Great Barrier Reef

Whitsunday Islands Adventure

When my husband, Frank, and I took our son, Dan, to the Whitsundays last weekend. I'm not sure who had the most fun, but it was a weekend that will be in our memories for a long time. We stayed at the Martinique Apartments, Mediterranean style which certainly took us away from the every day of computers and filled our creative wells. The sun shone in a brilliant cerulean sky, a strong south-easterly blew and the cool water's visibility enabled us to see a smorgasbord of life under the sea while we snorkelled. Giant clams, Blue Fusiliers, Harlequin Fish, Surgeon Fish, Coral Trout and more, plus an added surprise with the Cleaner Wrasse picking the bacteria off the fish. Many soft corals swayed in the flowing water, but not the large variety I used to see when I scuba dived twenty years ago. A lot of the staghorn coral had been damaged by cyclones or boats, so that was disappointing.

The ride out to the reef in Fury was fast and exhilarating. I'm not a good sailor, however I was pleasantly surprised when the fast boat skimmed across the water so that queasy feeling didn't get a chance to invade my space. The fun part was being sprayed by the water as the boat bounced on the choppy sea.

For lunch, we stopped at the world famous Whitehaven Beach: spectacular! See pic below. After a great picnic lunch we took a stroll along the brilliant, silicon sand to burn up a few calories.

Here are a few photos of our weekend away. A special thanks to Dan for giving me permission to use his photos. Can't wait until our next visit.

Martinique Apartments at Airlie Beach.

My two heroes, Dan and Frank.

Sunset at Airlie Beach.

A friendly visitor for lunch.

Whitehaven Beach

The Next Chapter Unfolds...

Life in the tropics.

Life in the tropics.

It's happened, before I thought it would!

Almost twelve years ago our family left Townsville to live on the Gold Coast so that our son, who is an IT guru, would have opportunities to work in that field. Our time on the Gold Coast was an interesting time full of challenges but a fun place to call home. Our son is now an adult and well on his way to an interesting career in IT.

Knowing he was settled, left me wondering where my future lay. Yes, of course, I'm a writer that was obvious, but where do I feel the freedom to write with no distractions. Part of our travels around Australia was to find the place where we were meant to be. Leaving my life behind on the Gold Coast was quite a challenge, but I also found it exciting to work out where the next chapter of my life was about to unfold. Living down south was exciting, but it wasn't for me climatically, so we headed north to the warmth, and discovered we belong up here in the tropics with humidity, balmy nights, open spaces, palm trees and the beautiful Great Barrier Reef at our doorstep. We were scuba divers at another time in our life.

Extended family living here also strongly influenced my decision to live in Mackay. In my adult years I've never lived in the same town as family, so Mackay has offered this wonderful opportunity for me to connect with them.

Another bonus was meeting author, Rose Dee, whose first book will be released in mid-November, 2011 by Even Before Publishing entitled Back to Resolution. It's great to meet and support each other on our writing journey.

So, it's official, we've decided to make Mackay our new home. Our house on the Gold Coast is on the market and we're searching for our new place to put down roots. We've lived in Townsville on three different occasions in the past, so it's no surprise we've returned to north Queensland. Mackay has regular flights in and out which are relatively cheap with lots of flights daily. The hour and a half trip to Brisbane means our son can visit often when he needs time out from his busy schedule, or I can return to the Gold Coast when I want to catch up with him and old friends.

My change of lifestyle isn't as dramatic as Gina's in my book, African Hearts. Gina was a woman with courage, understanding her strengths and moving forward to grasp new experiences. I learned from Gina that fear is real, but it can be overcome and there are many advantanges to going places that seem way too scarey.

Travelling in the van has given me the opportunity to meet many people throughout this vast country; connect with my readers and other writers; and to give me new fodder for my future projects.

I haven't been to Western and central Australia, but those places are still on my list of places to visit. It's time for me to be still for a while and focus again on my next work which is almost complete. When the time is right, I'll step out and seek all that the great central and west has to offer.

Where are you in your journey of life? Are you in a time of being, or are you caught up in the excitement and stress of change? If you're in the latter, hang in there, you'll soon be in that new place. I encourage you to hold on tight and enjoy the ride. You'll grow from the experience and have new resources to call on in the future when you next take a leap of faith.