged “yachts

Whitsunday Magic!

Ho hum,just another shitty day in paradise!


There are definitely worse places in the world to wake up!


Rain, Rain, Go Away!

Weather has been totally crap over here in coastal Queensland for the last few days. It just won’t stop raining at all! In the last week we have had over 400mm of rain here in the Whitsundays and I forget the last time I saw a shadow.
Funny thing is that the Qld Government is funding a big tourism campaign to advertise that Qld is open for business. What with everything else that has happened over the last few months, this latest bout of wet weather is lousy timing if nothing else! We just keep saying under our breath that ‘the sun will come out!’ If you say it enough it will happen……..won’t it??
This image is just to show you all that the sun does shine in the ‘Wetsundays’ and when it does you wouldn’t be anywhere else!

The hours suck, but the view out the window is great!

Another one from the vault. This is an image from what used to be my “öffice”. One of my favourite anchorages in the Whitsundays, Stonehaven is tucked up on the NW side of Hook Is. Secure holding,surrounded by lofty hills, close to some of the best snorkelling and diving in the Whitsundays and you get to see some great sunsets like this one!

Hopefully I will be back out there soon!

Morning Glory

This is a monochrome rendering of a similar shot to my last post. The light rays are a little more defined in this one!

This is the image straight out of the camera.

All processing was done in Lightroom 3. Crop & Straighten,WB adjustment, B&W conversion, Graduated Filter, Beef up contrast, Split toning.
If anybody has ideas on a way to improve it, comments are most welcome as I am sure it can be improved upon!
I love this type of light!

Whitsunday Gold.

You know how it is, rummaging through your files, seeing if there are any little gems that you had forgotten about.
After processing a couple of new images tonight, I was just going over this particular folder when I came across this image of a sunrise at Shute Hbr. I had shot this about a year ago and like a lot of my images, I sat on it for a while.
I have to say that I quite like it because I am a sucker for crepuscular sunlight at the best of times and this a pretty good example!

I also like it for it’s simplicity, It could be composed a little better but the brick shed I was standing next to limited my options on that score. Probably look good as a monochrome which I will do another day, I’m off to bed!

Storm Warning

Well, it looks like I may have spoken a bit prematurely in my last post! As I type this, TC Anthony is making a beeline towards the Nth Queensland Coast and is forecast to cross the coast somewhere north of Bowen as a Cat 2 system, sometime early tomorrow morning.
Airlie Beach, being on the southern side of the cyclone will cop some wild weather tonight and we are expecting some heavy rain over the next few days!
Of more concern is another system forming near Vanuatu which is expected to move west and impact the Queensland Coast as a Cat 4 or 5 system later in the week.
After Cyclone Ului last year people are a little more switched on and have been stocking up with supplies and fuel. Not sure what use a car load of fuel will be when the roads are likely to be impassable?
Also, the SW of West Australia is still under threat from TC Bianca which thankfully seems to be weakening. That is one out of the box as it is extremely rare for a cyclone to be that far south! Anyway, hope you guys over there don’t cop it too badly.

Here we go again!

Dead Calm

One of the delights of ‘messing about in boats’ is pulling up into a sheltered anchorage for the night, sitting out on deck with a well earned beverage and having a 360 degree view of your surroundings. On occasion you get sunsets that are pure magic!
This particular evening, it looked like we may get a thunderstorm come across with an associated windshift that would make this bay exposed.Luckily, it didn’t happen and as the sun hit the horizon, the wind dropped, a gap in the clouds opened and gave us a 10 minute light show that was gold!

The title alludes to a film that was made in the area that starred Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill and Billy Zane about a romantic sailing voyage that went horribly wrong. A classic.
“At sea, no-one can hear you scream!”

Airlie Beach Race Week

It’s a yacht racing frenzy here in the Whitsundays at the moment. Airlie Beach Race Week is under way at the moment. 107 yachts racing around the beautiful Whitsunday Islands for a week. Winds have been fairly light but the weather has been great.
This regatta attracts entrants from Australia wide and as far afield as NZ and is known as the “Tropical Shirt Regatta” with an emphasis on good racing and having fun doing it. With nearly nearly 1000 sailors and family members arriving in town, it’s a real shot in the arm for the local economy.
Next week is the start of Hamilton Is. Race Week which is a bit more serious and a lot more expensive. That regatta attracts the cream of racing yachts and sailors.
I was invited out for the day on one of the yachts and managed to get some images during the day. I wanted to get some images showing close racing from an on board perspective but as it was a longer race the yachts were more spread out than if it was short course racing. Next Year!

Annyway, I am off to hospital again for another hip replacement so I will see you all when I get back!

The Dream.

This would be the dream of many people, save up enough money to buy a decent yacht, sell the house, sail around the world to exotic locations or at least spend your winters cruising around places like the Whitsundays or the Carribean.
In my years as a professional seaman, I have seen many people do just that. I call them the middle class yachties, they do it reasonably comfortably,utilise marinas for the convenience (sort of like caravan parks) and usually maintain their boats with adequate funds to keep them seaworthy and comfortable.
I have also witnessed the extreme ends of the spectrum. On one end you have the millionaires/billionairespeople with obscene amounts of money who have huge yachts with professional crews and are like floating palaces.

Mostly seen around the ports of the Mediterranean and Carribean where they are like a status symbol. They cost a fortune to maintain and in a lot of cases the owner is lucky to spend a month a year aboard because he is too busy running his empire to actually enjoy his boat! To be fair some of these vessels are at the cutting edge of technology and certainly have a real “wow’ factor about them.
At the other end of the scale are the people who build a boat in the backyard or scrimp and save to acquire a vessel that is of sometimes questionable design and seaworthiness. I liken them to sea gypsies. They are living the dream on limited funds often scrounging parts and cobbling things together to keep going, or working along the way to keep cruising.
They are often seen on the fringes of harbours or anchored off because marinas are too expensive, their boats often have a scruffy, down at heel look about them. No shiny stainless steel here nor insurance either!

The interesting thing is that they help each other out in many ways from sharing information about anchorages or the cheapest ways of doing something to giving a hand to anti-foul before the tide comes back in.
They also probably cover more miles and see more deserted anchorages than many cruisers. They may not do it in absolute style and comfort but they do it and I have an idea that they are probably the most contented because they are doing it their way.

Clouds of Sail

I have previously posted about “Solway Lass” last year but have never been aboard while she is under sail. Yesterday I went out on her for a fundraising daysail which was a great day with great people,live music and good weather.
Having been skipper of ex Racing Maxi-yachts for many years I was interested to see what a Square- rigged sailing vessel was like to be aboard under sail.
Looking around the boat, there are a myriad of lines for sail control and it looked very complicated. In the old days of the clipper ships sailors needed to know where each particular line was and be able to find them in the worst weather and darkest nights. No easy feat!
The biggest difference I found between the modern racing yacht and a traditionally rigged vessel was how quiet and calm the older heavier vessls were. Very peaceful!
This is one of the images I took to try and capture some of the romance of that bygone era.

Glamour Day!

Had a great day out on the water yesterday,first time in 8 months! Also,one of the few times I have been out to the islands and not been working.
Beautiful sunny day with no wind at all for most of the day, so sailing didn’t come into the equation unfortunately.
Still it was nice to be out in the “office” again!
On the way home we came across one of the local charter yachts attempting to make the most of what little wind there was.

Much better seeing them on the water than on the beach!


I went back down to Shute Hbr today to try and get some images that give an idea of the desolate look of vessel that has found itself on the beach due to forces that are sometimes far greater than the seamen who spend a lot of their time doing everything in their power to keep their boats afloat!

Luckily these vessels have suffered little real damage compared to many others and hopefully will be afloat again, albeit with some ingenuity,brute force and funds.
“We don’t have a problem, it’s just an unresolved situation we haven’t thrown enough time and money at yet!”.

The biggest cost will be the loss of earnings for the various commercial vessls that have found themselves in this predicament.

T.C.Ului (Part 2)

Well, the Whitsundays scored a direct hit by TC Ului on Saturday night and it was a wild night indeed! Ului crossed the coast at about 1:30am as a Cat 3 system with gusts of about 200km/h.
Power had gone about 11:30 and from then on it was a dark and stormy night literally! As the eye passed over the wind dropped to about 15 knots and light drizzle before it all resumed from the opposite direction but nowhere near the previous intensity. By daylight it was pretty much all over.
As sleep was nearly impossible we decided to hold an impromptu party to celebrate the rare experience of passing through the eye of a cyclone.
As a tree had fallen across our driveway I couldn’t get out and about to inspect things until late afternoon and everyone else had the same idea.
There was surprisingly little structural damage to buildings but the trees in some places looked like they had been torn apart by something extremely violent.

Hearing some of the gusts the previous night I was not surprised but I was still shaking my head just looking at it.
On the marine side of things there was carnage at Shute Hbr which is open to the south with many vessels dragging their moorings into the mangroves or onto the beach.

As a lot of the vessels went ashore at the peak of the tide and storm surge, it will be problematical to refloat the larger ones and large cranes will need to be utilised.
Once the eye passed over and the wind switched direction any boats left in the bay were exposed to open sea and about half a dozen ended up on the bricks. As most of the shoreline around Airlie Beach is now sea wall these boats did not fare so well.

What you can’t see in this photo is that there is a smaller boat crushed between the large yacht and the rocks!
Power was out for about 40 hrs and is still out in some areas but things are slowly returning to some sort of normalcy. It is interesting how your life changes when you don’t have some of the things that you take for granted, like light,TV, internet and how quiet it gets! Similar to camping really.
The local council, SES and energy companies have worked their rings off to restore normal services as quickly as possible and deserve the fullest praise for their efforts!
I for one am glad it wasn’t a Cat 5!

A Bit Dusty!

Life on Mars
No, I am not recovering from a lager frenzy! You have probably all heard about the dust storms that have enveloped the eastern states over the last week. Well they even made it into the tropics, not as severe as further south but they have hung around longer. The light and visibility have been pretty ordinary over the last week, not the beautiful blue skies we are used to at this time of the year!
I havn’t really bothered shooting much till it all goes away but I did manage to get a couple of worthwile images one afternoon.
Look familiar Fletch?

This is Sailing!

28-feb-2009-041_edited-2-co1I was out on the water the other day when one of the local charter yachts came past and sailing hard. “Maxi Ragamuffin” is a retired ocean racer which now takes people on a daysail around the Whitsundays.

If you are ever in the area and would like to have a good day out and find out what sailing on racing thoroughbred is like ,book with these guys, you won’t regret it!

Click on the Link to right for more info.