If you’re reading this article right now, you’re either A) planning an adventurous girls trip with your favourite crew or B) desperately in need of one. Either way, you've come to the right place.
A cliche girls trip is about massages and long lunches, but in the real world, most women don’t fit into clichés! Perhaps a more appropriate girls trip is something like skippering and crewing a 40-foot yacht!
The below story is for those who haven't sailed the Whitsundays before. But, perhaps even more so it's an inspiring story, in particular, for women who would like to give bareboating as a female crew a go.
When Elara and a group of friends decided that they wanted to charter a yacht in the Whitsundays for a girls trip, they were excited to find out how easy it would be. Even though none of them had ever managed a boat let alone a 40’ yacht before!
We’re so thrilled they enjoyed themselves and pretty proud of them too! They embraced bareboating and jumped out of their comfort zones resulting in a truly inspiring adventure with lots of laughs and fun along the way.
We all know each other playing netball in Alice Springs and have known each other for around 20 years (give or take a few).
We have lived half or all our lives in Alice Springs. I moved to Perth 18 months ago after 21 years in Alice Springs.
We are Elara (me 46), Corrina (47), Robin (51), Sally (63).
For the last seven years, we have travelled to many places, just 2 of us, three or a big group (Vegas, Mexico, Cruising, Sri Lanka, New York, Tough Mudder in Melbourne and many more).
I come up with the ideas mostly from watching Reality TV. I watched a lot of "Below Deck" and wondered how much it would cost to do in Australia. Then google reviews gave me Whitsunday Rent A Yacht. I had to email to make sure we didn’t need a license, and I was so excited when they confirmed that you didn’t need experience.
Ha! Below Deck is an American reality TV show which follows people who work and travel on superyachts. It's pretty amazing to see what some of these people have to do to sustain their careers and of course, there's lots of cheesy reality TV drama. They recently filmed in the Whitsundays, so watch this space!
I didn't. I didn't think it would be easy, but I like challenges and learning new things.
The others mostly had apprehension and wanted to hire a Skipper, but I wouldn't allow it. Hahaha. I chatted to friends with boating experience, and they were a little concerned (I think more because of our cheeky behaviour), but people who knew me well knew I could handle it.
None. I had driven a dingy a few times, but that’s about it.
Hiring a catamaran in the Whitsundays wasn't easy, but it wasn't hard. I think we had a mindset that it would be extremely difficult, but it was easier than we thought.
I didn't realise the constant concentration required for being a skipper, but I found it peaceful.
We went to Sandy Bay, Hill Inlet & Tongue Bay, Whitehaven Beach and Hamilton Island.
We swam, took the dinghy to shore and did walks along the beach. We loved spending time on Betty Beach, just near Whitehaven.
Our trip was full of relaxing, laughing, chatting and staring at the ocean; when from Alice Springs, the sea is appreciated.
We had to overcome miscommunication early on when mooring and anchoring. I am seriously glad I was hooked on "Below Deck" as the hand signals they used were very helpful to pass onto the others. Hand signals made everything clear because it can be difficult to hear voices.
Once when we anchored, we had to do it again because we had forgotten that the tide would keep moving us, and we started to get too close to the next boat. But re-anchoring wasn't hard, and we did well.
We had a bit of dinghy trouble, but we ended up working it out by not overthinking and staying calm.
I was only nervous when I had to park at Hamilton Island marina due to all the expensive boats, but it was pretty easy with fantastic guidance from the Hamo guy.
Everything! The experience is something I say to everyone “you must experience this”. I loved the boat, the places we saw and went to. We had good food, good wine, good music and incredible company. It was great having a cabin each. I suggest splurging and enjoying the luxury.
You can do whatever you set your mind to.
Pick a leader to make the decisions and when it is a serious time, listen to the leader and everyone else stick to their tasks. We had the Skipper who would read the charts in the morning, someone in charge of the anchor, someone in charge of mooring, and the 4th person did radio calls and did hand signals for anchor and mooring time.
Give it a go! It is a must-do in life! Just remember that they wouldn't let you take the yacht out if they thought it would turn out badly.
We just did four nights, seven nights I think would be perfect, even longer.
We booked three extra hours of training in addition to the standard four-hour briefing, which was helpful.
If you’re a group planning on sailing the Whitsundays for the first time, consider:
Sailing around Australia’s Whitsunday Islands is the perfect mix of adventure and comfort. There’s no reason a bareboating holiday shouldn’t be on your radar for your next girls trip! To find rates and availability check out our online booking system or get in touch with our friendly staff.