11 Days at Sea – Chartering “Yaminda”

It’s not often we have returning charterers willing to write you a fascinating & detailed description of their sailing holiday with us, so when recent “Yaminda” charterers sent us through this testimonial we jumped at the chance to share it with our community and give you true insight what chartering a boat around the Whitsundays is really like. Read all about their adventures and how 11 days at sea brought this family memories they will hold onto tightly forever.

“What a fantastic holiday…I was almost emotional to say goodbye to Yaminda our home for the last 2 weeks. What a wonderful boat, we will definitely book her for our next adventure. She is comfortable and fast, an absolute dream to handle and she really sails well!”

Briefing with Ed on Yaminda
Talking to the Cockatoos

Day 1
Coral Sea Marina – Nara Inlet

We had South East winds for the first week. After an excellent thorough brief from Ed on the first day we set sail for Nara inlet. We enjoyed the hike to the cave and rock paintings. It was lovely paddling to the waterfall. It was flowing beautifully. We were mesmerised watching the fresh water fish in the ponds below the waterfall. The sunset barbecue on board was great and we realised quickly that we had traded the rat race for paradise. The next morning, we had 2 cockatoos pop in for breakfast. They were beautiful and relaxed in our company.

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Nara Inlet
Nara Inlet

Day 2
Nara Inlet – Hook Pass – Cateran Bay

On our second day we set sail for Cateran Bay on Border Island via the Hook Passage. The Hook Pass is absolutely beautiful! We entered as the tide was going out being rewarded with enough ground speed to motor at low revs. After clearing Hook Pass we hoisted the main and unfurled the jib for a lovely fast reach to Border Island. Yaminda has an electric winch making easy work of hoisting the main. With 11 knots of wind we averaged 7 knots reaching 8 knots at times. We picked up a buoy in Cateran Bay. At sunset we joined my brother Anton and family for a lovely family barbeque on Mischief.

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Sailing To Cateran Bay
Cateran Bay

Day 3
Cateran Bay – Butterfly Bay

We sailed on a broad reach to Butterfly Bay. All the moorings were taken in Manta Ray Bay and Maureen’s Cove. We thus went straight to Butterfly Bay and were rewarded with a great mooring deep in the Bay. We snorkelled and on returning we were greeted by 6 huge Batfish begging to be fed off the stern. It was great watching these beautiful tame fish. They would suck your toes and fingers if put in the water.

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Sailing away

Day 4
Butterfly Bay – Langford Island – Stonehaven Anchorage

We rounded Hayman Island and moored at Langford Island. A turtle surfaced next to the boat as we were mooring. It was a very hot day so we all jumped into the water and snorkelled on some bommies (coral gardens) off our stern. Four Batfish came to greet us swimming amongst us. As it was low tide we loved walking the virgin sand spit to Langford Island. Absolutely beautiful. We spent the night moored in Stonehaven. The sunset is stunning in this anchorage.

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Sunset at Stonehaven
Hello fish!

Day 5
Stonehaven Anchorage – Hamilton Island Marina

The wind had turned to a North Westerly and we had a lovely broad reach sail down to Hamilton Island. We entered the marina at 11am and fetched our golf buggy we had booked overnight. We spent the day at one of the hotel pools and went up to One Tree Hill viewpoint bar for sun-downer cocktails. The evening we treated ourselves to a lovely meal at Manta Ray restaurant in the company of the Mischief crew.

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Hamilton Island Marina
One Tree Hill, Hamilton Island

Day 6
Hamilton Island – Chance Bay

We filled up with water and diesel. Yaminda is so easy to manoeuvre in the confined space of the marina. We set sail to Chance Bay in a stiff North Westerly where we anchored for the night. The snorkelling in this bay was excellent. We had a bottle of chilled Rose` wine on the beach enjoying the beautiful sunset.

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On top of the world

Day 7
Chance Bay – Whitehaven Beach – Chance Bay

We raised anchor and motored around to the famous Whitehaven beach. On a lee shore we anchored and used the inflatable dinghy to the beach. It was lovely hiking to the viewpoint and we were rewarded with a stunning view over Chance Bay and Lindeman Island in the distance. We watched a huge Goanna for a long time. It seemed to be used to people and was beautiful. When the commercial boats arrived with all the crowds we lifted anchor and made our way back to the protected Northerly anchorage of Chance Bay for the evening. We barbecued every night and had the left overs for lunch the next day. It made for easy catering.

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Whitehaven Beach
Selfie with a Goanna

Day 8 Chance Bay – Manta Ray Bay – Butterfly Bay

We motor sailed into the Northerly wind back to the North of Hook Island as we wanted to dive Manta Ray Bay which we couldn’t do in the first week. It was well worth it as we were rewarded with great diving and plenty of moorings. It was like snorkelling in our own aquarium off the stern of Yaminda. We floated a rope off the stern and just all hung onto it mesmerised like being in a different world. It is the first time that we had so many beautiful fish around us that we had to push them away to see more. We were surrounded in a cloud of fish which is denser than a school of fish. We were entertained by a juvenile King fish and a huge wrasse. It was lovely touching the fish as they curiously glided by. That evening we moored in Butterfly Bay with Mischief and Rockstar for company. CYA vessels owned the bay that night as the Northerlies were still blowing. Butterfly Bay is safe in a northerly, but you must be prepared for a bit more roll and movement during the night. We had a full day and were rocked to sleep.

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BBQ Dinner
Kicking back

Day 9
Butterfly Bay – Macona Inlet

We had a great broad reach sail to Macona Inlet. The boat really surfs well down the Northerly swells. We were treated to a beautiful entrance into a great inlet. It was a shallow narrow entrance at 3 metres but stunning. We motored deep into the inlet and anchored in a sandy spot amongst 3 other boats. That afternoon we noticed thunderstorm clouds building up and were treated to a spectacular performance by nature. The wind swung to the South and we were pelted with thick rain. We just all stood on deck in the rain. It was beautiful. As the sun had set we watched the lightning streaking through the sky. Many boats entered the inlet to seek shelter before the storm was unleashed. We always prepared enough room for wind shifts when anchoring. Anchoring needs to be planned for all eventualities especially in Northerly winds as the wind shifts South when thunderstorms appear.

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Snorkelling at Manta Ray Bay
Macona Inlet

Day 10
Macona Inlet – Coral Sea Marina

We went for a long paddle early at sunrise. It was beautiful, the bird life sounds were loud from the forest’s. We watched Kingfishers fishing and the stingrays and sand sharks lazing near the beaches. We saw a turtle raising its head to breath amongst the mangroves. After a sumptuous breakfast of bacon and eggs on the barbecue with fruit and marinated chicken wings from the previous evenings, we sadly raised anchor to Coral Sea Marina. Sam greeted us at the entrance to the marina and assisted us with refuelling and berthing. He was really interesting to chat to and we enjoyed his debriefing. That night we had a great meal and plenty of drinks at the Sorrento Restaurant with the crew of Mischief.

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Blue seas and sky
Getting ready to sail

Day 11 Coral Sea Marina – Home

We prepared the boat for handover. After saying our goodbyes to the CYA family we made our way by ferry to Hamilton where we boarded a flight back to Melbourne. I can’t compliment CYA enough for the great family holiday they provided us. They assisted us every step of the way and they were great. Yaminda was fully prepared, ready and clean when we arrived. It was worth it booking to move on board the night before our charter was to commence and booking into the Marina for the last night. It made the transition from our stressful lives to cruise mode easier and gradual.

We are left with many happy memories and look forward to returning.

Fond regards from TJ, Judy, Ryan & Connor Beens

Inspired to start planning your own family bareboat charter? Enquire now & learn more about boating around the Whitsundays with Charter Yachts Australia.

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