We enjoyed a fantastic sail from Hamilton Island to Airlie Beach. The sailing wind right now is great and alternatively the anchorages are a bit rough yet not unbearable. We phoned the marina to secure a berth but when we were told that we would need a $10,000,000.00 Certificate of Currency bond (like a liability coverage), we gasped and said that we would just anchor in the mooring field off Airlie Beach. Fortunately the yacht club is a short dinghy ride away and was the obvious choice for dinner. Our meal was excellent leaving us to feel good about the choice, but afterward about 200 yards into an after dinner stroll the temperature dropped significantly sending us straight home. We still had not heard from our new friend, Barton.
Wednesday brought a pretty yet windy day, nice enough to explore Airlie Beach. Strolling around this charming town we were reminded of a North Queensland version of Byron Bay. It is a bit artsy and a little more backpacker-ish. Lovely.
We walked along the beach where some clever artist sculpted the torso of a young dragon in the sand, I dropped a small donation in the proffered bucket. We continued our stroll past the Airlie Lagoon which is a perfect alternative to swimming in the bay, where the worrying factor would be the deadly Irukandji; thumbnail size jellyfish that make an appearance in these waters from October to May.
We meandered onward to the marina and then back into the main thoroughfare for a memorable lunch at a local pub. It drizzled on and off all day, putting a bit of a damper on our sense of adventure. Eventually we decided to take the public bus to Airlie's local shopping center a few miles out of town where we were able to re-stock our depleted food supplies. Once again rainclouds were threatening as we returned across the choppy bay to Destiny. As of 9 PM we still haven't heard from either Barton or Juri so we made the decision to head onward tomorrow.