Sailing the Whitsundays

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The night before the Sailing trip, I met this really fun Aussie couple at the hostel. They weren’t even staying there, they just heard our commotion from the street and decided to shamelesly join in the party. I liked them for that. They really wanted me to join them on a wild night out, and unfortunately I am a woman of little self control. Well aware of my seasickness and the 6am alarm I was coerced into a late night of dancing at an African Club.

Groaning as the alarm went off, I tossed everything into a bag and ran down to the marina,  but not before buying a $7 sausage mcmuffin at Maccas. Our group was quite an eclectic mix. There was a guy from Iowa who worked at the Head and Shoulder dandruff shampoo factory, a posh girl from England with very specific dietary restrictions, a lovely French couple and like most of Australia, a bunch of Germans. Our deckhand was a lovely Kiwi gal who I vibed with quite well. I loved listening to her talk, and she never complained despite dealing with tourists 24/7. The boat was ran by a long haired grumpy Aussie man, who seemed to hate the world but despite his shit attitude I really enjoyed having him around. When I asked him how old he was he said “halfway dead.” He was 35.

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Sailing is so amazing and also a lot of physical work. I’ll never fully understand what how to set up the pullies and sails and ropes but I’m very willing to someday learn. I love when you don’t have to fully rely on a motor to travel, but more so the nature and your body. It takes a good deal of strength to pull the sails, and if you don’t do it quickly enough you’re in trouble. Winds were incredibly high and there was one point where we were completely perpendicular with the sea clutching for our lives, but apparently that was normal. When the waters calmed and we were able to walk about the boat, our belongings were scattered all around the boat. My Bart Simpson underwear somehow ended up on the French guys pillow. 

The days were spend sailing, snorkeling and beach lounging. (oh and DIVING!). The nights were spent under the stars, with music, no cell phone service and only eachothers company. It was small enough of a  group that you could really take the chance to get to know each other. I really liked the French couple, in fact I think I fell in love with the girl. She was so beautiful and kind and you could tell she had a really good soul. In her adorably broken english with both pride and shyness told me that her boyfriend had just proposed to her last week at Ayers Rock. We had a little deck party for them. They were one of those rare couples that proved that romance wasnt dead, even after a few years. 

 

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We visited the infamous Whitehaven beach for a few hours. The sand was so white that it looked like snow, and the ocean swirled in greens and blues. The Aborigines believe that the amazing colors were created by the eggs of the Rainbow Serpent. Other theories suggest possible volcanic activity.  Apparently this sand was 98% silica, so it didn’t get hot under your feet but was used in making glass for companies including NASA. 

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There’s something about Australia that really stands out to me. You can be looking at blue water and cloudy skies and then 5 minutes later the clouds are gone and the sky is blue and the ocean is an emerald green. It’s constantly changing and is a photographers dream really. Walking along the shallow warm waters brought the company of friendly little lemon sharks and stingrays swimming right past your feet with reef sharks.  If you looked out for long enough you’d see Green Sea Turtles popping their heads up as they chugged along the sea.

For lunch one day we were served already cooked but frozen chicken. The germans and I joked around that “Chicken Ice Cream” wasn’t on the menus we were given, We were all too polite to say anything so instead I just had toast for vegemite toast for lunch. On our last night of sailing, we anchored in for the night and around dinner/sunset it began raining. Everyone ran downstairs but I stayed in the rain with Kiwi as she BBQd. A massive sea eagle of some sort circled our ship and she tossed a sausage up to it. It quickly darted down and caught it in it’s massive claws and brought it back to it’s family. Then a rainbow appeared in front of us. It was magical and perfect. I bet if that American girl Ashley was here she’d only find it okay.

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We finished our 3 day voyage and parted ways and the funniest part was that I still didn’t even know anyones name from the trip. They had an after party planned for the night with optional karaoke but I was so buggered, I was just far too knackered to attend.

 

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