Wicked Whitsundays!

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Thursday, April 20, 2006

Final day spent on the beach before doing the reverse journey back to Townsville for our 13.00 bus to Airlie Beach -yet further down the east coast. The video on the bus really took the biscuit though, 'Fat Albert', Bill Cosby should be ashamed of himself. If you ever get a chance to see this do because it is so dreadful it will make you laugh. Having endured this we reached Airlie Beach at 17.30 enough time to go to the Tallarook Sail and Dive shop, drop off our big rucksacks, get some wine for the boat and get to the marina ready to get on board 'Pegasus'. We were going to spend 3 nights and 3 days on board this 24 person yacht around the Whitsundays (its a tough life). It was a full trip with people from all over the place but mainly Brits/Irish and a good crowd. We had a double cabin although the boat was a lot smaller and older/less plush than our last one. Spent first night getting to know people including the mad but great crew of 4. Sailed for quite a whil
and it was pretty rough (think as tail-end of a cyclone further north of Cairns). Woke up next day feeling pretty rough as it was quite rocky rolly. We eventually stopped for a while and I was glad to get on land where we walked up hill through a bit of a forest just as it started to absolutely tip it down, this was proper rain and we were drenched. We then reached the top of the hill to see the fantastic postcard view of Whitehaven Beach - with the white sand islands and crystal blue waters but it was black clouds and pretty bad visibility! However, with 10 minutes it had cleared up and the view was spectactular. We then went down the beach itself with the white silica sand and just enjoyed the view. Only problem with this part of the east coast is if you want to go swimming you have to wear a very attractive stinger suit - similar to a wet suit -which is a right pain. Back to the boat for lovely lunch and a bit more sailing (although none of the sails were out yet - just using the engine)
In the afternoon went to another bay where we all went snorkelling in the shallow coral reef. Was great coral and absolutely thousands of fish - felt like we were in Piccadilly Circus. Visibility not great due to weather but was still fantastic and not dissimilar to what we had seen diving in some respects. Back to the boat for chiling on deck with our box of wine (no glass allowed) and a sort of sunset followed by a great meal. Were shattered by about 10pm and felt like we should struggle to stay up for a while but didnt last long!

Up next day to better weather and calmer seas which was good so managed to do a bit of sunbathing before we went to our snorkel/dive site. Good thing on this trip was got a free dive so we did and had a pretty good dive although visibility was still not great and occasional lack of sun didnt help but was still great coral. Later in the afternoon we went on another dive which was like diving through a load of coral catacombs as we dodged the pillars of coral and swam through holes that we are actually quite tight! We saw a huge turtle which must have been pretty old and was happy for us to be quite close swimming next to him/her. Back on board another good evening although even more shattered - must be the sea air!
Next morning up and spent last few hours sunbathing on deck as we got the sails out (well not us exactly although we helped) and glided our way back towards Airlie Beach. That was pretty cool and glad we actually finally did some sailing!!

Having said our goodbyes to crew and our fellow passengers we were back on dry land again and I was swaying again. Had a couple of hours to sort ourselves out before getting yet another bus (which we were dreading and not just cos of the films) to Noosa. This journey was from 17.30 until 10.10 next morning on the coach and the bus kindly stopped at midnight and 4am and we all had to get off to have a meal stop (like we felt like eating at these times!). Having said that we did get some sleep and did get to watch Madagascar which was a lot better!
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