So we left Kroombit in the morning, we had the longest drive up the east coast today, it was going to take about 10 hours but it was broken up nicely, we stopped for some lunch along the way and then stopped at Sarina for a spot of bowls! We had a mini competition, the 13 of us next to about 50 of the "older generation" next to us, but it was good fun, and it was theee hottest day by far this day, we were all sweltering, I should have really found out how hot it was but the air con on the bus wasn't doing anything so we were glad of a shower when we got to Airlie. We went out with all our bus crew in the evening at Morocco's just up the road, before we all split up to go onwards or to the Whitsunday islands.
The next day we woke up to absolutely torrential rain, the rainiest so far, poor Cacey was going on a day trip to the islands so we were thinking about her and Beccy was due to leave for hers in the afternoon so she was not impressed, so we had another lazy day, it was so frustrating not being able to do anything when you knew it was supposed to be so beautiful out there, I tried to do my washing, i had to run just outside the building to the back and back again, I ended up having to wade through water that was just under knee deep because the streets were flooding and by the time i got back to the room my clothes were not just soaked, i looked like I'd jumped in the sea, so it was pretty severe! The cyclone had been downgraded to a storm just as we were leaving Hervey Bay but by now it had gone back up to cyclone category so we were getting quite disappointed thinking the two big trips for the east coast- Fraser and Whitsundays would be ruined.
We have bumped in to absolutely everyone in Airlie Beach, you always bump into people on your way up but i mean preetty much every single person we've got to know up the east coast, people from Sydney, surf camp, hostels, day trips, it seems everyone's here at the same time so it was pretty cool, you'd turn around and there would be someone you could strike up an easy conversation with.
The next day we were due to start our boat trip, luckily it wasn't raining, but it was looking pretty shifty all the same, me and Patrick were on a luxury powerboat with spa and everything and Beth had booked onto a racing boat for a less relaxing trip than us, so we walked down to the port to meet our people and check in, only to find that Beth's was cancelled due to the gale force wind warning, we are really not having too much luck with mother nature, Beth's Fraser, Whitsundays and skydive have all been cancelled due to the weather, ours was still on because our skipper was going to take us a different route and our boat was more stable in the first place anyway so we had to leave her to find another one. We got on our boat which was very very nice, we were glad that we'd chosen the luxurious option seeing as it was only a tiny bit more than the racing. We put our bag in our "room" which was basically two double mattresses in a cupboard for four people so it was going to be cosy, and set sail into the clouds! We stopped for snorkelling at a Bay, I looked out of the boat and saw these huuge fish beneath us, me not being too keen on fish was a little nervous, not to mention that there were killer jellyfish bobbing around somewhere in there too! So i had a quick dip but then the skipper brought me back on the speedboat because i wasn't too keen, but call me crazy even though i didn't want to snorkel i went diving! There were four of us doing it, we went over to the beach and did the skills we had to pass before being allowed to do it and then our instructor took us through the reef, admittedly i didn't really see much, the cyclone has ruined huge amounts of the reef and ocean and so the colours weren't there but we saw a few fish and it was a good practice as I'd give it another go the next day. In the evening we had a BBQ on the boat and got to know the people we were travelling with, there were only about 16 of us so it was a nice size, we had David Gerardo from Radio 1 travelling with us so that was pretty cool, Tess got very excited that we were travelling with a "celebrity" as she'd listened to him every day through uni! We were all shattered for some reason that night, we watched a documentary on sharks on the pull down screen they had and pretty much just went to bed, we hadn't really done anything but was absolutely shattered.
The next day we woke up and the sun was shining, it was beautiful, we had fresh fruit and muffins and cereals for breakfast watching the sun come up over the water and then drove to our next snorkelling/dive spot. I did another dive and this one was a bit better than the one the day before- apparently we were swimming behind a sting ray for quite some time (there's even a video of me right behind it) but i didn't see it so i don't know where i was looking! But we saw a little "Nemo" in his anemone and got really close to it so that was cool. The 5 American girls on our boat spent the whole day sunbathing on the front and so were absolutely toasted, so kind of sensibly but kind of annoyingly our skipper said we wouldn't go to the beach he'd planned to take us to as people had already burnt so we just stayed on the boat. We didn't manage to get to Whitehaven Beach which was pretty disappointing but the gale force warning was for that area and we would probably have capsized on the way, we were tucked into a little cove and we watched an oil tanker go the way we were supposed to and the waves were crashing over its sides, i think they were about 6m or something so it's probably sensible. But we did get to see Dolphins in the afternoon which was incredible, we were all just sat in the boat and loads of them started diving out of the water about 100m away from us it was beautiful. We went to another cove where I did my last dive- this one was absolutely amazing, worth the other two not being that great, we were surrounded by fish we couldn't see where we were going some of the time, and some of them had biig teeth which was pretty scary with them playing a game of chicken coming right for your face! There was a huge trout as well that followed us and then our dive instructor got us to sit on the seafloor and wait and theeeee biggest fish i have ever seen in my life, apparently called Pruscella, swam right up to us and around us, it was huge, he had the underwater camera with him so when i upload those photos you'll see what i mean but that was amazing. We spent the evening in the hot tub, enjoying the food and watching the sunset over the water, it was beautiful and we were so grateful that we'd had one good day on our trip.
The final morning we had to make our way back to the port but our skipper said that if we got up early we could have one more snorkel site before breakfast, so we all got up at about 6, pulled on our sexy stinger suits and flippers and jumped into a place which was famous for its turtles, i was really hoping to see one but no matter how much swimming and searching i did, i didn't find one, the certified divers who had gone out did manage to see them though so they were out there somewhere but even so it was a nice morning wake up before we had breakfast in our towels on the way back to the port. To get back there however we had to cross the unsheltered bit so it was seriously rocky, quite a few people (including me apparently) were looking pretty green so i was just glad when we got there.
We met back up with Beth in the afternoon who hadn't managed to get on another boat, and spent the afternoon at the lagoon in Airlie Beach chilling out. In the evening we had our last night there, seeing even more people we knew, we spent it with about 4/5 people from our boat which was nice but again i was just so tired i had to have an early one, don't know what it is I can't exactly blame the strenuous exercise of chilling on a boat but I felt good when we had to get up early the next day to catch the bus to Magnetic Island x x