Bareboating in stinger season | Whitsunday Rent a Yacht

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Bareboating in the Whitsundays' stinger season

Stay safe during the Whitsundays' stinger season and enjoy your skipper yourself holiday. Mike Dicker, one of our skippers, shares some tips to keep in mind this summer.

November has arrived and the Whitsundays' stinger season is here again! Should this dissuade you from booking that bareboat charter in the Whitsundays? Absolutely not! Like almost everything else in life, common sense is the keyword here.

My Dad had a great saying that came from his career in the military, which he oftentimes impressed on we three adventurous brothers as we were growing up and tending to live a little on the edge, as it were: “Nothing is dangerous until you forget that it is!”

Stinger season in the Whitsundays runs from late October to May. We have two species of stingers that create the primary concern for visitors - the box jellyfish and the much smaller and almost impossible to see, Irukandji. The tropical warm waters in the Whitsundays and around the Great Barrier Reef create the perfect conditions for stingers, however, being stung by a jellyfish is a very rare occurrence.

stinger suits witsundays

3 ways you can enjoy bareboating in the Whitsundays' stinger season

Wear stinger suits

It may not look like the height of fashion, (when I’m wearing one, my kids tell me I look like a “Teletubby”), but they serve a dual purpose. They will protect you from a stinger encounter, whilst at the same time, prevent you from getting badly sunburnt. I don’t care what brand of super sunscreen you favour, just two or three duck dives while snorkelling will wash it off, leaving the back of your neck and shoulders exposed and vulnerable to painful sunburn! Wear a stinger suit, prevention is so much better than cure.

You can hire a stinger suit through us when you make your booking, they are only $5 person and we have suits suited for both summer and winter swimming.

Be aware of the conditions

Be aware of high-risk conditions for Irukandji – sustained NE winds, flat or calm weather, sea lice felt in the water and/or salps present

Always carry vinegar

While species such as the box jellyfish can be lethal, quick and correct treatment can prevent any serious long term damage. 

You will have vinegar supplied on your boat. If someone does happen to get stung, treat immediately by washing the sting with lots of vinegar and do not rub the sing area. Remove any tentacles. Jump on the radio to our head office as soon as possible. Do not re-enter the water.

If you have any concerns please chat with our staff so we can make sure you are informed and feel safe. Stinger season really isn't a reason to not go bareboating. By being mindful and wearing a stinger suit, you can enjoy all of the amazing waterbased activities on offer in the Whitsundays

Happy and safe summer chartering,

Mike.