Despite everyone I had met in Australia telling me they had booked their Whitsundays trips in advanced I arrived at Airlie Beach with no prior booking determined I could blag a great last minute deal...and i did...unfortunately there was a down side...I managed to aquire a rather irritating 18 year old Canadian boy who despite my persistent hints at wanting to be left alone, hung around me like a bad smell to the extent that when I moved to a new hostel he followed me there as well as rushing to book himself onto the same boat tour as me...fan-bloody-tastic. Hoping to avoid my new stalker I spent most of the next day reading and sunbathing on my hostels balcony...apparently I wasn't even safe there and to my surprise he showed up on my balcony despite the fact he was staying at a different hostel...the next day when we gathered to catch the boat and my stalker was nowhere to be found I was hopeful that he would miss the boat...sadly he arrived just in time and I resorted to ignoring him and telling some German girls i'd made friends with rather loudly that he had been stalking me...finally he left me alone and I was free to enjoy my Whitsundays trip.
The boat crew were really enthusiastic and friendly and at each stop there were plenty of people willing to snorkel or dive off the boat. I saw some wondeful tropical fish including one that was absolutely HUGE as well as some rather dead looking coral. I went for one token dive, but I was sadly disappointed by the poor visibility and lack of sharks or turtles...I may have set my expectations too high :-/ For the majority of the trip I sported some fantastic face mask lines that despite loosening my mask were impossible to prevent.
Back on the boat we saw a phenomenal sunset whilst gorging on cheese and biscuits in the way only backpackers can. More bingeing followed before a lovely chilled evening of foreign card games ensued along with the obligatory learning of a few foreign swear words.
The next day I was one of our boats few passengers who got up at 5:30AM to hopefuly experience a sunrise as beautiful as the sunset the night before...as time went by we slowly began to register that the sun was rising from behind the island...fortunately the crew were now going about their business and we were soon on moving round the headland to where we could see the sun rising over the vast expanse of ocean ahead of us. A day of more snorkelling, sunbathing and relaxing began...later that day we arrived at the stunning Whitehaven beach at low tide. This and the weather meant that the beach was stunning and we had it all to ourselves. We spent a few hours on the beach messing around with our crew and taking some hillarious photos with the gorgeous white sand and blue sky as our back drop. Then the German girls and I donned our loathsome stinger suits and headed into the crystal clear sea to brush our teeth and scrub our faces with the pure sylica sand. After more priceless photos we headed back to the boat as the sun started to set.
Back on the boat some people had opted for a night dive and when they came back they had stories of a huge turtle they had managed to panic by accidently shining their torches into it's eye. It had then apparently head butted our kiwi diving instructor...I was sorry to have missed that...luckily during our evening slideshow of the photos taken by the crew a video showed the whole thing and I didn't even have to get cold and wet to see it!
On our final morning on the boat we all made the most of our last free breakfast and the boat set sail back to Airlie Beach where we all fondly said goodbye to our new friends and crew carrying our free Wings water bottles with pride.