Lets take this gig global!!
Alrighty folks, well, as you heard in my last update I was pretty down after leaving Agnes and the first night I was here in Airlie there wasnt alot to do and I wasnt feeling too social so I was tucked up in bed by 9:30pm!! After an epic sleep I woke up feeling great and was finally beginning to slip out of my post-cool bananas depression!! The only downer was the weather. It was slinging it down with rain and looked like it was gonna become the 'Wetsundays' instead!! After stocking up on supplies....i.e as much goon as I could carry!! we headed down to the Marina at noon. Once all the admin was sorted we were soon off in our boat, the British Defender which has raced around the world TWICE and came second last time so as you can imagine, its pretty bloody quick! So we just had to bear the rain and get involved anyway. with the bad weather though came some strong winds so it was sweet flying along at a 45 degree angle getting a strong taste of the Ellen Mcarthur life!! After a few hours of sailing we dropped anchor and dried off under the deck and were treated to an awesome barbie with the works, steak and all!! Then, as you do here on most rainy days........ we all got absolutely blotto!! It was a good night and lets just say that we all knew each other a little better after that first night! On day two we were woken up real early and stumbled out of bed (most of us still half cut I think!) and necked some breakie before we sailed off to our first location, Whitehaven Beach. Fortunately there was no rain and it looked like it might clear up a tad. Even with a cloudy backdrop the beach/bay looked pretty spectacular and we had a little dip and bit of footy on the finest sand I have ever seen. Back on the boat the sun finally came out and what a difference it made. We went from bitterly hanging on for dear life in the 'perfect storm' the day before to stripping off, oiling up and sunbaking on the deck with the (warm!) wind in our hair!! Sweet as! Next up was Maurens cove where we had lunch then hit the water for our first taste of snorkelling. Man it was sweet. You get dropped off a little out from the reef so when you're first swimming I was thinking "God, this is pretty crap, not a patch on Thailand!" then all of a sudden its almost like a window is opened and BANG, welcome to Nemo's world!! Absolutely stunning! The coral shelf ran for about 60 metres and uptil then I had never seen such an abundance of sea life. It really is another world/planet down there!! Thousands of different fish every shape, size and colour under the sun and even the coral itself is magically ornate and beautiful. Back on the boat all pretty pumped from that experience we were taken to Blue Pearl Bay which was another step up from Maurens. Its the best diving spot in the whits and rated in the top 5 in the world by many! It didnt dissapoint. It was 10 times as fantastic as the last place with bigger fish and even stranger coral formations. Its difficult to explain what its like but it felt like I had just been dropped into an overcrowded aquarium as you just sit there completely surrounded by these thousands of fish so much so that you cant see more than 4 feet in front of you!! Unbelieveable and probabaly the most special experience of my trip so far, one that I will take to my grave it was that good!! After that we went to the beach to watch the sunset which was nice with the silouette of our boat on the horizon then it was back on the boat for more goon and great food. We all hit the sack a little earlier and were again up early today for our final sail back. It was fairly sunny today and the winds were perfect so we picked up some speed and actually ended up having a little race with another boat heading into the Marina which was fun! Fairplay to our skipper Mick, we kicked their ass!! haha! Back in Airlie I have moved hostels as Backpackers by the bay was rubbish and my room smelt like an old peoples home! So am now in Beaches which is cool and considering how knackered I am I've actually had a really productive arvo. Took a stroll around Airlie and realised that it IS actually quite beautiful what with Boathaven Bay and the palm lined lagoon and park areas. Also booked my flight from Cairns to Sydney (finally!) and buses and hostels as Im moving loads in the next few days. With time pressing Im heading to Townsville tomo just for one night then onto Mission beach for a couple before Cairns and Cape Trib. Its gonna be a busy few days ahead. Anyways I hope I havent bored you all too much with this rather large entry. I best be off as Im meeting up with all my sailing group tonight and theres a few Cool Bananas crew in town so should be a good'n!! Bring it on! Ive realised now that there is life after Cool Bananas and totally pumped after an amazing trip and looking forward to the rest of my time in Oz now. Wahoo!! Anyhoos, All the best guys. I'll update again soon Dan