Just stopped off in Rockhampton, beef capital of Australia, after a few days sailing round the Whitsundays aboard the Matador. We were set back, unfortunately, by a loose screw, and didn't depart until 4.30pm (having been forced to rise by 7am...) so we instead enjoyed a day staring at the marina, can of Tooheys in hand. Finally setting sail, the next morning we were promised the best part of the reef for diving. Unfortunately me and buddy Oscar had a few issues involving boyancy and over indulging on sea water so we didn't get to see it. We also almost sank the tender. Deckhand Dave, usually so over dramatic about safety ('slip on the deck and it will have your nose off. Touch that rope and it'll slice your legs clean in half') was unconcerned about the water churning in, until suddenly 'Get out NOW abandon ship!' and we made a hasty roll backwards into the water, masks and regulators akimbo. Lots of fun was had, playing 3,6,9 and I Have Never. I especially enjoyed Stefan's 'I have never vomited during sex' and Dominic's hilariously long-winded complex confessions. We accidentally invented a band (Oscar, Jon and the Germans) which was the funniest thing ever, and had me, Holly and 30 year old Alan (who should know better) giggling like school girls all the way to bed. There was a hell of a breeze blowing, and gale force winds snapped a rope at 4am on the last day. Serious action sailing was done - plenty of grinding, and dashing from side to side as we changed tack. We stopped at Whitehaven beach, which has gorgeous fine white sand stretching all the way across the bay at low tide. They'll lock you up for taking any away. Here we saw some tiny sharks in the pools and got irritated by an over-excited holiday rep with a video camera. We docked as the sun set over Airlie beach. 150 dollars and a Beaches bar tab compensation later (not to mention a shower!), we were on the dance floor. Today I crossed the tropic of Capricorn so I am now out of the tropics! This means it is getting cold!!