This is the trip that Harriet and I have been most excited for. There is just something so luxurious about setting sail for a secluded bay. Granted it was with 30 other people but they were amazing, friendly people who just wanted to enjoy the trip and have a laugh. They totally made the trip, for me, so much more memorable.
We took our Whitsunday trip with Whitsunday Sailing Adventures on a boat called Wings 3. There is so much to tell you about I don’t know how to tell you of all the laughs, sights and memories that we had on this trip. But here goes …
We began with a beautiful board walk to the Abell Point Marina where we met our home and our crew for the next few days. The boat was gorgeous but really small and I was worried about how we were going to fit 30 people plus the crew for 2 nights, all would be revealed.
We met our crew; Christian, our skipper, Chad, our chief and Axel our deckhand and all round entertainer. All 3 were amazing at looking after us all and making the trip one to remember.
After meeting the crew and a safety briefing we were soon leaving the marina and off out to sea. We all relaxed on deck while we were shown to our rooms in small groups. Harriet and I, along with a couple of other people, were sleeping in the kitchen/living space. At first we were a little put off as we didn’t have any privacy but after seeing the other rooms that were sleeping 6-7 people in a 6ft space we soon realised that actually our roomy double bed wasn’t too bad.
After a couple of hours sailing we arrived at our first location for snorkelling, Blue Pearl Bay. Within minutes of the boat stopping and the anchor being dropped we were in the water and looking at the life below.
The fish were amazing, they swam so close to you, you could easily reach out and touch them. You could swim through schools of fish and they wouldn’t turn tail and swim away. This was made even better as Christian, who was in a smaller motor boat, threw fish food into the water sending the fish into a frenzy around you!!
After an hour of snorkelling we went back to the boat and were greeted with tea, coffee and cake. After topping up the sunscreen and with tea and cake in hand we headed up to the deck to dry off in the sun, get to know everyone and watch the first of the spectacular sunsets we would see. We began chatting with a couple of girls only to discover that we had a mutual friend!! It is so strange how small the world is 🌏
With our feet dangling over the edge of the boat we moved on to our second location where we would be dripping anchor for the night. On the way Chad brought out a pre-dinner snack, and we all sat together watching the sunset 🌅
We then had a slap up meal of honey soy chicken with potatoes and salad; while we were eating we were treated to a couple of dolphins. They were drawn in by the small fish 🐟 that were attracted by the blue light; this blue light was under the water and switched on once it was dark it was amazing to see the fish swimming in and out of the light and also to see the dolphins 🐬 something I never thought I would see in the wild. Also swimming after the fish were 3 or 4 GTs, a massive fish that every now and then would create a splash as it caught its dinner.
I was prepared not to get much sleep on the boat but amazingly I slept well, we woke up to the crew making breakfast and getting ready for the day. Meaning that we got the first cup of tea in the morning and the chance to start the day before the breakfast area became busy.
Christian set sail early morning to ensure that we could stop and snorkel at Menta Bay the next bay on our trip. Once again we were surrounded by sea life, I can not get over how beautiful it was down there!! The colours, the fish and the peace; as with the skydiving I had a real feeling of peace when I was under the water 💦 It was magical!!
After the snorkelling we set sail once again, this time our destination was the Whitsundays Island. The journey took us through a stretch of water commonly known as the ‘washing machine’ it is a really rough stretch that makes you feel like your in a washing machine. We all thought that this was an exaggeration when Christian told us but it wasn’t. The boat was moving up and down, I found that you were not able to walk in a straight line and the spray soaked everyone sitting up on deck. It was definitely a washing machine feeling afterwards!
After going through the washing machine, we arrived at Tongue Bay, the bay was on the same island of the famous Whitehaven Beach. Once we were all ferried over to the shore we took a 15 minute walk to a Lookout point overlooking Whitehaven beach. It was stunning! White sand, blue sea what more does paradise need? After the typical tourist photos and we had all admired the view, we took a group picture. Then it was onto Whitehaven beach!
The beach was beautiful! The sand was unbelievably soft, it felt like waking on a cloud. We spent the remainder of the afternoon on the beach taking photos, chatting and cooling off in a shallow pool the sea had created. Although the water was warm it was beautifully refreshing.
While at the beach we also saw lots of solider crabs 🦀 and when I say a lot there were hundreds!! They were all running towards the sea it was so funny and so remarkable to see them all moving at the same time in the same direction.
After another group photo on the beach we headed back to the boat where we were treated to nachos! As we ate we sailed to the next bay where we would anchor for the night.
After the sun had set, the blue light at the back of the boat was switched on; I loved watching the fish that were attracted to it. Chad then pointed out that the hundreds of fish swimming around the blue light were squid and with that Christian and Chad had fishing lines and were bringing in loads of squid.
As a defence mechanism the squid eject a black ink to try to escape predators and as they were being lifted out of the water the were squirting ink everywhere. The ink somehow covered everyone except Chad and Christian (not sure how that happened) but the end result was about 40 squid in a bucket ready for eating.
Our final night on board consisted of another gorgeous sunset, an amazing dinner and a night of stargazing, chilling and chatting. Just perfect!
Our final day on the boat was AUSTRALIA DAY and what a way to celebrate it. It was a chilled but an early start. To make sure that we had as much time to snorkel as possible we were in the water at 7am! Christian also set the challenge that for the previous 8 weeks a turtle had been spotted in this bay, so we could not break the lucky streak and not see one.
I was one of the first in the water not wanting to miss a second of the life under the sea. Within 10 minutes of being in the water I spotted a turtle chilling under some coral, keeping Christian’s lucky streak. I can’t believe that I have snorkelled so much while on our East Coast adventure and every time I have been left in awe, the beauty and the magical feel I get is one that I will never forget!
After our early morning snorkel it was time to head back to Airlie Beach. We were all sad to be leaving but the memories of the friends we made and the memories we have are incredible. After a few hours of sailing we were back at the marina and saying bye to the crew. However, the goodbye was only for a few hours as we had an after party where we all got together at a local bar for a good night out but that story is to come.