Airlie Beach & Aboard the Clipper
Trip Start Sep 14, 2011
11Trip End Ongoing
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We're already running low on motivation for credible titles, I'm sure you can forgive us.
Anyhow, Airlie Beach! A very relaxed, if compact, place and pretty much everything you'd expect from a coastal Aussie town - cliffside houses, lagoon, and a disproportianate amount of places to sink a drink. Only two of these features were taken advantage of in our spare days before our life at sea, hazard a guess at which ones.
Now joined by our fellow stalkers/stalkees Grace, Izzy, Rosie and dorm-mate Kev, our days in Airlie basically followed the mould of lagoon fun, nap, eat, drink, sleep. And in our defence, this seems to be the regular pattern for not just all the other backpackers, but the locals too
Airlie is renowned as 'The Gateway to the Whitsundays'; a title just about on a par with Chesterfield's 'Ancient Market Town'.
27th - 29th September 2011
Onto the Whitsunday Islands we go, at 1pm we get our first viewing of the boat we would call home for the next 3 days - The Atlantic Clipper. Wondering how this boat could possibly house 60 relative alcoholics for 3 days without resorting to sleeping in the sails like a hammock, we boarded to recieve the mandatory safety talk (Rules 1-10: don't do blank or these animals will blank you).
What a trip this was! The first night we moored at Hooks Passage inbetween the two largest islands of the Whitsundays. Nick quickly utilised the 5m diving board, with Martin still feeling the physical and psychological effects of his faceplant at Lake Eacham, and we spent the night getting to know the rest of our boat, bonding mostly over goon.
The second day saw us awake at 6:30am (blergh) to make a move onto Whitehaven Beach - consistently voted one of the best beaches in the world. Now we can quite clearly see why! Incredibly fine white sand surrounded by crystal clear waters, just a beautiful place to spend the morning. Also avoided the same fate as the Croc Hunter while chasing Stingrays, magic.
Moving on from here after several failed attempts at human pyramids, we came to our snorkling and diving spot. Despite the fear-inducing experience of flapping over coral in the shallows (coral, despite its beauty, also eats you. Australia everyone.) this was actually more beautiful than our reef experience in Cairns. More fish, more coral, and closer to it all. Not even Jack swimming around tickling feet could spoil it, hah.
Don't think we need to tell you what happened at night...more goon! This is coming up far too often, we apologise. But this drink was seperated by some highly competitive and ridiculous team games; entertainment at the expense of others.
Having gained roughly 5 hours sleep between the both of us, our boat sailed us back to Airlie, the main attraction of the return journey being wildlife with both Sea Turtles and Dolphins popping up nearby.
A really amazing past week with alot of amazing people, and now a long journey down to Hervey Bay with a short stop in Rockhampton.