Monday, June 3, 2013

Sail Away (Whit)Sundays

This was one of the most fun and spontaneous weekends of my life. I deiced about 4 days before that I would be going to the Whitsunday Islands. I had to plan out all I wanted to do very quickly, but it turned out to be quite a success. The Whitsundays are a group of 74 islands and a favorite sailing destination. Whitehaven Beach is noted one of the most beautiful in the world. The sand is 100% pure white silica. I went on the trip with my friend, Adele, and 2 new girls I hadn’t previously met. We all ended up getting along very well and came to call ourselves ‘The Top Four’.
We arrived, picked up the car, and headed off to Airlie Beach. We searched for Conway National Park for some hiking and found Conway Beach. The sane stretched farther than any beach I had seen. I wasn’t even sure if it was a beach because the water was so far, you could barely see it. We frolicked around the beach and headed off to Mt. Looper walking track. We were having bad luck finding it and lost a lot of light, but we eventually found it. It was a night hike through the forests amongst the shimmering stars. There were many frogs that hopped about. At the end of the walk, we did some yoga below the beautiful stars.
The next morning was my cruise to Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island and Daydream Island. It was raining and windy at the start of the day. The waters were gorgeous and we all stood by the side of the boat and the wind whip our hair. We arrived on Whitsunday Island for a bit of exploring. I walked Whitsunday National Park as blue butterflies swam through the trees. I even saw a snake slither in front of me and slightly panicked, but all was well. I walked to a lookout over the beach. After swimming and walking the lovely beach we hopped back on the boat to go to Daydream Island. The theme of the island was mermaids; I couldn’t have been more excited about it. There was a Mermaid Beach with 3 mermaids on the shore.  Kangaroos hopped about and there was a rainforest walk and a life reef to see. It rained sporadically throughout the day. Adele and I walked through the rainforest to Lover’s Cove and climbed up some rocks to sit and look at the horizon for quite some time. Then we hurried back to the boat and watched the sunset over the ocean.
Jenny, Nishi and Adele left the next morning. We walked the Airlie Beach, saw the sunrise, and said our farewells. Once they left I continued down the beach on the bicentennial walk which went to Airlie Shute Harbor. I sat under a tree and took in the beach for about an hour before my sailing trip. I met up with the group and could tell that it would be a good time. Everyone was so nice. I automatically connected with a girl from Finland, Bambi. ‘Habibi’ set sail on the open ocean and we sailed the day away to arrive at Tongue Bay for the night. Sleeping on a ship was a new experience. I roomed with Bambi and 2 girls from England. We were in the room at the very front of the boat and we were rocked to sleep by the waves.
We woke up to explore Whitsunday Island. We crossed from one side to the other in a rain forest.

We arrived at Hill Inlet Lookout, one of the most photographed places in the world. I was in shock and it was easy to see why. The sand swirled below us with the tides, making swirls of sand bars and water. It was quite the sight to see. We walked down to the beach and walked out to a sandbar through the clear water. There were many stingrays swimming by us, the ones here were harmless but we still avoided them. Bambi and I swam around on the beach with mountains in the background. It was absolutely gorgeous. The rest of the day was about snorkeling and the Great Barrier Reef. We snorkeled Luncheon Bay and Manta Ray Bay. I got to swim with my favorite animal, a sea turtle, for about an hour. To conclude the long day at sea swimming in the waters we danced in Caves Bay as the sunset.
The next morning was my last day in the boat. I woke up bright and early for our last snorkel of the trip. There is nothing better to wake you up in the morning than a swim in the ocean; it was amazing to wake up to.  We sailed back to Abel Point Marina and I even got to participate in the sailing, I pulled some sails for the captain, which was awesome. When we got back we all said goodbye, we had bonded really well as a group and I knew I would miss them all and this weekend. I spent a couple of hours tanning at Airlie Beach Lagoon with Bambi before I caught the bus to the airport. I flew out of Proserpine Airport, the smallest I had ever seen with only 4 gates.

I loved getting to know new friends this weekend, sailing around the gorgeous islands, and making memories. It was my favorite trip in Australia so far and I feel blessed to have been where I was and experienced what I did. Another point for Australia. It’s winning. 

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