Rock the boat
04.08.2009 - 07.08.2009 25 °C
Airlie Beach is a bit of a party town and also the gateway to The Whitsunday Islands for sailing trips. However unlike Hervey Bay the place actually had quite a lot of character. During the day we wandered the marina and admired the beautiful yachts and sailing boats moored there. Unfortunately for us, our boat Habbibi was not quite as impressive as these, but a sailing boat nonetheless. We booked a two day, two night tour of the Whitsundays, although one day was spent simply getting to and from the best snorkelling spots.
Our crew took us to "the most beautiful beach in the world" - Whitehaven. It lived up to it's reputation and it's name as the sand is 99.9% silica so shined a dazzling white in the sun. It is so pure that NASA used it to make the Hubble telescope. Our arrival here was timed perfectly to see a group of dolphins very close to the beach chasing the fish up the shoreline.
The rest of the day was spent snorkelling on the outer Great Barrier Reef, which is still beautifully intact as it attracts less visitors than the favourite spots up near Cairns. We saw an amazing array of sealife and colourful coral: clown fish, parrott fish, giant clams and sinister looking jellyfish (luckily we were wearing our stylish stinger suits). The best sighting was of a large sea turtle whow as a really friendly little dude and swam amongst us for a while.
All in all, the sailing experience was pretty cool, especially the communal dinners and drinking sessions. Once back on dry land it took a good few days to overcome the sensations of a rocking boat!