Still beau­ti­ful

Whitsunday Times - - WHITSUNDAY VIEWS -

It had been over 10 years since I last vis­ited the Whit­sun­days and 15 years since I sold Ocean Raft­ing to Jan and Peter Clax­ton, but (the week be­fore last) my daugh­ter Am­ber (now 16) and I re­turned.

She was a baby when we left so it was es­sen­tially a new begin­ning for her.

First im­pres­sions for me as we drove into Can­non­vale, on the other hand, were of con­fu­sion, since so much has changed.

As we con­tin­ued through Air­lie a sense of fa­mil­iar­ity re­turned, un­til we reached Port of Air­lie which has risen like a mi­rage from the mud­flats. A lot can hap­pen in a decade! On­ward to Shute and I must say I breathed a sigh of relief to see this pris­tine nat­u­ral har­bour re­mains un­spoilt.

Al­though I sup­ported hav­ing at least one up­graded ma­rina, and think the de­vel­op­ment of both Abell Point and Port of Air­lie are very taste­ful, I sin­cerely hope Shute re­mains the nat­u­ral jewel in the crown for eons to come.

Thanks to the gen­eros­ity of the Clax­tons, a day on the wa­ter with Ocean Raft­ing left us feel­ing like lo­cals again, and it was won­der­ful to catch up with other good friends long ne­glected.

We drove back to the Sun­shine Coast se­cure in the knowl­edge that the Whit­sun­days is still one of the most beau­ti­ful places on earth. Sarah Pye (Grant) Sippy Downs Past owner of Ocean Raft­ing

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