Whitsunday's and more...
Here's some more of our Oz adventures....
Tuesday 1st May (Happy Birthday Sam!)
Arrived at Airlie Beach after a night of attempting to sleep on a coach... sooo tired this morning! It’s so hot here for this time of the morning! Had to wait a little to check in. Vic and Rach from Fraser walked in... so chatted with them for a bit.
We checked in, the room was a bit of a pig sty as it had not been cleaned yet, so we went to sign in for our Whitsunday Island sailing adventure. When we came back I got showered and had a little wonder into town, Jem and Leonie decided to have a sleep! A few hours later I returned... and they were still asleep! Go me though for not sleeping for once!
Just chilled in the evening, actually ended up falling asleep about half 9!
Wednesday 2nd May
Had a little lie in this morning but had to get up in time to check out, took all our stuff to the sailing place to be stored, apart from the 2 small bags that we're taking with us!
Just spent some time looking around town and chilled by the pool. We have to be at the boat by 6.30pm, so plenty of time to kill!
At 6pm we started walking to the harbour, what we thought was only going to be a short walk really wasn't, especially with two small (but heavy) bag and a box of goon. It was quite a mission! Walking past the lagoon we kept seeing loads of rat/mice darting past.... nice!
Finally we found the meeting place and met the people who were also going to be on our boat- Pacific Star- for the next 3 days and 3 nights. Instantly we got chatting to a few nice lads (Sy from Leeds-but NZ origin and Andy from Sydney) that had come on their own and a couple from Essex (Lee and Carole), there were a few couples and even an older couple, so a really nice range of people. That night we got given our stinger suits (its jellyfish season!) and when we got onto the boat we were given an introduction to the boat. The staff there were Shane the skipper, Hayley the cook and also skipper and 2 dive instructors both called Tom... who both looked alike-like surfer dudes!
Our cabin was tiny, with 4 beds, Jem, Leonie and guy called Steve and me all shared. It was really comfy though. We had a look in our section.... I was just in there and noticed 2 taps on the wall and a hose pipe... later I learned this was the shower! And we were only allowed 60 second showers! So that was a mission in itself! That night everyone just got chatting on the boat, getting to know each other and having a few drinks, we were sailing to the Whitsunday Islands until about 10pm, then we anchored up for the night.
Thursday 3rd May
Slept like a little log! Until I was woken up at 6.30am with the anchor being brought up and we started sailing. The water was splashing against the side where we were sleeping and it was a bit bumpy. We all had to be up for 7am for brekkie. Had a great selection of fruit salad, cereals and toast and juice. I was quite impressed.
Our first stop, Whitsunday National Park and Whitehaven Beach. We walked through the park, up to a viewing point looking over Whitehaven beach. It was stunning, the sea so clear and the sand so white. From there we walked down to the beach. We got on the sexy stinger suits and all headed into the sea. After a while the lads headed back to the beach to work on their tans, while us girls just messed about in the sea. Did some sunbathing after, then it was time to head back to the boat. did a bit more tanning on the boat, had a nice little spot on the top... although it felt like a giant nail file! Had a rough surface for better grip!
After a while we arrived at Luncheon Bay, some people were taken our diving... I was told I wasn't allowed to do diving because of my Asthma, even though its mild, if you have used a Asthma pump in the last 10 years its against Oz law to allow you to dive! Also Tom, was explaining why and its to do with the compressed air and lung reduction, it can bring it on and cause the lungs to explode! If I was to have an attack under the water I can't come up until its over! Soooo think I'll stick with snorkeling! It was the same for Jem too... bit gutted, but in the end it turned out that just snorkeling we saw better things than the divers!
So got kitted up for our first snorkel on the boat, it was sooo cool! Saw loads of really colourful fish and massive Angel fish. Best of all... I found Nemo! Hes all good! After I had dried out back on the boat I went and chilled in the lounge and watched Big Fish. Good film, wasn't sure what to expect but enjoyed it! Attempted my 60 second shower... it was easier that I though! Very funny though, think I was giggling to myself the whole time!
Then dinner was ready, had a great selection of salads, roast beef, pumpkin mash potato (YUM!) and gravy! Went out on the deck for a bit, then went into watch Meet the Fockers... funny as ever then went to bed.
Friday 4th May (HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACH!! Have a fab time... sorry I can't be there... miss you loads!)
We had been sailing through the night, so when I woke we were bumping everywhere! I got up and ready but felt really sick and had to get out on the deck. After a bit I went to lie down, the sea sick pills hadn't really had a chance to kick in! I felt a little better about an hour later, after we'd stopped and anchored and went back up for brekkie.
They crew told us that we were at a reef that had never been dived before by the company and we were in the middle of the Pacific... 12 hours away from land!! It was weird, all around was just sea and sky. We went snorkeling-on the Great Barrier Reef, it was great... saw some Reef Sharks, black and white tipped ones. Apparently they're harmless and they didn't seem to care we were there.
We got back on the boat for lunch (lasagna and salad). We sunbathed a little and sailed to a different reef. Back in the sea for more snorkeling. This time the fish were more colourful. Back on the boat I had a shower and dinner, but still wasn't feeling that great. I hate boats. I curled up on the sofa and watched a little of a war film, wasn't really interested, just concentrating on not throwing up! I went outside to the front of the boat just after sunset. Between the sky and the sea was an orange stripe, it was so pretty.
After the sun had completely gone down I looked up at the stars and was truly amazed by what I saw. There were thousands of stars, so bright, some collected together which looked like a little galaxy. It was stunning. Its something I couldn't capture the beauty of on camera, but something I will never forget.
Then something even more spectacular... the moon started to rise! I never realised the moon did rise, it always comes across just to appear in the sky (sorry if that sounds like a dumb comment!)! It rose really quick, starting off as a fiery orange and gradually changing to white. It was so so amazing! Wow!
Jem and me were chatting at the front of the boat, chatting about Jaws (so appropriate!) then we noticed something jumping in the water below. Dolphins! They weren't there for long.
After that I went to bed, really early at 9pm, wasn't in the mood for being sociable and feeling rubbish!
Saturday 5th May
Finally I don't feel sick! Had brekkie, we were at Hayman Island now... finally there's land! This area is known as the "Fish Bowl". When we went snorkeling we found out why! There were the most lovely fish everywhere! Swimming right up next to us! Saw a family of Nemo's this time! It was fab! Again saw some huge Angel Fish!!!!!
Got back onto boat and sunbathed a little as we headed more back towards Airlie Beach. We stopped one more time at a tiny sand bank in the sea. Half of us couldn't really be bothered to get off and snorkel until we were told it was a popular p0lace for Turtle to swim. So in the sea we all went and sure enough there was a giant turtle!!! Amazing. Then we saw a few more. I swam down next to one, it didn't care I was there, but was so amazing!!!!!
After that we'd seen everything we had wanted to and was amazed by the Great Barrier Reef. Had lunch of cold meats and salad and headed back to the main land.
When we arrived back we just collected our stuff and walked back up to the hostel we were staying at before and checked back in. We managed to get into the same room as Rach and Vic, from Fraser. We collected our bags from the sailing place and sorted stuff out, showered and had dinner. When I was in the kitchen I heard my name being called out... it was Sylvia from Fraser. Wasn't expecting to see them there at all! Olka was in the internet room, so chatting to them for a while. They were about to go on the Whitsundays trip.
After it was time to meet up with everyone from the boat for some drinks. At the hostel bar, they do free jugs of beer and wine for the members of the sailing trips. It was nice that everyone came out, and amazing how different everyone looked after a good shower and smart clothes! Rach and Vic were with their sailing group and Steve and Gareth from Fraser also came for drinks as they were also about to go on the sailing trip.
We were there til the bar closed and then headed onto Mama Africa's club. It was a good night, think everyone was fairly hammered to say the least!
Sunday 6th May
Feel pants... but not as bad as Jem who became very acquainted with hugging the look seat that morning! And worst of all.... we had to get a Greyhound bus at 9am! OHH! Leonie and Rach were also on the bus journey up to Townsville.
I still was feeling the motion of the boat quite badly (hate boats!) and yep... had to get the ferry across to Magnetic Island!! Eventually we arrive there at the Base hostel at Nelly Bay. It had a gorgeous view of the sea and mainland, over a wooden veranda that led onto the beach. The room was very cramped, but the setting was lovely. It kind of reminded me of Hawaii, definitely nothing like Oz.
The bar played good music throughout the day. That evening we had dinner at the bar, I had a nice chicken salad, actually it was really nice! It had pine nut and olives too... yummy!
Just had a drink (nope... no alcohol.... neeeeeeeeeed to detox!) and just went to bed, so tired. But our room is near the bar and the music was extremely loud, but I managed to fall asleep.
Monday 7th May
Woken up to a beautiful sunny morning and a gorgeous view. Had free brekkie as we got a special deal there, I had Orange Juice, toast, yoghurt and fruit. Was really nice. After we just headed to the pool and chilled for the day. Working on the tan again!! With the music from the bar, when you shut your eyes its like being in Ibiza! Just had a swim and walked to the supermarket. I managed to finish my book (In Pursuit of Happyness) it was so good, I really want to see the film now.
In the evening we just chilled again and had a few drinks (diet cokes!) Its a bit of a kids club hostel, with loads of 16/17 year old brats being very annoying. I know I might sound old saying that... but you had to be there! We all said... were we that pathetic and annoying when we were that young... think the answer was NO!
Tuesday 8th May
Got up early to do some laps in the pool. Its quite a big pool so thought I'd take advantage of having it to myself. Had some yoghurt and fruit for my brekkie again... yummy! We wanted to do Kayaking this morning, but the sea was too rough so we couldn't. So just chilled by the pool again, but it was a little too hot for me today, so I was quite restless.
Later on it clouded over and had a tiny bit of rain. We got the ferry in the afternoon back to the mainland, Townsville, where we checked into our next hostel. It seems nice, small and friendly. I have a normal bed for a change.. yay! Had a little walk around town, although it was quite late so everything was shutting.
In the evening we met up with Sy from Whitsunday’s and all had a drink. A girl from Sweden, Soona, we met in our room that day came out too. She's really nice.
Wednesday 9th May
Had a little lie in this morning, but was awake and researching SE Asia.. not long til we are there now... sooooooooooooo excited!
Although I like Oz (LOVE Sydney) I am getting a little bored now and wanting to experience some proper culture as it is very English here, and very same same up the East coast. Had a fab time and it been great to see it all... and can't complain about the weather at all!!!
By the way... sorry I know I said we'd booked our flights home but not said when.... Friday 20th July 2007! Just in time for a few special occasions!