Bal's Trip Round the World in 96 Days
It was off from Perth to the Whitsunday Islands on the east coast via Brissa (aka Brisbane and home to Ian and Anoo). My stay in Brisbane was only 6 hours whilst I connected flights. I was tempted to phone Anoo's parents and ask them to get breakfast ready which was of course, aloo parathas! Though as I arrived at the airport at 5am didn't think they'd appreciate such an early call. This trip consisted of a 3 day sailing trip round the Whitsunday Islands and into the Great Barrier Reef including snorkelling, scuba diving (for those with PADI certs) or a chance to laze on a yacht for that time. The yacht was 101ft long with 28 passengers of all nationalities and all ages from 1 (yes we had a 1 year old) to 45ish and 5 crew which were mostly Kiwi for some strange reason. I shall begin by saying that this was one of the best if not the best trips I have ever had in my life. Our first stop on the first day was Whitehaven beach. Shall I set the scene, crystal blue waters, sand so white it's cool to the touch, palm trees swaying in the breeze - aaah! The only downside being there was a spider on the way to the toilets which was no joke 30cm in diameter - hey this was the tropics. After donning our stinger suits (lots of jellyfish in the water) it was time for some snorkelling. I had to summon up some courage here as I have a major fear of deep open water so I thought I'd give it a go and it was superb. The fish were amazing, swimming right up to your face as if to say hello the most beautiful colours and all shapes and sizes. The evening was spent on deck yarning (chatting in Aussie lingo) with the other passengers and having a few shandies. The next day we headed for the Great Barrier Reef, got all suited and booted up but sadly found the waves to high and the current too strong for me so got out of the water. That night made up for my disappointment with lots of drinks and very silly games which started with international chinese whispers, lots more silly games then a game of Serial Killer or was that Cereal Killer! This one may get dragged out at a party sometime so watch out! The next day it was time for a wake up snorkel and as we had reached Hayman Island and were in calmer waters it was time for some more snorkelling. Alice and Christian kindly joined me for the best snorkelling ever! When I put my head in the water I saw a 3-4ft Maori Wrasse right at my feet (look him up on the internet as I didn't take an underwater camera), angel fish, parrot fish, cleaner fish that were eating the dirt of other fish, fish that were eating the coral in fact you could hear them crunching in the water(!) and hundreds of other little colourful fish. It was like being in heaven, well actually not heaven more like being on the set (if it were real) of Finding Nemo though I have to say that I didn't find Nemo afterall. This still brings a smile to my face it was so amazing. Definitely will have to do it again. That was the end of the sailing trip, as it was such a good trip quite a few of us went out for drinks that evening - YEEHAAR is all that can be said!! It was off to Sydney after the Whitsundays for a night then off to Christchurch, New Zealand. Ciao for now....