James used nautical dates
and did not correct for passing the International Date Line, so according to his log the discovery took place on Whitsunday.
Sofar nobody has even bothered to correct this blatant error.
The islands were inhabited by the seafaring Ngaro people who plied
the waters in their ironbark outrigger canoes, hunting for sea turtles and small whales.
When the European colonists and traders
arrived, the locals were mostly wiped out and the surviving Ngaro were forcefully relocated and put to work as slaves.
the 20th century the Whitsundays became a favorite holiday destination with luxurious resorts to cater for the demanding
folk of Australia's big cities.
But in March 2017 the islands were right under the path of Cyclone Debbie and suffered great devastation.
Several of the older resorts, like the one on South Molle Island, were destroyed and have not been rebuild.
A real must
see is Whiteheaven Beach on Whitsunday Island near Hill Inlet, one of the most beautiful places we ever encountered.
and snorkelers alike will appreciate Hardy Reef, 65 km Northeast from Airlie Beach. This reef is part of the Outer
Great Barrier Reef and sports lots of colorful hard coral and ample reef fish.