Day 84- Tues 1st April
We arrived in Airlie about 10am; we weren't boarding our Whitsunday's boat until 7pm so we had a while to wait. We packed our bag for the boat in the middle of a park as there was nowhere else to do it. We went to the Peter Pan's shop to dump our big backpacks where they would be stored whilst we were on the boat. We went to register at the boat's office and then we had lunch. Angie wasn't doing the boat so she had a room at the YHA, we hung out in there for a while and fell asleep. We were tired from the night before as we had gotten hardly any sleep on the bus. It was then time to find the harbour which was a bit of a trek. We met up with the German people from Fraser Island because they were also on our boat. We were met by some of the crew who took us to the boat. We would be sailing on the Anaconda III; it was fairly big and nicer than I had imagined. The first thing the crew did was get us all sorted with stinger suits and then showed us to our rooms. The rooms were tiny but at least they each had ensuite showers/toilets which were the size of a kitchen cupboard.The deckhand called Steve gave us a talk about the boat and what to expect on the trip. We had a glass of champagne as we set sail. At first it was rocky and a lot of people looked ill. We sailed for a few hours to get to a place called Hook's Passage where we docked for the night. Once the boat stopped it wasn't as rocky and you could go down into the hull without bashing from one side to the other. We talked to a few other people but everyone seemed to go for an early night. The stars were amazing to watch from the boat, you could see the Milky Way.
Day 85- Wed 2nd April
The boat started rocking early this morning but we didn't get up till the second call for breakfast. All the food on the boat was included in the price but we had to pay extra for drinks. We went up onto the top deck to sunbathe whilst the boat sailed to our next stop which was the famous Whitehaven Beach. The beach had pure white sand and the water was so clear. It looked like the beaches in Fiji. Steve and Shannon the deckhands took us ashore and we were allowed to do whatever we wanted for a while. Lisa and I did the introductory course for scuba diving which just taught you about the equipment and breathing underwater with the mask. We had to do a test for how to cope with taking the mouth piece out and how to clear your goggles. We didn't do a proper dive as we are hoping to do it in Thailand. We spent a good amount of time on the beach and then got the boats back to the main boat. We had a nice lunch and sailed on to Luncheon Bay where we did our first bit of snorkelling. My mask leaked so I couldn't see a lot but there were so amazing coral and tropical fish. There was a big school of blue fish swimming around us and you could see the fish feeding on the coral. We got back on the boat and just chilled for a while. The boat was docking here over night anyway so it was pretty steady. We had another nice meal and some of us watched a DVD. We then had a few drinks up on deck with most of the people on the boat; it seemed the younger people were more up for a good night. We played a few drinking games including the 'box' game where we had to pick up a cardboard box with our mouth…you had to be there. Vicky and I did quite well but didn't make the finals…what a shame. We made some good friends that night.
Day 86- Thurs 3rd April
Again we had to get woken up for breakfast; we can't cope with these early mornings! We were sailing towards the outer barrier reef and got there late morning. The guys took us out to the reef and we did some more snorkelling. The sea was a bit rough so you had to keep swimming hard to keep in the same spot. We saw so much more in this area, we finally got to see nemo fish and a whole other load of colourful fish and coral. We had to be really careful not to touch the coral as it dies as soon as you do. There were bigger fish around here which was scary at first but you got used to it. This area of reef is known at Bait Reef. We got back on the boat and had lunch and a nap in the sun! In the afternoon Shannon took us to another part of the reef for some more snorkelling. The sea had calmed down and it was much easier to snorkel. He guided us with the boat as some areas were really shallow and you couldn't swim over the coral. Some of the group said they saw a reef shark and I actually wanted to see one! After dinner some of the divers did a night dive which looked so scary. They said they saw turtles. Not many people were up late so we star gazed and I saw a few shooting stars.
Day 87- Fri 4th April
Today was our last day on the boat; we actually got up when the first bell went for breakfast! We were sailing back to the islands and at about 10am we reached Blue Pearl Bay. We didn't have long but we snorkelled a bit more, there wasn't a lot here except big schools of fish swimming around us. There must have been hundreds of fish. Not many were on the coral and the water wasn't as clear as on the other days. We got back on the boat and had our last lunch together. We sailed for a few more hours all the way back to Airlie. We got back around 3pm, our German friend Babet gave us a lift back into town and dropped us at our hostel called Magnums. We had heard bad things about this hostel but we were pleasantly surprised; our room was for 3 people and it was small but at least it was clean and better than some of the places we had stayed. We didn't do much before it was time to meet everyone from the boat in the bar called Morocco's for our last crew meal and drinks. We got a few drinks for free which was nice, spent the rest of the night dancing on the tables. We were even treated to a wet t-shirt competition; they seem very popular in Oz.
Day 88- Sat 5th
We had a great lie-in today! We found a place called Jamaican Joe's to have lunch but it didn't have hardly anything Jamaican on the menu…weird. We had a look round the shops and then sat by the lagoon. We weren't hungry for any dinner so we just packed and then went to another hostel called Beaches to meet our German friends for one last drink. A couple of other girls were there from the boat but we didn't stay too long, we said our goodbyes as we were leaving to go to Townsville tomorrow.