We arrived off the 12 hour bus journey from Cairn's to Airlee beach. Once again we arrived knackered and checked into Magnum's our hostel for one night before we headed off for our sailing trip around the Whitsunday Islands.
Unable to check in till 2pm we headed for the huge lagoon which was on the sea front, similar to that in Cairn's again due to the jelly fish in the water's off the Queensland coast. The Lagoon's are really nice and not quite like the lagoon at Maldon. The place was really busy although not particuallrly big.
We shared our 8 bed dorm with 6 swedish lads, a couple from Slovenia and a girl from Germany. Everyone was talking in perfect english, perhaps even better than mine. It was 2 of the Swedish lad's 20th birthday's so they were getting on the drink in our room before heading out, however we unfortuanaltey could not join them as we had to be up early as we were heading off on our boat for a few days. We all sat about chating for a few hours about where we had been on our travels and where we were going, they had just been to New Zealand and were nice enough to give us the Lonely Planet guide to New Zealand, which was a bit of a touch as it would of cost us about £20.
Next day we headed for our boat the Condor which apparently was one of the fastest sailing yaughts of it's time in it's hay day.
The Whitsunday's for those that don't know are basically 90-plus islands of which most are uninhabbited that lie about 20km of the east coat of Australia near Airlee Beach, it also falls within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. So the diving and snorkling opertunities around the Whitsunday's are very good.
Our trip began from the port where we met the Captain (Aaron) of Condor and his 2 man crew (Tom and Tom). We set sail along with 28 other fellow sailers of whom we would be eating, sleeping and boozing together. They proceded to tell us the do's and don'ts on board. The sailing boat was actually quite small and quite a squeeze to fit 30 odd people on board, the sleeping quarters of the boat was communal and quite cramped. I decided it was to clostraphobic for me and I decided to sleep up on deck under the stars (Millions of star's) with a few other people. The nights luckily were nice and warm so sleeping out on deck was not a problem, other than it being light at about 5am.
One of the first and main stop's of the trip was to White Haven beach, which was absoultly amazing! The sand is pure white and the waters crystal clear, however you had to wear the funky stinger suits (check the photo's out) if you wanted to go in the water due to the jelly fish that reside in the waters around the place. Some of the lads and I had a kick about on the sand which lasted only about 15 minutes as everyone was blowing after that time, and it was about 35 degrees.
Our last day sailing we awoke early and had breakfast before mooring up at a local spot for a bit of snorkling as there was some cool coral reefs. We had about an hour swimming about checking out the marine life. The fish were plentifull and really colourful and some were huge in size. Typically as soon as I had clambered on board the boat, a turtle decided to pop it's head up out of the water and was happily swimming along, I was gutted not to have stayed in the water a little longer as I would of seen it.
The crew on board really got us involved with sailing the boat, hoisting the sails and getting the main sheet up is really hard work, but at the same time good fun. The crew also managed to cook up some seriously good food in such a modest kitchen that was no bigger than 2m square.
The sunsets on the boat were unbeliveable.
Once we got back to land, I felt so rough I felt like I was on another planet, I felt like I was swaying all over the show.