In the early 1990's I had a web space called Whitsunday Wandering on what was then a GEOCITIES community called, appropriately The Tropics. There I wrote about living and sailing in Australia's Whitsunday Islands aboard my catamaran, Storm Season, and in Leisurely, my Hartley 18 Trailer Sailer.
After some time dedicated to work and other pursuits I was the victim of the Queensland health system in 1999, spent a couple of years partly paralyzed and gave up flying and other recreations. In an effort at gradual rehabilitation I returned to sailing purchasing Enya, my Embassy 18 trailer sailer in 2001.
It took two years form my spinal injury for me to consider trying to sail again and to purchase Enya. There were three more years of practice and discipline to become safe aboard Enya and able to move confidently despite constant pain.
Just as I was beginning to feel comfortable balancing pain against mobility, the 2004 hit and run occurred. Another medical farce with doctors and surgeons making so many mistakes it would make a good basis for a novel. This time there were between twelve and fourteen fractures depending which medical guessperts we believe, and a couple of joint separations, cartilage damage, ligament and tendon injuries, abdominal injuries and serious mental problems.
I had advertised Enya for sale in late 2005 when I found a Seaway 25 trailer sailer on a mooring locally and decided the huge side decks of the quarter ton racing class yacht would allow me to move about with relative safety. I was proven wrong several times, but we all learn.
When I lost Volcano in cyclone Ului in March 2010, I was lucky enough to find a fairly decrepit Cavalier 26 keel boat, again found locally, and once more, a quarter tonner. Shepherd Moons has been my project ever since, however I had further complications with my health in 2011 and it is continuing to deteriorate. Shepherd Moons will probably be the last yacht I own.
Shepherd Moons' BLOG is HERE
I got a lot of support, and made some fun friends in those years before business life and later, a series of injuries changed my life. I also wrote some guides to cruising in this island paradise of ours.
These blogs will be an attempt to share some of the adventure of what is now more than thirty years of sailing among these islands. It will be a rambling thing. Parts will be reminiscences, some will be hints and tips and much of it will be devoted to sections of the book I wrote in the 80's called 'A Trailer Sailor's Guide to The Whitsundays'. Parts of this book are still floating around the Internet in various stages of update.
So where to start this time?
I got a taste for The Whitsundays when I first came here during an around Australia trip in the 1970's. I returned again briefly after I moved to Queensland in 1977, but it wasn't until 1981 that I bought a small catamaran and moved here with the intention of some day living on a small yacht and making the islands my home.
Storm Season was a Windrush 16 surfcat, designed in Western Australia and different in many ways from my earlier boats. Unlike the popular Hobie 16, the Windrush was designed to handle real surf and carry a load.
Whitsunday Wandering BLOG continues HERE