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Above: Shaw Island and Neck Bay from the summit of Lindeman Island. With so many stunning places visited on this section of the trip, it is going to be hard to choose which images to publish and which to leave out.

TUESDAY 19 JULY. It is hard to believe that five weeks have passed since we left Island Head Creek. Over this period we have experienced some of the highest highs and the lowest lows of our cruising career. Personal challenges we never imagined we might face have come and gone, although the consequences remain. We are just grateful that we are still out here. More on this subject later. Masala, however, continues to run like clockwork.


This will be our fourth visit to the Whitsundays, in three different yachts, and the second time in Masala. Previously we have visited the signature sites like Whitehaven Beach, Butterfly Bay and Nara Inlet, which are often overrun with charterers and day visitors, somewhat diminishing the experience. It is hard to “ooh” and “aah” at the majesty of these places when surrounded by the hordes. All too easily you can become blasé about the Whitsundays and get to the point where the whole place seems like one big cliché.


So this time we thought we might try something different. Out the window with the signature sites! Instead, let’s focus on the islands with bushwalking tracks. After all, we love our walking, and there is precious little opportunity to do any when on the boat.


Even though there are 74 islands in the region, only a handful have walking tracks. Turns out, though, that the scenery is so stunning that it blows blasé and cliché out of the water (to use a cliché). Where else can you have a nice sail early in the morning, drop anchor in a gorgeous setting, take the dinghy ashore for a magical walk, followed by a refreshing swim under sunny blue skies, then return to the yacht for a comfy night aboard? And repeat the next day? For once the advertising slogans come true – as near perfect an experience as you can get.


Now we have a dilemma. Everything was so gorgeous it’s going to be a nightmare trying to choose which images to put in this Epistle and which to leave out.

But more on Lindeman and the other islands later. For now, we must return to Island Head Creek where we left off in the previous Epistle.