A very early morning due the fact that we were sleeping outside and being woken but the sun. Not that I am complaining as I just couldn't wait to get into that water. We had another wonderful feast for breakfast courtesy of Braden and then he took us out to Whitehaven Beach for a morning hike and swim.
Whitehaven is possibly the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. It changed constantly with the tide and Braden told us that a lot of the sand had been blown away in the cyclone, so I can only imagine what it would be like normally. It was stunning. The sand is the finest in the world and I learnt that NASA took 10tonnes of it to build the Hubble Telescope. When you have it in places you didn't even know existed you can start to understand why this is so special. People who had expensive cameras with long zooms were soon loosing the power to zoom in and out. Whitehaven claimed many cameras that day but managed to leave my intact... so far.
Once at the most beautiful beach in the world all you would want to do is jump in. It looks so inviting and felt so warm and I had an hour before I had to get back to the boat, so why not make the most of it? Well, before getting on the boat I had signed a contract stating that for my own safety I would not enter the sea without first putting on my 'stinger suit'. A bloody 3/2 wetsuit! A wetsuit! It was 35 degrees and the water was unbelievably warm on my feet but everyone in the sea was bobbing about with these stupid wetsuits on. Bloody jellyfish! So I squeezed my sweaty self into it and waded straight in. Nothing like sitting in paradise in a bloody wetsuit. It didn't take long for me to start to rebel. Within 20minutes I had gone from just unzipping the back, to getting my arms out, then my torso and then taking the whole bloody thing off. The way I saw it, I was unlikely to ever be there again and I was not going to waste the opportunity to enjoy every bit of it. Yes, I know, had an Irakanji jellyfish actually got me I would have looked at all the other swimmers in their suits with their 'I-told-you-so' eyes and felt like a tit. But, as it worked out I was not stung, I had a lovely swim and left the beach feeling far superior to all the t*** in wetsuits sweating in the sea. Boyah!
After a walk over the hill and through the jungle we were back on Tongarra on our way to the first snorkel spot. We tucked into another lovely lunch on our way and waited for the stinger suits to dry out a bit before sticking them back on for our snorkel sessions. We had two that day. I spent about 4 and a half hours snorkelling as they couldn't get me out. I was in paradise. Strangely enough all I kept thinking about whilst I was down there was spaghetti vongole. At first I thought it was because I was surrounded by fish but then I realised it was more to do with the pasta like coral. I quite enjoyed the experience of swimming around an Italian dish. I also realised after a few minutes that I had been humming 'I'm in heaven' for the duration of my snorkel. I honestly don't think I have been as relaxed and excited at the same time. I never wanted it to end.
I refused to get back in the rib to go back to the boat as I wanted to swim back, a bit of a mistake as it was a lot further out than I first thought it was, but at least it worked up an appetite for spaghetti bolognese! Not quite Vongole but close enough.
During dinner, five Great Trivelies started going crazy in the waters around us chasing a squid. It was amazing to see them surrounding the poor thing but even better when the squid squirted out all its black ink and made a quick getaway. Normally when I eat my dinner I am giggling at Steve Carrell and John Krasinski on the TV, but this was nearly as good...
I ate as we sailed but before long we were back to boat games - the limbo came out (I held the stick as I wanted to give people a chance before I showed them how it was really done, unfortunately we didn't have time for a second round...) before I knew it people were getting naked and Aksel was even given permission to do a back flip off the boat NAKED into the jellyfish infested waters. Not even I would have forgone the stinger suit having seen hundreds of jellies on the previous snorkels.
I was a little too pooped to party after my earlier swim to the boat so I once again settled under the stars to play connect the dots.