Get the most out of your bareboating holiday with these 10 helpful tips. From choosing meals for your holiday, to efficiently packing the fridges, making the most of your week in the Whitsundays, and some local knowledge thrown in, these top 10 tips will prepare you for one of the best holidays you'll ever have.
1) Bareboat briefing: Have your crew organised in advance and your groceries delivered by Whitsunday Provisioning. Put a movie or game on the ipad on for the children or take them for a swim at the Airlie Beach lagoon. At least two adults should stay for the briefing where possible.
2) Be sun smart: Bring a collapsible cooler bag with you so you can keep your drinks cool on the beaches as many of the beaches don’t have a lot of shade. Remember to slip on a shirt, slop on some sunscreen and slap on hat every time you go out in the sun.
3) Snorkelling adventures: Always snorkel in pairs! It is easy to get out of breath when snorkelling, so stay with your buddy and keep an eye on each other. When you go exploring make sure you are back at the boat before dark! The sun usually sets in the Whitsundays around 6-7pm.
4) Free public moorings: If you arrive at your overnight mooring at 2pm, you have the best chance to secure overnight 'rights'. Public moorings have a 2 hour limit but you are not supposed to move after 4pm. If another boatie is inaccurately suggesting that you have overstayed on the mooring, smile, wave and politely inform them you are following the bareboating rules.
5) Exploring at sunset: Watching the sun set from the top of an island is beautiful, but remember to take a torch as it will be dark on the hike back down to your bareboat. Remember to leave the lights on on board so you can drive the tender back to the boat easily.
6) Planning meals: Plan ahead and create a meal plan to satisfy your crew’s eating and dietary requirements for a fuss-free bareboating holiday. There’s hardly anywhere to stock up on forgotten supplies, so buying more than you think you’ll need can be a good strategy. Plan your meals using the perishable/fragile items first and your longer life foods for the last days on charter. The only supermarket and bottle shop out there are on Hamilton Island if you run out of supplies.
7) Packing your fridge: Pack it full! With your meal plan in mind, pack the soft fruit, vegetables and cheese to the front or top so these are used first. This will ensure nothing is left squashed and inedible at the bottom.
8) How long to charter: Seven nights isn’t long enough in the Whitsunday Islands, there’s so much to see and do! Book for nine nights or longer to allow yourself time to totally unwind and take in this natural aquatic wonderland. Don’t just take our word for it though, read the reviews and testimonials of past charterers, they’ll say the same!
9) Visiting famous Whitehaven Beach: The famous view from the Hill Inlet lookout is best on the outgoing tide. Take your good camera as this beautiful spot is a real highlight of a bareboat charter. Be very carfeul with your cameras on Whitehaven Beach, the super fine silica sand can get into the mechanisms and play havoc with your equipment. Walking tracks are easy and well-marked, but comfortable footwear is recommended.
10) Anchoring or mooring in Stonehaven: the best visibility and water depth for snorkelling is between one to three hours after the tide starts to come in. If all of the moorings are busy you can anchor outside the reef protection markers in Anchorage 1 and 2... Be aware of bullets (wind gusts) here, make sure you secure your towels!