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Taming the Teenager - Whitsundays

AUSTRALIA | Monday, 13 February 2012 | Views [1036]

I am a mother and a travel junkie. 

A few years ago, when our son was slowly morphing into a teenage boy, we realised we had limited opportunities for family holidays. Teenage boys are not known for communicating or engaging in family activities, so our destination of choice was one where we could contain him in one space that he could not escape from. 

A yacht! 

We flew to Hamilton Island, caught a ferry to Airlie Beach where we collected our caravan on water that was home to us for the next week. The first sight of this luxury temporary home was jaw dropping, I could not believe that someone would hire out their million dollar gem to us. 

After a quick lesson on the boat and armed with instructions and map (is that what they call water directions?), we were off. 

Days on the boat were made up of eating, jumping off, eating, sailing, reading, snorkelling, diving, eating, and nights were almost the same, only without the swimming and a little more eating! (And sometimes we indulged in decent wine!)

We sailed and moored (see how quickly one can become a boat person!) on some of the most pristine white beaches I have ever seen. Think clear blue waters and white sand. Not sandy coloured sand - white! For miles. 

My teenage son and I sat on the trampolines of our catamaran and read books in the sun while my husband sailed us around heaven. Stopping every now and then to eat, we basically just indulged in the sunshine and each others company. 

We met so many families on our adventure, a family of whales swimming and singing very close to our boat. A family of reef sharks that enjoyed the hospitality of our leftovers one night underneath our boat. The family of sting rays and manta rays that swam with us while we snorkelled. And the many families of coral loving fish who danced and played and swam around us while we explored the most magnificent coral reefs. 

A baby whale sang to us one morning while its mother swam underneath our boat. The music was indescribable. 

One night while cooking lamb chops on the outdoor BBQ, I dropped one accidently overboard and a family of reef sharks danced around the bottom of the boat. We didnt go swimming there the next morning. 

We found a little island where we moored and trekked over the hills to a private lagoon, with bright orange sting rays and more reef sharks swam amongst starfish, tropical fish and sea horses. 

A week was the perfect timing for containing a teenage boy in one place, we cheated a little by spending a few nights in a luxury resort on Hayman Island and making good use of the swimming pools and luxury bath tubs. I cant wait until our youngest son is turning into a teenage boy - another excuse to go play in the wonderland of the Great Barrier Reef. 

Tags: australia, great barrier reef, queensland, sailing, travelling with teenagers, whitsundays

 

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