We set off on our Whitsundays trip on the Atlantic Clipper. We were told this was the best boat to go on and after finding out that people had to wait up to a week to get on it, we were really looking forward to it. Named by Cook in 1770, the Whitsundays is the largest group of offshore islands in Australia. The region's sparkling azure seas, cradled by the Great Barrier Reef, are dotted with an array of national park islands, coral cays, fringing coral reefs and stunning beaches.
We had a welcome talk from the staff, and two of the crew Dan and Ryan, sang a song they had written. This ended up being sang a lot (well the chorus) for the rest of the trip, and three of the lads were singing it constantly afterwards. After the talk about how it wasn't a party boat, the drinking games began. One of the games involved dice and if you rolled the number 3, you had to wear a snorkeling mask until someone else rolled one. This explains the photo of Sam in them.
The first day we set off and sailed to see an amazing sunset, before the carnage of the night began. Drinking games go without saying but on the Clipper they had a hot tub, which obviously had to be used. We got in our bikinis and jumped into the hot tub to be really shocked as the water was not hot, it was freezing cold!! The heater on it was broken causing the water to be stupidly cold, so from then on it was named the ice tub.
The second day we were woken by crew members in possession of a horn, and the choppy sea outside causing many people to feel ill (on top of the hangover). This feeling was short lived though as we arrived at Whitehaven Beach. The crystal clear aqua waters and pristine silica sand of Whitehaven Beach stretch over seven kilometers and is the largest of the 74 islands in the Whitsundays. Due to the sand being 98% silica, it didn't get hot despite the scorching sun so it was pleasant to walk on. Modeling the unattractive stinger suits we were required to wear we all headed off to play in the sea, any hangover was soon gone! On the beach the boats photographer got everyone to pose for pictures, making a human pyramid and human sandwiches. The pictures of Whitehaven and all of the places we visited don't do it justice, the sights we saw were amazing!! The only downfall of Whitehaven was the horrendous horseflies that constantly attacked you on the way to the lookout, nasty lil things!
Back on the boat we set off to see some more gorgeous sites before anchoring and going to shore to do some snorkeling. Although we didn't go far out, we saw some amazing fish and coral, far better than what we did in Cairns. One of the crew members was in a boat near to where everyone was and threw handfuls of fish food in amongst us causing the fish to frantically swim about for it. The Irish boys Sean, Kieran and Rob were on our boat and there had been a mix up with their ticket so as a good will gesture the company they booked it through gave them a free dive. Unfortunately, the boys don't like diving which worked out really well for us as they offered us the dives, it was brilliant! The photographer filmed us so we got a DVD of it, showing all the underwater life and us swimming around. It also shows us with a giant fish, named Elvis, who follows the diving group around, he's like a dog so we were able to stroke him which was really cool.
We were one of the last groups to dive and on the way back to the boat Ryan asked us if we wanted to speed snorkel. Intrigued, we decided we'd have a go and it was so much fun! We started off holding onto a rope behind the boat and getting pulled along looking in the water as we went, before Ryan went full speed and us flying off =)
That night on the boat the crew decided to entertain us with some games. They brought up a big chest of fancy dress that we were all asked to put on, before playing various games. Without going into detail of them all, which would take a long time, our favourite game was where people had to pick up a box with their mouth, without touching anything (floor, box etc). If you were unsuccessful you got spanked by a flipper, if the spanker didn't spank properly they got spanked, and if you disrespected the box (e.g. kicking it if you lost) you were spanked. Very entertaining as you can imagine, and the whole boat was involved which was good.
Our last day we were woken in a nicer way than the previous day, Dan went around the boat singing and playing the guitar which was greatly appreciated by those with sore heads. We anchored at another island and went snorkeling again before sailing back to Airlie.