Another Victor Meldrew rant....

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 23, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, March 11, 2013

We were feeling very pleased with ourselves and with the car for reaching the most Northerly point on our itinerary, and that we'd done it in time to catch the sailing boat that we'd booked three weeks ago for our trip to the Barrier Reef.

Now when we booked to go on a fifty year old pearl lugger which was advertising "time under sail" as part of the trip, we were fairly confident that we would be in for a good rocky trip out on the 18 kilometre journey. We had not, after all, booked on a modern plastic "fridge" with outriggers and modern stabilisers which would float across the waves!

How come other people have no comprehension of what they're signing up for???? We were happily (most of us) bobbing along towards the reef when the captain came up and announced that as a number of the "guests were feeling unwell", he was going to give us the option - and he emphasised that this was not a safety issue - of going to Fitzroy Island instead of the reef itself, assuring us that the coral would be just as good as it was "part of the reef". The benefit would be that there would be only a twenty minute "rough" passage instead of the hour and a half each way if we continued to the reef. Maybe we should have felt sorry for the idiot who had booked on a sailing boat but who couldn't hack it, but we didn't and we three voted to continue to the reef as that's what we had driven 1750 kilometres North from Brisbane to do. Sadly, we were the only three (out of twenty) that did vote to continue and as a result we headed for Fitzroy Island. The captain did come up to me/us and apologise but said he thought it unfair to impose these conditions on folk who couldn't deal with it - I understood that - and he offered us a free replacement trip later in the week if we wanted it.

The ironic thing is that as we proceeded towards Fitzroy, we were still bobbing along in sea just as rough as we had been and after about an hour of great rocking and rolling and soakings at the front of the boat, the skipper announced that we were just about to embark on the twenty minute rough bit!! The poor woman at the back throwing up over the side had still had an hour and a half of it before she got any respite!!

We snorkelled for an hour or so and the colours were amazing, unlike anything I had seen before and beyond anything I could have imagined. We were happy with the snorkelling though I have to say that felt cheated that we were not seeing it whilst anchored off the reef in the middle of the coral sea.

(Footnote: A day or two later, we were chatting to a girl who had snorkelled both at Fitzroy and the reef and she said that in her opinion, there was no comparision and the reef was far superior coral. Made us feel even more cheated!!)

We got time under sail on the way back to Cairns and the captain entertained us with a history of the Falla which, I have to say, has had an interesting time of it...

Cairns itself, though we didn't see much of it, was nothing to write home about - so I won't.
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