Our last day on the boat started with a 6:30am snorkel. Aksel, Sabine and I were the first of 120 people in the water. The other passengers on our boat and the surrounding ones were still asleep so we made a 'swim' for it and got in early to try and catch 'Elvis' a HUGE 3ft long Mauri Wrass who hangs out at Blue Haven Bay. It took us about 10 minutes to find him but once we had him we didn't let him out of our site. We played with him, stroked him, chased him as far down as we could go. He was incredible. His wives (all called Priscilla) were a little more boring but Elvis was beautiful - bright blue and green with a cheeky little grin.
After a while I sped off and made the most of my last snorkel. I found a white tip reef shark, a 'Spanish Dancer' and hundreds of fish i had never seen before or only seen behind glass at an aquarium. Half of mewishes I had had an underwater camera to show off what I saw and how clear the water was but nothing would do it justice.
Once again I was hauled out, but this time because I had managed to give myself a headache by attaching my snorkel on a little too tight and I gave myself quite the snorkelers kiss - a nice deep red line around my face and cheek bones which lasted at least 30mins.
A spot of brunch and a two and a half hour sail home followed, all to the Glee soundtrack. Funny, how even in the middle of one of the most beautiful places on earth you still can't escape Mr.Shu and his crew. I am not going to diss New Directions but seriously now... there is a time and place for these things and it is not on a boat sailing the Whitsundays. Seasick Steve, John Butler Trio... not bloody Journey covers. Anyway I was too chilled out to really notice.
We were on dry land by 11am and Michelle, Sabine and I made our way straight to the 'lagoon' at Airlie beach. We couldn't wait any longer to get in some water without first having to put on a wetsuit. That was until we got in the lagoon and realised it was cooler outside then swimming in it. THAT is how hot is was. Ridiculous.
So we settled for sitting in the shady part of the lagoon and trying not to swim or move around too much so as not to get our sweat on. After an hour or so an odd woman came up to us asking if we wanted to try scuba diving for free. I only say she was odd because who in their right mind goes up to three girls lurking in the shadows up to their nostrils in water trying to keep perfectly still and offers them free scuba sessions. Of course we said yes and bounded over to her tanks.
The only reason I hadn't scuba dived so far (apart from the price) was the fact that I was really worried about my poor sensitive ears. I didn't want to spend $130 to get an ear ache when I was perfectly happy bobbing about on the surface with the occasional shallow dive. But a FREE earache... I get them all the time flying so why not go for it now? So I strapped on the tank, wrapped my mouth around the enormous mouth piece and had a go. Amazing! Granted I couldn't see much because I was basically scuba diving in a swimming pool but I did enjoy popping up on people and blowing lots of little bubbles. Unfortunately my ears were a little sore afterwards even though I didn't go very deep. I was gutted because I really thought I would be ok and I would give anything to be able to dive a little deeper but it is just not to be. Bobbing about on the surface will have to do.
After plenty of swimming we collected our stored luggage, I popped mine in Sabine's room (as I was not checking in and leaving later on that night) and then we went to Magnum's (a HUGE beer garden in town) for some cider. Whilst sitting there chatting, who walks by but James (the assistant director who I met snorkelling in Cairns). I called him over and he joined us for a couple of drinks and then after showers we all made our way to Phoenix for our free after party pizza and drinks. The pizza was nice but Australian's are rather stingy with their portions. A 'large' pizza to share between 2 people is only 6 slices! What is that about? You try and sell 6 slices as a medium in the UK and you would have a mutiny on your hands. But, beggars can't be choosers so we tucked in, had our free drink and moved onto 'Beaches'. That was pleasant enough but the open mic wasn't the best so we moved onto the Irish bar expecting it to be rocking and found no-one to be there, apart from Aksel and Peter trying their best chat up lines with two Danish girls.
I wasn't too perturbed as I had a midnight bus to catch to Hervey Bay so 10minutes later I was gallantly escorted to the bus terminal by James and waved off on my mammoth 15hour bus ride. I quite enjoy the little routine I had going of making the most of every minute and tiring myself out before embarking on ridiculously long bus journeys. Definitely the way forward.