Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Travel blog: Australia

24/3/13 - Airlie Beach/Whitsunday islands

After all the rain recently, we were worried that our sailing trip was also going to get cancelled.  Lucky for us the weather was on our side (sort of) and off we went to live on a boat for 3 days.  A lot of boats that set out to the islands are big party boats - but I didn't really want that setting to see one of the most beautiful places on Earth. You can do a booze cruise anywhere, especially some of the holiday hotspots nearer to home.  I have not travelled to the other side of the world for a booze cruise!

We hopped aboard our boat, 'British Defender' but it wasn't all plain sailing...in fact we set off in very heavy rainfall and had to wear these lovely Paddington bear raincoats.



And as it was only a small sailing boat; 16 passengers and 3 crew, we all had to sit on deck and brave the weather.  Sailing was actually really fun, we got to help out grinding up the sails and swapping sides of the boat when the sail turned.  The boat at times was literally sailing horizontal to the water, and we had to hold on! Then we stopped for the day, and I followed the skipper's orders: Once anchored, get wankered!
OK, so I took it way too literal....

Moving on, the following day we sailed up to Whitsunday island, home to infamous Whitehaven beach. I have tried and failed to describe many beaches, so I'm going to give up.  There was lots of sand, and it was beautiful.  Bright, white silica sand - the whitest in the world.




It was here, on our walk to the lookout that the guide told us to lick ants' bums, as the Aborigines discovered they taste citrusy and added them to food.  I really wanted to try this delicacy, but I was just too hungover.

For the rest of the day we snorkelled in some of the best spots around the islands.  People back home always say to me watch out for the sharks, but it's the jellyfish you have to look out for here.  There are lots of different stingers in these waters, and one sting can kill you.  (Obviously very rare!) It's not even the big ones, it's tiny transparent stingers you can't even see.  So we just wear sexy stinger suits, and pray they won't sting our face, hands or feet!

Just when I started to get my sea-legs it was time to get back on land.  Our trip on the 'British Defender' was such a great experience, the crew were really fun and we met some cool people.  So glad it didn't get cancelled!