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Ed in Oz Travels around the stations & pubs of Australia

British Defender

AUSTRALIA | Thursday, 20 December 2007 | Views [1453] | Comments [5]

Well, everyone was right, the Whitsunday Islands are beautiful.  Had a two day two night sail - on an old racing yaught called the "British Defender" with 25 other people.  Great food, weather, views, and beer !!

We set off from Airlie Beach at 14.00 on Tuesday, and boarded the boat.  After motoring out of the hobour for about 30mins we hoisted the sails.  It was at this point that I decided it was worth the money I had paid.  Good music over the PA system, clear bule sky and sunshine, sailing along with my feet over the side of the boat.

In the middle of the afternoon we stopped in a small bay and went diving off the boat and also snorkeling - millions of fist and the best coral reefs ever.  Back on the boat for a sunset sail and tea before all going on deck for a few drinking games and a few songs.

Up early on Wednesday for the sunrise out on desk before sailing around to Whitehaven beach with more of that squeeky sand underfoot.  Pure white sand and the beach - about 2 km shared only with 1 other boat.  Beach cricket and soccer were the order of the day along with a little swimming, and chase the turtle.  Didn't get very close, but saw loads off the boat.

Back onboard the boat for a relaxed lunch before heading round to another bay for more snorkelling and a reef even better than the one on Tuesday.  Not quite so many fish, but the colours have to be seen to be believed - elictric blues and greens, red orange and any other colour you can think of.  Wednesday night started off quietly on deck after the partying of Tuesday, but when the guy from Korea had a couple of beers he woke us all up.  Between stints of shouting things at any other boat withing shouting distance, we also managed to sing a rang of songs from Don't Stop Me Now - Queen to Old MacDonald Had A Farm with animals such as the Dingo, Koala, and Jellyfish !  We slept on deck through a rain shower and until light this morning before heading back into Airlie Beach at about 11am.

During the trip on the count of three we all had to shout British Defender, quite effective at getting other boats to stop a long way from us to allow us to party !

I can't believe it's only 5 days till Christmas - mainly because I got a little sunburnt, and also because it's soooo hot here.

I'm heading back to Townsville this weekend and will then be heading back out to Cloncurry for Christmas.

Thanks to everyone that has been reading the blog and leaving comments over the last 12 months.  Skel, don't worry about your T shirt, I knackered it lond before the chopper crash, and it really wasn't me that shot it down.  I was miles away !!

Tags: Party time



Hi Mate,
Good to hear that you are having a great time. As for us mere mortals on the other side of the world, it's currently like living in a coal mine. Dark when you get up, dark when you go home.

Off around Leeds this Friday, on works management night-out. It's a 4pm start with dinner at 9pm, which I'm not looking forward to since I ordered the Cod stew. I really don't think it's going to sit well on 10pints of Black Sheep. Might just stick to the Babysham with Baileys chasers.

After reading your latest article I feel it only fair to mention a few similarities the Whitsunday Islands have with Leeds.

- You can play “Chase the Turtle” in Leeds, but I’m told that you can only do it in a club called “Fibre” & Mel assures me that you don’t want to play that game in there.

- You can also see amasingly coloured creatures of all shapes and sizes on Swalesmoore Road. I’ve not seen these personnally, but Rick swares blind that there is loads of them every night on his was back from the Sportsman Inn.

Any-way glad to hear your having a top time & hope to see you soon.


  Skelly Dec 21, 2007 5:02 AM


It seems really strange that you're enjoying scorching hot temperatures and we are suffering frost bite. You have certainly had an experience, it sounds fantastic, you can't imagine seeing fish of all colours when we are used to the british sea shores. We can recommend the 5 rise locks at Bingley for seeing lots of different animals,their is a variety of sailing crafts, could just image you sailing round the Australian coast in one of the barges, the water was not as blue, however, it is a lovely walk.
Busy getting ready for Christmas and looking forward to sharing the day with Sue and Philip,Andrew and Emma and Simon and Emma J. Will think of you lapping up the sun on the 25th. We have put your christmas box in your account for you, may help with the sun cream !
Hope you have fantastic christmas Eddy and an excellent 2008
All the best Charles and Shirley

  Charles & Shirley Dec 21, 2007 8:42 AM


Wow Eddy
You certainly sound to have had a brilliant holiday on the East Coast & beyond. We are all very envious and just wish we could share some of your warmer climate.
Sounds like the diving experience was great - possibly better than what might have been up in Cairns! Do hope you some how managed to get some photographs to show to us. Pity about your camera - sounds like you should just buy a cheap one as I guess they are very vunerable at the present time.
Yes just tell Skell we saw a couple of Roos hopping along Swales Moor last week, they were going pretty fast so maybe Rick missed them!!
I have been baking all day today and then I made a stew for tea which was much appreciated by Phil who has been outside most of the day.
Last minute shopping in town in the morning and then we will pick the Turkey up on Monday.
We will be thinking about you as we all get together on Christmas Day. Miss you like crazy but know you will have a good time in Queensland. We will propose a toast to you and I am sure that Andy & Simon will manage to drink your share of alcohol so don't let that worry you.
Take great care Eddy. Love you loads. Mum & Dad xxx
Andy & Mel are really looking forward to their visit to Oz and your plans sound very good indeed.

  Mum & Dad Dec 22, 2007 7:10 AM


Dearest Eddy
Greetings to you - do hope you have had an enjoyable Christmas as we have had. Many thanks for your Christmas Greetings in the sand, what a lovely idea. I guess our nearest analogy would have been to write a message in the snow. Alas we have not had any snow as yet, just quite abit of rain and days when it never seems to get light. We have enjoyed looking at the latest pictures in the gallery. The Whitsunday islands look idyllic and we are so pleased that you had such a fantastic trip.
Christmas day was great, the turkey was expertly carved by Charles, and it tasted pretty good along with all the other Christmas fare. After much deliberation we managed in your absence to track down a sauce chef, who once he had found all the utensils, did a really good job. (The whisk went missing and it was no where to be found, not even in Shirleys handbag!) It is difficult to get the Staff. Seriously though, everyone helped out and the day went really well.
We then unwrapped our gifts to each other, played games and Phil fell asleep ofcourse. Simon & Andy did a good job with the beer, but Simon had his work cut out as Andy was "On Call" and so had to be carefull! Shirley was tipsy, and I was not very far behind!
Then on Boxing day we went over to Holly Trees and had a wonderful meal there and along with Barbara and Derrick, Si & Ej& Aj & Ms played some more games, Shirley was tipsy once more and Phil fell asleep yet again!
We are off to Swillington on New Years Day so looking forward to that. Then up to Chris & Jennys. Georgie and Mel are coming over from USA and we hope to catch up with them at some stage. Also, Shirley & Melvyn will be up at Christines in January so we hope to meet up with them too.
The sales are in full swing now but we have not ventured out as yet. I understand it has been very busy with some M&S stores opening at 6am!
Do hope all is well in Cloncurry and that you see the New Year in in style. Take really good care Eddy and we all wish you a Very Happy 2008.
With our love as always Mum & Dad.xxxx
ps. Please check your emails.

  Mum & Dad Dec 30, 2007 6:29 AM


Hi Ed,

Hope all is well down under and that you've had a good Christmas. Had a good night out in York on Sat with Mel, Skel, Joe & Ellis and some others from college and tonight me & Em are going to a Black & White Ball in Harrogate to see in the New Year.

We both wish you a really Happy, Healthy & Prosperous 2008 and can't wait to visit you in March.
All the best mate.
Lots of Love
Andy & Em

  Andy & Em Jan 1, 2008 1:18 AM

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