Day 70 Whitsunday Islands
Well a much better sleep last night so everyone is a bit perkier this morning. There had been quite a storm through the night which had started whilst we were having dinner and just continued through, not that I was aware of it as I was out for the count. Bill and I had swapped cabins and although this spare one is smaller than the other, if that's possible, it does at least have a little better ventilation and not the over powering smell of diesel: still have to sleep with the doors open though, makes the whole experience very friendly! Day started calm enough though, although within about half an hour of setting off the wind had picked up and the sea state became very rough again. We stopped mid morning at one of the bays for a snorkel but it was clear from the start that it would be hopeless as the wind was blowing straight onto the beach which made it far too rough even for those of us who are experienced never mind the ones who have not done any before; not really quite sure what Ian the skipper was thinking this time. We did try it but it was hopeless, absolutely nothing to see and waves breaking over us the whole time. Colin bless him picked us up in the dinghy and tried another beach over the other side of the bay and whilst it was marginally better it wasn't very good so we abandoned it and went back onboard. The sea state worsened after that and became extremely rough and very cork screwy throwing us around, so much so that combined with the smell of the heads wafting up from below I began to feel really queasy. Not something I expected on day three when I have well and truly got my sea legs; I wasn't the only one either. Then lunch arrived; oh that was fun trying to eat burritos on a deck that is pitching and rolling like you wouldn't believe; full marks for poor Di who had been below preparing it, and although I didn't feel like it I did try to eat something. Had to succumb to a lie down inside in the end though which was really annoying as of course true to timing the sun had come out blazing by this time; it did the trick though and after about half an hour I was feeling a lot better, sadly the sea conditions hadn't improved and didn't as we "limped" along at a rather pathetic 2 ½ knots on our way to find a sheltered bay to snorkel at about 5:30 by which time the sun had almost disappeared from the bay. It was calm though and so four of us gave it a go. I'm so glad we did as I swam with my first turtle; visibility was pretty awful with the coral looming up on us like monsters from the deep but worth it for that experience. Back onboard the ones that had stayed behind were I think wishing they had come. Over our last dinner on board we all started talking about TV programmes and how many really old UK programmes are shown on Aussie TV.It then moved to kids programmes we remembered and Skippy the Bush Kangaroo came up, well Ian our skipper gave us the best rendition of a snippet of that programme I have ever heard - he had us all in absolute stitches, apart from Di and Colin who in their twenties had no idea what the hell he was talking about and thought their boss must have completely lost the plot. He wasn't even drinking either, unlike the rest of us! Anyway after a very pleasant evening we all started to face the prospect of another hot sultry night in what Bill nicknamed "The black hole of Calcutta", i.e. our airless cabins. The guys all then decided to get mattresses and sleep on deck. Tucked down for the night they must have lasted all of ten minutes before the rain accompanied the lightning show that had been lighting up the skies for the previous hour or more. They consequently had to abandon that idea and decided to bunk down in the wheel house in the hope of more air; so it was a boy's dorm upstairs and the girls down below, hilarious. I think we all got a better sleep because of it though as it was much quieter - no snoring!!!