R Marine Crawley Circle Whitsundays Experience 2012

North Queensland, Australia: Nine days in the stunning tropical Whitsunday Islands was pure paradise for 34 Riviera owners and their guests who joined R Marine Crawley for their annual Circle Whitsundays Experience.

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Saturday 18th  August - Circle Whitsundays 2012 Begins
While many boats had already been cruising the crystal waters of the Whitsundays, others were still refuelling and picking up happy-go-lucky passengers eager to set off on the annual R-Marine Crawley Circle Whitsundays Cruise. As the boats arrived at the starting location of CID Harbour it was apparent that most on board had already unwound with numerous stories of cocktail parties, great food and even the odd mud crab caught. This year the turn out has been sensational with a total of 34 people attending on board 10 boats, including two 47s, two 48s, 51, 53, and two 56s, doubling last year’s attendance.  And if the sunset drinks aboard Double Trouble and Reality Cheque this evening are anything to go by, we are sure to have a few good parties and hilarious events take place.

Sunday 19th  August - Some recovered while the energetic walked to Sawmill Beach
As the brilliant sunshine of yesterday faded away to overcast breezy conditions, the group was determined not to let that put a damper on the day.  While there were a few heads as cloudy as the sky, the brave set off to conquer Sawmill Beach Walk. With Jan and Ben spearheading the early morning walk discussed at the previous night’s drinks, admittedly numbers were down at the commencement of the trek. The brave few from Double Trouble, Stayin Alive, Supreme and  Living the Dream set off on what proved to be a brisk but rocky walk through the tropical bush setting of Whitsunday Island.  Following the walk, the group embarked on a quick cruise to Burning Point via the dent passage and past the hundreds of sailors getting ready to commence one of the many races during the annual Hamilton Island Race Week.

Arriving at today’s destination we met with Playstation,  the last boat to join our group.  With the fleet in tack, anchors dropped, tenders lowered and eskys packed, a course was set for the beach and a late barbecue lunch. With barbecues smoking, drinks flowing and conversation rife, it wasn't long before the Boy Scout skills kicked in and a select few set about building the biggest fire on the peaceful Whitsundays beach of Burning Point.  As the fire roared and the red wine dried up, it was lucky that we noticed the fast evacuating Whitsunday tide, which was quickly stranding the tenders on the beach and prompted a bartering system to arise as to whose turn it was to move the boats out further, then further, until finally it was a 250m walk out for the convoy to begin back to the mother ships. Once again, the infamous Circle Whitsundays Beach barbecue was a crowd pleaser as we all retired for the night eager to see what tomorrow would bring.

Monday 20th  August - Tales of the past night’s antics!
As the skies continued to darken and the pitter patter of rain sounded on the foredeck, tales of yesterday’s antics began to circle the group. While the crew on Double Trouble laughed at the re-telling of the Skipper’s automated consumption of chocolates, while bunking down for a night on the couch, after being banished from the master suite for refusing to shower, despite smelling of the day’s beach fire. More stories emerged proving that yet again this would be another memorable cruise.

Chocolate consumption on board Double Trouble couldn't compare to the events that took place onboard Living the Dream.  The crew decided to recreate their own episode of US reality TV show, the Deadliest Catch.  Lines bated, glasses filled to the brim and the Circle Whitsundays fishing nationals started catching the rest of the fleet unawares when over the VHF came,  “Emergencyyyyyyy, Emergen(hiccup)yyyyy, Living The Dream in distress,” from the voice of non other than Captain Bolton. During the avid fishing and rod bending fight to capture admittedly what could be the biggest herring seen this side of a wine bottle, the crew aboard decided that in order to land the 350gram monster, they needed to make a quick tender swap freeing up valuable deck space and in their haste dropped the tender line. After a sterling rescue by Don from Del-Lago it was clear that Mike wasn't going to live this one down. With the stories told and the chuckles subsiding, anchors were raised and the fleet headed off for a relaxing 10 knot cruise to Macona Inlet, ready to do it all again at the annual Italian and Givit Charity Auction night.  Not only did we have lovely cruising conditions, we also enjoyed a few pods of whales performing, a mother and calf feeding, and the start of yet another Hamilton Island Race Week Yacht Race. With rumours running rife about Don's salvage recovery and his charitable donation of Mike’s tender to the Givit Charity Auction, it was clear that another night of hilarious antics were about to begin.

Tuesday 21st August
It was a relaxing day for the crews so we decided to stay in Macona Bay for the night.  The crabbing crew set off mid-morning to check their pots and were disappointed to find them empty.  Double Trouble departed for Hamilton Island mid-morning to drop Ben at the airport for his return to the office. Riviera 53 Strike Zone with Greg and Vearna Sills welcomed the crews on board to enjoy a Sashimi Tuna, which was fantastic.  Everyone was excited to view the 53 and asked how Greg and Vearna were enjoying their beautiful new boat.  Rod and Gary decided to once again check their pots, and were delighted to be rewarded with a huge mud crab, which they proudly displayed to the crew on Strike Zone.  The evening was a quiet affair with calm conditions and groups of boats enjoying barbecue and roast dinners.

Wednesday 22nd August
After a morning radio check the fleet departed at 10am bound for Tongue Bay, leading by Geoff on board Riviera 56, Supreme, and followed by Double Trouble and Reality Check who stopped to recover their pots with high hopes of catching a few mud crabs for lunch.  An afternoon beach barbecue turned into a big Birthday celebration for Russ, the Captain of Play station 2

Thursday 23rd August
After a calm cruise across to the mainland with five to 10 knot winds, the crew arrived in Woodward Bay. Upon arrival, the girls from Reality Check paddled to shore in their kayaks and within minutes, Riviera tents were erected and the barbecues were alight. Play station 2 brought a boned lamb roast and we all enjoyed a sumptuous meal and swimming at high tide.  Mike Bolton from Living the Dream received the ‘Spit the Dummy’ award for putting a turn on the beach.  The local dogs came down and enjoyed a few left overs.  All in all, it was a great lazy day and there were a few sick captains the next day.

Friday 24th August
What a glorious day!  Flat seas and a gentle sea breeze made for an easy and slow cruise out of Woodward to the Mounties.  Sea Strike left a little earlier to troll lines in the hope of catching the early morning Mackerel. They were very excited when they had a strike of a Sail fish.  The crew cruised at 10 knots enjoying a great trip through the Gloucester passage.  Strike Zone led the team with a great catch of Mackerel, which resulted in Reality Check, Living the Dream and Double Trouble joining the fishing competition.  Each boat managed to catch a few Mackerel, which was enjoyed at dinner in Bona Bay.

Saturday 25th August
Jimmy Buffet Day at Mounties resort.  The morning was a buzz of coloured flags and everyone in the resort joined the SICYS club (Shag Islet Cruising Yacht club) buying shirts, hats and coloured flags.  It is a great club supporting prostate cancer research.  At 3pm we were all putting on our parrot head gear ready for our Jimmy Buffett party at the waters edge, which was alive with hundreds of rubber dinghies and about 400 people wearing parrot head gear.  We were soon in full swing with the music and dancing.  A barbecue lunch and cool beers were the order of the day.   Captain Rod Crawley auctioned the prizes and more than  $15,000 was raised for the charity.  The ‘Spit the Dummy’ award was then passed on to Don from Delago for no apparent reason.  After a fun day we all watched the impressive firework display and slowly cruised back to our boats for the evening.

Sunday 26th August
After a peaceful night with not a breath of wind, the fleet met for our traditional ‘Hangover Breakfast’ at the Eco Resort.  Surprisingly everyone was looking quite well and sporting our white Riviera shirts and hats.
We enjoyed breakfast and group photos before saying our farewells and heading off in different directions for the voyage home.

The weather was perfect, the company was outstanding and we all caught a fish or two. 
It certainly will be on our events calendar next year.

To reserve your boat’s position in the 2013 R Marine Crawley Circle Whitsundays Experience, contact R Marine Crawley on info@rmarinecrawley.com.au or phone +61 7 5529 5007





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Click to enlarge image: Nine days in the stunning tropical with R Marine Crawley Circle Whitsundays Experience. <strong>See the full picture galley below of this event</stong>

Nine days in the stunning tropical with R Marine Crawley Circle Whitsundays Experience. See the full picture galley below of this event