The Whitsundays and Cairns

Trip Start Jun 13, 2008
Trip End Jun 12, 2009

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Flag of Australia  , Queensland,
Monday, September 8, 2008

Soooo we are now in Cairns... last time i wrote we had been upgraded onto a bigger boat for the whit Sundays and were heading off the next day... this we did and i loved it :)
We spent the morning relaxing in Airlie beach some more as we did after the Whitsundays...chilling by the lagoon, playing Frisbee with the people we had met on the trip and general relaxing :)
So the Whitsundays trip... we arrived at 7:00pm on the first day where we jumped aboard had a safety talk and found our cabins (me and zo had a double bed, with another double bed above ours with 2 English girls sharing)  So i think people thought i was the luckiest bloke on board getting to share with three girls....and it was cool.  
So after wandering the sail boat and sipping on our complimentary glass of champagne we set sail...actually they used the motors but we were off anywayz and heading into the night........  we moored up and after getting to know our fellow passengers we were rocked to sleep for the night.  The next morning we were greeted by gorgeous sun and white haven beach..a beautiful white sandy beach (you can clean your jewelry in the sand because it is so fine)  here we played rounders, swam and i got my first taste of scuba diving.  It was a free taster included in the price of the trip and basically involved chucking the kit on and spending 10 minutes attempting different techniques to see if it was something we liked.  I loved it and booked my self in for a another scuba dive later that day :)
The staff on board the boat were excellent and a good laugh, and we basically spent the next three days chatting, lounging on the deck in the sun and snorkeling the great barrier reef.... the highlight for me had to be the scuba.... originally thinking i would only be having a taster i ended up buying three dives starting at around 5 - 6 meters where we walked in off the beach from one of the whit Sundays islands, this was a nice dive we swam around coral looking at some gorgeous fish and played rock paper scissors as well as catch with a giant sea cucumber!  This dive got me even more addicted and i decided to attempt the great barrier reef dive.

The second dive was the following day at the great barrier reef and it was breath taking, we ended up going to about 10 meters...which i found surprising as the only training i had was the previous dive and a 20 minute talk...but nonetheless i found my self surrounded by gorgeous fish and stunning views of an underwater world.... the one thing i really wanted to see was a turtle and sadly i didn't get to i think this is what prompted em to go for another dive, this time into an area of the great barrier reef called the cathedral.

So diving the cathedral begins with the usual navy style roll backwards from a dingy that took us to the dive spot from our boat (they had 2 dingies that would trail the boat as we sailed along)  from here we descended to a sandy patch of about 3 meters squared surrounded by the corals of the great barrier reef, the next section involved a 10m tunnel of coral just big enough for me and my tank until we arrived into an underwater room made of coral (the cathedral) with beams of sunlight streaming from the ceiling and it was amazing.... it has rivaled matchu pitchu for my favorite part of the trip so far....from here we headed out of a different tunnel to depths of 15 - 18 m and then i saw my first turtle....he was amazing just effortlessly swimming along, quite large we followed him for a bit until we hit a strong current that took us effortlessly under the sea for around 10 minutes.

Being content with the first turtle i seen i was super happy to see another slightly larger one ..... happy that i had taken the third dive and content with seeing a couple of turtles i took in the gorgeous coral structures around me, the beautiful green, luminous pink and orange fish and enjoyed the rest of the dive...... my heart sped up a little when the dive instructor signaled to me that he could see sharks and within 2 minutes there were 4 very large reef sharks cruising around us... i was a little scared but mostly breath taken and this totally made the dive for me.... having now dived with sharks i am keen to become a qualified scuba diver...and that i plan to do when we get to Thailand.... apparently you can complete a course there relatively cheap and the diving is also supposed to be stunning.

So other than the diving we snorkeled some more and basically enjoyed the trip... the sails were put out a couple of times, and the food served was super tasty... i did feel sea sick on the second morning as we were awoken by the boat rocking quite violently and the next three hours were the same as some slightly scary and rather high waves rocked our boat....three people didn't make it and through up over the side. 

So a very enjoyable trip...we also met a cool bunch of people who we have been out drinking with since.  We are in Cairns now staying with one of zoes very hospitable friends....he als ohas a projector in his living room hooked up to an Xbox 360 loverlllyyyy..  We went out last night with some of the guys on the sailing trip and have also just decided to rent a tomorrow morning the six of us and our rented car will take a 2 day road trip up to cape tribulation, port Douglas and the rain forest....should be good and i will let ya know about it when we get back :)

I am also very proud of zoe as she completed her advanced scuba diving qualification which involved a night dive at the great barrier reef.... apparently it was a little scary but she got to see some gigantic turtles and she loved it ....well done zo :)

I have also just finished a book called forget you had a daughter.... real good read..... girl gets convinced to smuggle heroin for a guy she gets put in a Thai prison and sentenced to 25 years jail time... the guy she did it for got acquitted....after 6 years in a Thai jail she was transfered to england and because of the rules in good ol england she was put into a maximum security prison with rose west as next door neighbor.  This is because the English prison system decided where to put you based on your sentence..... and even though she would only have served two years for the same crime in the UK....because she had 25 years she was sent to the toughest prisons in the UK.....a good story.

Right I'm of to the cinema...will write to you about our road trip soon...possibly from Japan as we will be there in 6 days! yeye@!

We also got our passports back complete with a Chinese visa...thank god for that !


Tom x
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