Linda and I, together with our good friends and kayaking buddies Dave and Helane, had been planning this trip since before Christmas.
Day 1 – Monday, 26 June
We were planning to paddle out to Whitsunday Island but on arrival at Shute Harbour the high winds from the south and wet conditions gave us pause. The locals told us the crossing to South Molle Island was “lumpy” and from there to Whitsunday Island was “very lumpy”.
We opted for a wet paddle around the inner islands in Shute Harbour
and extended our stay at the B&B for another night.
Day 2 – Tuesday, 27 June
Weather: looked a little clearer but windier. We opted to make for Sandy Bay on South Molle Island.
While the paddle was just under 5 km and took less than 1 hour, the last 15 minutes of the crossing were very challenging (rough) and we were glad to reach the Bay.
We set up camp and promptly declared that if the weather didn’t improve we would hire a barge to take us and our kayaks back to “Shute” at the end of the week.
A short hike up the hill at the back of the camp site was a pleasant respite.
Day 3 – Wednesday, 28 June
Weather: windy squalls with showers. Today we walked to Oyster Bay and had a brief swim in a protected corner of the bay. Round trip was 8 to 9 km.
Day 4 – Thursday, 29 June
Weather: windy squalls with showers. Today Helane had a rest while Dave, Linda and I walked the 2 km around the south west tip of the island to Pine Bay. Rocks, coral and lots of flotsam on the beaches. Very interesting.
In the evening Linda and Dave gathered oysters for entrée.
Day 5 – Friday, 30 June (Dave’s birthday)
Weather: almost fine. Today we paddled 3 km to the â€œbackâ€? of Paddle Bay on the north of the island and snorkled.
We then walked the 1 km round to the resort on Bauer Bay. Had real coffee to celebrate Dave’s birthday.
Day 6 – Saturday, 1 July
Weather: almost good. Decided to forego the barge and paddle back ourselves. We made land at Canecutters Beach.
After a rest we decided to extend the trip by passing south of Shute, Tancred and Repair Islands before landing at Little Beach, Shute Harbour – back where we started.
A very pleasant paddle of 8.5 km.
PS: Thanks to Helane for the photos.