Today we set off on an adventure, we walked from the hostel to the pier in order to board The Hammer our sailing boat, home for a night and vessel to explore the Whitsundays. However today it should definitely be renamed WETsundays as it literally poured buckets all day.
As we left Airlie beach, we had a briefing in the downstairs cabin where everyone’s tiny bunks are, before sitting up on deck and meeting the captain of The Hammer. When it started to pour we were just arriving at the Whitsundays and obviously didn’t want to sit inside the cabin, so got some very sexy yellow rain jackets, put our hoods up and prepared to get very wet at sea!
Soon we arrived at our first snorkeling site and thankfully the rain had momentarily stopped. We all suited up in stinger suits to avoid pain if we got stung, picked our snorkels (and noodles to float on) and got into the sea.
There was an unbelievable amount of fish in the sea it was crazy! As we swam around it felt as if we were swimming through schools of fish and they were beautiful, an array of bright colours and designs. There were also massive massive fish hanging around the engine, and when I say massive I mean huge – 70-80cm long black fish which change sex! So crazy. When we got back on board, lunch was waiting for us and a very needed afternoon snooze on deck. The rain started up again a bit later on and while most people went snorkelling for the second time, we set about exploring the boat (which turns out to be a racing boat) and it’s different features. This also entailed taking millions of photos in different sailing positions around the boat!
After that as the boat is a racing boat we whizzed through the sea with both sails up, and with a snack of hot nachos, prepared for us by the crew, we arrived at our docking destination for the night. We were absolutely exhausted and so after lots of games of cards on deck with the captain (who won every game unfortunately…), star gazing, and a scrummy dinner of roast chicken (unbelievable how they cook it all in the tiny cabin kitchen!) we went to bed in our little boat beds.
After a surprisingly good sleep on the tiny little boat beds, we were woken up by the sound of the engine and the light streaming through the cabin window… At 6.30am! (Not that the time mattered after our very early night) Our first stop was Whitehaven beach, the most famous beach in the Whitsundays. We all boarded the boats dingy and sailed over to the beach. When we arrived we were SO disappointed, it was tiny and covered in grey coral and seaweed. THANKFULLY we were all mistaken and this wasn’t actually the beach.. Whoops. We took a fifteen minute hike up to the Whitsundays view point and looked over the amazing sand islands and mountains. (And I bumped into a friend from home!) After this we walked to the ACTUAL Whitehaven beach and it was amazing! Unbelievable white sand and clear waters and the sky was brilliantly blue! (We were so happy)
After a few hours here we went back to the boat for a lunch of homemade quiche! (Seriously it was incredible what they cooked on the boat!). After this, the crew of The Hammer hoisted it’s bright blue and yellow striped spinnaker (it’s the only boat in the Whitsundays to have one) and we sailed so fast around the islands.
After a quick swim in the sea and a very long sunbathe we arrived back at Airlie Beach. It’s said that at the Whitsundays you take only photos and leave only footprints, we definitely left footprints all over the beach but we also left a lot more red than when we went! It’s so amazing to have experience the beautiful islands of Australia, in all weather conditions and with my best travelling friends.