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 Post subject: Hamilton Island
PostPosted: May 12th, '10, 17:18 
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Hello,
I'm going to a conference on Hamilton Island for the week beginning the 1st June, and I’m daydreaming about driving up there from Melbourne and having a week or so sailing either before or after the conference.
If I do that, where should I take my little Investigator for a bit of 'fun in the sun' in fair FNQ?
I did the same thing last year when this same annual conference was on South Stradbroke Island, and they had their own marina where I was allowed to leave the boat. But sailing on the Broadwater was okay, not so picturesque as I’d have liked, and super busy with huge powerboat status symbols charging hither and yon.

Any ideas as to how I can make my Hamilton Island trip a fun sailing holiday too? Might even be tax deductible!
Does anyone know if I can sail to Hamilton and moor the boat for the week?

Any ideas would be welcome. Maybe I should have the sailing part on Lake Macquarie on my way up there instead?

And this is a long shot, but does anyone know about the rules and facilities if I choose to take the dog?

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PostPosted: May 15th, '10, 10:03 
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No dogs on Hamilton Island.

Best guide is the 100 Magic Miles which is the must have book.

One week on the water is not a lot up there the distances are big for a TS and worth every second. To explain the distances we take about 65 liters of fuel to allow for motoring to get to the anchorages reliably when the wind is not in the desired direction. A tiller pilot helps on the long days motoring.

You really need a hard dingy to get from the anchorages to the beach and also to look at the coral. The beaches are mostly coral rubble and not suited to fibreglass TSs.

4 days to drive there and 4 days to get back, I've done it but stayed on the water for 4 weeks to get the most out of the road trip.

Hill Inlet, Macona, too many places to mention.'
'
Do a search on Whitsundays and you will get lots of trip reports, I did that then cut and pasted it into a document.

Crocs are good footwear for the area, good on the boat, you can use them on land and good over the coral.

Definitely worth doing, the first trip is a learning exercise, the second trip is when it becomes addictive.

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PostPosted: May 15th, '10, 13:29 
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Hi Mat,

As Greg has said, it is a wonderful place to sail. I have not done in a TS as Greg has, but spent sometime in and around in Keelers and deliveries from there to Brissy. There are some distances to cover, but there can also be a number of short hops. Depends on what you wanted to do.
I would think you have no trouble with an Investigator up there, other than as Greg has said some beaches etc, you would ned a tender, but there are others you could get right up to - Whitehaven being one of them as an example.

For only a week (is that 5 or 7 day wk?) to be honest I'm not sure I would drag a boat all the way from Melbourne(2500ks and return), but each to their own.
There is the Marina at Hamilton island, I am not 100% sure on the rates other than last I knew it was about $75 for a night stay there. I guess it may get a bit less after this, but can not say.

Have you considered a bareboat instead?
There are some fair deals up there and if you wanted to take the chance and when there approach a charterer and see what they have hanging off the fingers not out and you may strike a good standby deal.

Perhaps have some others fly up and join you and keep the costs down?
You can get some 32 footers for around the 450-$550/night at this time of year being MID season. that is a standard rate.

lake Mac would be another option and I am sure if you did that, someone could helpout with putting up your boat and trailer to pickup on your way back.

If you can get a hold of Ross - SeawayVolcano he maybe able to advise even more as that is his stomping ground.
He has done this over time - http://www.trailersailerplace.com.au/fo ... hitsundays

Good luck with your decisions Mat

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PostPosted: May 15th, '10, 20:37 
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If you do the lake macquarie option, you can leave the boat in my yard, and then head up the new england hwy/newell to QLD.
Plenty of space here!

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PostPosted: May 20th, '10, 14:31 
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you want at least two weeks really to make it worth while, especially as you can never be real sure about the weather you are likely to encounter and may have to lay low a day or two in the duration of your trip.

As already mentioned "100 magic miles" is the best guide

here is heaps of whitsunday info:
http://trailersailerplace.com.au/forum/ ... c.php?t=52

One option to consider is that you can put your boat trailer on the delivery ferry to Hammo (different to the passenger one), and park it at the marina for the duration of the conference before launching it (using their ramp & tractor) - might be cheaper than a berth for the week, then you can launch & go.
I have no idea what it would cost but I have seen boats there & they advise of "trailer boat storage" on their site:
http://www.hamiltonisland.com.au/marina/

The negative to this would be the cost of supplies as the small supermarket on the Island is a bit limited, and a bit pricier than the supermarkets in Airlie Beach.

Other option is to leave your rig somewhere secure on the mainland for the conference & launch before/afterwards

the real benefit of your investigator over a charter boat is getting into places like 'Hill Inlet'
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(take mozzie nets & insect repellent when you visit and you will really enjoy it - the midges are the worst)

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PostPosted: May 30th, '10, 12:30 
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Thanks for all the very useful advice.

Sorry I haven’t responded sooner, once I had made the decision to go sailing I soon realised just how much other stuff I had to get done before I left.
So I just ploughed through work, parenting, etc… didn’t really have time to get on the forum, and headed off last Wednesday, with very few plans other than getting to Airlie Beach by the weekend.

So here I sit, in a motel in Airlie, and the car and boat are on the nature strip out the front. The drive was long – 2,700 km – and it took about 40 hours behind the wheel. It’s funny, I blasted on through like some kind of endurance event, thinking that I’d have more sailing time if I got here as soon as possible. But I was so tired that it’s been two days at this motel taking it easy and resting. Making it not so much of a three day drive, as a five day drive – three driving and two resting! I think I’ll take it a bit more leisurely on the way back.
Car, boat and trailer came through like champions. Though I bent the jockey wheel getting the boat out of the laneway at the back of my Richmond house (bluestone laneways – pretty, but bumpy).

Now that I’ve had a look around I agree that the Shute Harbour boat ramp would be the best to launch at, and as someone mentioned, busy as hell on the weekends. So Monday morning (tomorrow) looks best.

Having said that, the forecast is 15 – 20 knots, seas to 1.7 metres, so I’m 90% sure I’ll take the barge option. That means having the boat and trailer taken over on the barge and the boat launched on the island. It’s easier to get secure parking for just a car than for a car and trailer.

So after this week (which will be full of this conference) I’ll go sailing. Not sure where yet. I’ll be sleeping on the boat in the marina which is about $60 per night – as opposed to $360 for a resort room.

I’ve bought “100 Magic Milesâ€

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: May 31st, '10, 11:27 
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Hi Matt, Ohhh how I envey you. Family and I just got back last week from a 9 day sojourn around the Whitsundays.
I would suggest that you slip up the west side of islands and visit the west side of Hayman, Langford and the North end of Hook, via Nara Inlet. Relatively protected !
Although we had a bare boat there were always plenty mooring bouys available, especially for o/night stops. The weather was the same 10-15, 15-20 and was only a tad boystrous when wind against tide. Floods south and Ebbs north if I remember right. Best coral for snorkling is certainly the north of Hook per Luncheon Bay to the pinicles.

If you can listen to Ch 81 and 82 you will hear where the charter/bare boats are putting the most pressure on for spots, if any, plus weather scheds 4 times per day.

Ahhh, when can I go again !!!

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PostPosted: May 31st, '10, 13:22 
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One month and we will be up there too.
Counting the days...

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun 3rd, '10, 14:50 
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Matt, assuming southerly winds, leaving Hamilton to the South is a short motor then turn left and cruise past the few Islands heading to Whitehaven Beach then for Hill Inlet to anchor.

Sail around the East side of Hook turning left for a night on a mooring at Butterfly Bay. Be prepared to motor or motorsail around the North East point of Hook and the winds change a lot due to the land. If you get a mooring right up the Butterfly Bay then diving on coral off the stern of the yacht is simple. Dive on coral at low tide if possible.

Sail to Langford Island or Black Island moorings for more swimming and diving have some bread ready for the visiting fish.

There are moorings behind a reef on Hook Island opposite Langford, its a good place to have a break, swim and dive, not sure I would stay there the night.

Sail East around Hook to anchor at Mocona or Nara (I like Mocana as it takes a long time to motor to the end of Nara).

Cid Harbour is big and safe with lots of yachts.

Pick any way back to Shute or Hamilton that suits you.

Take plenty of petrol.

If you have the time on the various voyages take the long way around the various islands and sail through the various channels to enjoy the wonderful sights close up. The channels are bigger than they appear on the charts.

Time out or in for Hamilton Island is 1100hrs so plan the trips on getting in and out of Hamilton.

Relax, the navigation is all sighting landmarks and very easy. The distances mean you will take time sailing. Have fun.

I bet you stay a bit longer and come back to Melbourne after the 18th.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Jun 3rd, '10, 15:48 
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Tides for Hill Inlet look good for an entrance late in the afternoon ane exit early in the morning for Saturday, Sunday Monday and Tuesday.

Assuming the Investigator is fine following the channels.

The best channel into Hill is the one furthest North, the southerly channel dries out first.

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A bad day in the Whitsundays is better than a good day at work. Unless you work in the Whitsundays.


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