Day 8, Year 3: The Whitsundays–Shaw Island to Airlie Beach
Date: Saturday, May 17, 2008
Weather: Another Beautiful Day in Queensland; Variable Winds 10 Knots
Air and Water Temperature: 76 degrees F
Latitude: 20 degrees 15.531 minutes S
Longitude: 148 degrees 43.382 minutes E
Location: Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia

In anticipation of a trough that is predicted to move off the Queensland coast tomorrow morning and bring with it “vigorous” southwest winds, today was the calm before the storm. We had beautiful, sunny weather, but no wind. So, after retrieving our anchor from mud that resembled concrete, we motored the 25+ miles from Shaw Island to Airlie Beach. Airlie Beach is a little tourist town on the coast and we saw only six people in town today that were older than our children. This is the backpacker’s
heaven. It is also one of the main places you come if you want to charter in the Whitsundays. If we had walked as far as the marina today, I’m sure we would have seen more people closer to our age. But we see them all the time and decided not to stray that way.

Our main reason for making this little side trip to mainland is so that we can make a Skype call early in the morning to see our grand baby Sam. Our early morning will be his evening, but thankfully the internet cafes here open by 8:30 am, even on a Sunday. That will be 6:30 pm on Saturday on Cape Cod. After we “talk” to Sam, we will make some other calls to friends and family and then head out to the northern end of Hook Island to Butterfly Bay. It is only 20 miles, so we might get there in
time to do a snorkeling tomorrow afternoon. Every post card in Airlie Beach features the cutest anemonefish you can imagine, so I am hoping to see them in person by this time tomorrow night. Weather permitting; we will stay in Butterfly Bay for at least a day or two. There are a number of different bays to explore and I hope to explore them all.

While in Airlie Beach today, the very first thing we did was to go to an internet cafe. We are addicted. We checked our land-based email and checked our website for recent comments. Thanks to Dave Mackay from Concord who emailed us to remind us to make sure we wear our dive skins while in the water here to avoid jellyfish stings. It really can be a matter of life and death, and we fully intend on wearing dive skins, dive booties, and gloves. We might even consider buying dive hoods if we can
find them in Airlie tomorrow morning. This is not prime jellyfish season, but a box jellyfish sting can be deadly and the sting of the Irukandji jellyfish has caused deaths. So it never hurts to be super cautious. And a note to Rich from Ohio who follows our site-Yes, we were most certainly at the Percy Hilton a few days back. We hope you enjoy the photos we will be posting. We also heard from another person who follows our log, Cheryl from Maine. She is going to be grandmother and we are so
happy for her.

080517 Day 8 Shaw to Airlie Beach