To Aroona's extended friends and family,
As 2011 comes to a close, I look back and feel we had had a great year on Aroona from Sydney to the Cape York. It has been one filled with adventures for myself, Andrew and hopefully all those whom we were lucky to have onboard along the way.
The year began with a glorious few weeks exploring the Queensland coast as we headed for our home port at Yorkey's Knob Marina. From reef fishing and exploring the Whitsundays to catching barra off Hinchinbrook Island , we were off to a fantastic start! While devastating floods threatened to damper the trip, Aroona made it safe and sound to the Far North but of course the excitement didn't end there. Cyclone Yasi set a direct course for the Cairns area within two weeks giving myself and Aroona its first real taste of Mother Nature. Aroona weathered the storm beautifully up the mangroves in Trinity Inlet giving us all a big sigh of relief to push ahead.
The first big trip off the rank was Princess Charlotte Bay . With 7 of us on board, we spent 8 days getting a first taste of the world class barramundi and reef fishing in the remote waters off Cape York Peninsula. The boys had a lot to brag about on the return with record catches of over 100 barramundi caught and released and an array of other fish and mud crabs for a feast. Aroona also embarked on her first day charters by the Easter holidays with guests including the Chinese ambassador and his entourage getting a taste of the coral reefs off Cairns with a marine biologist on board to give them a personalized tour. They made for quite a challenge...as not many of them could swim!
In May, Aroona was steaming back south for the Sanctuary Cove Boat Show which saw hundreds of visitors getting a chance to see her first hand. Andrew and I received lots of positive feedback getting us excited for what possibilities are to come as we expand our charter capabilities into the future.
On our way home from the Sanctuary Cove, a number of friends and family joined us along the way for some great fishing, diving and amazing weather to explore the east coast.
The next big adventure came in July with the dwarf minke whales arriving in the Far North. We met up with them on the ribbon reefs for a week of spectacular in-water encounters making passes within inches of Andrew and others on board. It has become a must-do on the annual calendar.
We've had a variety of fantastic charters from mother-shipping for the game boats, reef fishing and diving the ribbons, Osprey Reef and Lizard Island. I couldn't be any luckier with the great range of crew that helped make each trip a memorable one! The guests have all been an amazing mix of overseas and local clients who gave back just as much as I hope they took away from their time on board. We hope to see all of you back again in the future!
Since pictures are known to say a thousand words, I thought i'd let a montage of the year gone by give you a better idea of what we have achieved and what is to come in 2012. Enjoy and thanks to all for your tremendous support.
To see the montage follow the link below or look up on you tube Charter Great Barrier Reef Aroona 2011
May you all have a merry Christmas and happy new year from myself, Andrew, Maggie and the crew at Aroona and I hope your 2012 is filled with adventure!
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