The Iluka yacht marooned at Whitehaven Beach. The yacht looked the business and unlike most of the low-cost sailing trips focusing on ‘fun’ and huge passenger numbers, it could accommodate a maximum of 14 in five private en-suite cabins. As there were just ten of us, each couple got their own cabin, a perk which made the experience even more comfortable.
She was 21 metres long, white with plain dark blue strips on her sleek sides, built of Formosa sketch with teak fit out throughout. She featured two main sails and a smaller steering sail at the front, which could be manipulated independently via a bundle of ropes and steel stabilizers anchored around the deck.
The deck itself was made of wooden planks, two-inches wide and worn down over the years by salty water, wind and constant scrubbing. At the front end, it extended to form an overhanging platform, designed to keep you dry when the sea got rough and waves were mercilessly flooding the rest of the yacht.
The nerve centre, comprising of the helm and several navigation dials, was situated at the back, surrounded by a spacious, U-shaped seating area that could accommodate all passengers plus the crew.
Iluka’s interior had an old-fashioned dark-wood finish, complete with wooden floors that squeaked under your bare feet. There were three stepped levels inside joined by flights of stairs: first, the captain’s bridge, next, the dining room and kitchen, and finally, at the hull level, the private cabins for the passengers.
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Photo taken in Whitsunday Islands National Park, LOT 15 Whitsunday Boulevard, Hamilton Island QLD 4803, Australia
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