15th August 2007
Hope all is well and you have enjoyed some sun!It's been a few days since the last journal so about time we gave you another fix!Saturday in Airlie beach was a very exciting day.Firstly it was sunny so we spent the morning at the beachside market and lazing around the lagoon, Airlie looks much better in the sun!The lagoon is a big tropical pool by the beach with lots of sunbathing space, probably built due to the beach not being the best!It then got very exciting as we went on a seaplane hour trip over the Whitsunday islands and the Great Barrier Reef.When we were getting on (with 7 others) the pilot asked who would like to join him up front, I quickly responded and became the chosen one.I was very excited and Paul was very jealous!So we flew over the Whitsunday's and saw some whales and then over the barrier reef.It was AMAZING!!!Loads of bright shades of greens and blue from the ocean with reefs everywhere, it is huge and so cool.Took loads of photos but difficult as windows were murky.We then flew over heart reef which is on all the postcards.It is what it sounds a reef shaped like a heart; pilot flew low and round it so we could have a good look.He then landed in the sea before taking back off and flying over the Whitsunday's and Whitehaven beach.This again looked amazing with pure white sand, green and blue sea and water and sand traveling through the lush green mountains.So it's fair to say once again it was amazing and well worth the $200 each (90 pound) each.We then got a lift back to Airlie from a bloke called Joe who was on the plane with his 2 toddler sons, turned out he was an English bloke who is now the plane engineer and a nice bloke.Had dins at place called Mangrove jacks before packing for our Whitsunday's trip on Sunday.Shared our 4 bedded dorm with from Sweden who were fine.
So Sunday got to the port for our 0930 sailing for 3 days to the Whitsunday's.Had been recommended the boat Ileola by Greg at 1770 who said it was classier than the party boats (couldn't handle hangovers, sailing and snorkeling!).So we found we were with a Dutch family, parents and early 20's son and daughter and her boyfriend.They were out here visiting the son Jacob who had been backpacking Oz for 9mths.They were all very nice but spoke to each other all the time in Dutch so lots of effort was needed to converse but got to like them all more and more. Then there was an English couple who now live in Perth.Spoke to them quite abit on the first day but then they both seemed to only read their books and didn't seem interested in interacting with any of us, still they were pleasant and civil so was fine.The skipper was Tony, a 40yr old bloke originally from Guernsey.He was cool, informative and really easy to talk to.Mitch was the deckhand/chef, he was only early 20's, fancied himself abit but was also easy to talk to and a very good chef.Was bit disappointed at first impressions of the boat as expected it to be abit more modern but it was 50yrs old so don't know how I expected that!Also was abit narrow with not too much sunbathing space.However quickly got over my negativity.The boat was a 3 masted sail boat and sleeping areas were small but fine and each had our own area.
So we set sail to the Whitsunday's, 74 islands, all within 50km of the harbor and in the barrier reef marine park, but starts proper next-door to the islands.All the islands are lush tree filled mountainess areas with white sand beaches and surrounded by coral reefs.Sea is green so all rather nice.Paul drove the boat for 90mins through the Whitsunday's passage and through to our lunch destination.He enjoyed himself and Tony said he was a natural.The rest of us helped pull the sails up and sunbathed!Anchored for lunch and then went snorkeling to Dunbell Island, was cool but water was too.We anchored for the night next to Esk Island and went on the island to watch the sunset and had dinner on the boat.All had to take our own alcohol, we just took beer; the Dutch had Bacardi, Malibu and vodka and coke which was quite envious of!Did some star spotting as the sky was littered with them, easily saw Milky Way and Southern Cross etc?
Monday was a 0800 start; sky was pure cloud for first 2 hours, not good!Went to Whitehaven beach first, said to be 6km of the third whitest finest sand in the world??It's made of silica and is said to be used to coat the NASA spaceships due to its whiteness??Went to a lookout point which was very nice, not quite as nice as from the plane though!Then had a walk on the beach and the sun eventually came out.Just lazed around before having another snorkel, didn't see much though.We then sailed right up the top and around Hook Island and moored at Mantaray bay.Just as we got there I slid the protective camera case to Paul (as agreed) and he let it slip through his hands and into the sea causing me to have to go and get it, wimp!So just as I jumped in, the biggest fish appeared round the boat, a big 1m bright blue mauri wrasse, they call him Elvis, there were also several big bat fish, about 60cm long and tall.So snorkeling here was very cool!
Tuesday was a brighter start, went and lay on Black island before snorkeling of it.Was good but not as good as day before.Then went to Langford Island which is this long sand island in the middle of the green sea.Has lots of coral off it so got taken over in the dingy to snorkel off the beach.Not everyone wanted to go in as it was cold and it was our last time.Me and Paul got in first and I quickly came over a 'green' turtle, was 1.5m and so cool, shouted to the others who had come to the beach (only 3 more) and they came and had a look.Swam with it for a while and we touched it, was very cool.When we got back to the boat, the young Dutch girl, Yolanda and I snorkeled off the boat with more big bat fish.They kept coming at me thinking I had food, which had me jumping but was also cool and funny!We then were entertained on the boat by feeding them and MR Von Dutch put bread between his toes and they took it from him.We then raced 2 boats back to Airlie and lost; one was a boat that Marylyn Monroe had been on.The journey was very choppy; boat was tilted to its side for 90mins so was glad to get off!Got back to the hostel who had the rest of our luggage and weren't aloud to have a shower.Was not impressed as hadn't had one for 3 days!I wanted to stay on the bus and go straight to Cairns but Paul couldn't take it so after 4hrs got off at Townsville and stayed the night.
Intended to go to Magnetic island but time had run out so just got the 1130 6 hr bus from Townsville to Cairns this morning.Meeting Hilary (my friend from kings ICU) tomorrow for 5 days of fun.Should be really cool, are going to hire a car and go up to Cape Tribulation, Port Douglas and go out to the reef, cant wait!Then we all fly back to Sydney on Wednesday morning, (22nd)
So that's all for now, that's enough though isn't it, this takes forever!Have also put the photos on so you can all look and be jealous!
Have fun, speak soon, love and miss you all loads Laura and Paulxxxxxxxxx