6.49pm, Friday, 11th July, Catseye Bay, Hamilton Island, The Whitsunday Group, off the Queensland Coast, Australia
Folks, here’s where the karma pendulum swings firmly back in my favour!
I’ve just had a big week of one-night-in-each-town jobs, and we’ll be working the Sunday and Monday of the Queen’s Birthday weekend, then right through Far North Queensland – finishing with a consumer lunch in Townsville next Saturday. Also big. But here’s the bonus – I’ve got tonight, tomorrow day and Saturday night off … here on Hamilton Island! I’ve not been here before, and we’re doing a whiz bang dinner over at the Yacht Club on Sunday night – which it seems has got a lot of folks talking on the island, as I’ve already been told about it twice in conversation. I better make sure I’m firing on all eight cylinders for that one.
But back to the tropical paradise stopover thing! As we flew in today, the sea looked like a giant camouflage pattern of green grey, blue and blue green stretching right out to the horizon – and I really had no idea how spectacular this Whitsunday group of islands actually are – let alone the fact that The Great Barrier Reef is literally a hop, step and a skip away.
I’ve checked in to the Reef View Hotel, which is sitting above Catseye Bay, and proceeded to read the “Welcome to Hamilton” pack. The first major warning is the fact sheet on the potentially deadly Irukandji Jellyfish. These tiny, hard-to-track transparent jelly fish are local residents – more so when the water is warmer in the summer months – and the sting can cause severe pain, muscle constriction and breathing difficulties. So a good idea to treat them with respect! I have no worries on this front – one good thing about being a big fan of the “Sea Patrol” TV show is that you learn a lot of really handy stuff about life in Far North Queensland – seeing as the home port of the fictitious (Armidale class) patrol boat ‘Hammersley’ is Cairns. In one episode two of the crew got stung by Irakanji jellyfish, so now we know what can happen, and how to avoid them! I knew I’d use that knowledge eventually.
I’ve ticked one box this evening – watching the sun drop out of the sky and into the ocean from high point One Tree Hill. Here’s my arty photo – hope Tony put’s it up over the weekend. Tomorrow my partner in wine for the next few days arrives – Greg ‘The Colossus of Queensland’ Rashleigh. We did some stellar things up here last year which were faithfully detailed in the blog at the time, and this year we’ve added this event on Hamilton Island, Monday’s events in Airlie Beach, and Tuesday’s events in Mackay. Looking forward to all of them!
That just leaves a couple of things that we’ve done this week that I haven’t got to – and that will be my first job in the morning : the Gold Coast foodie tour with Ash, the trade lunch yesterday at champion pizza central Augello’s at Mooloolaba, and a huge night out last night with Jayney ‘Owns the Sunny Coast’ Halls and 40 consumers at See Restaurant – ‘absolute’ waterfront dining on the Mooloolaba Wharf. I want to make sure that I put those up, becasue if you’re ever in these places, you MUST drop in!
See ya when the sun comes up tomorrow on an even-better-than Gilligan’s Island!