After sleeping the night in the mountains, we had to make some preparations for our boat trip: check-in for the boat, buy some snacks for on the boat and pack our bags. For the rest we had an empty day before we would go on the boat that evening around 6pm. While checking in for the boat, Joe met his friend Johan. Johan is Swedish as well and works on the Anaconda III (the boat of our trip). We had some drinks with Johan that afternoon and he told us a lot of things about the boat. It sounded like it was going to be so great! Before we headed to the boat we went to an ‘All you can eat’ Mexican restaurant, where we could eat Chilli for $10 only. It tasted so good and we actually had a bit too much of it. A bit short of time now we went to the cars, grabbed our stuff and went to the boat pier to hop on the boat. We were just in time!
Since Joe booked the trip separately we were booked into different rooms than Joe. Fortunately, for us it was possible to switch rooms and were now in room 10 with another guy called Daniel (alias Alaska). As Johan told us, this was a really small room, but this could not ruin our mood 🙂 After all, we were together in the same room with the 4 most amazing people. When we arrived on the ship, a large ship with 3 huge sails and lots of space, we were offered a free drink and were instructed very funny about the safety instructions and rules on board. For instance, we could only take a 1 minute shower everyday, or group together in the shower to get a longer shower, or get a crew member into the shower or best: the captain. That night we departed from the harbour to the north side of the Whitsunday island, where we stayed the night for. The room was incredible hot since it was the only room without air conditioning and some of us fled onto the deck of the ship.
The next day we left early in the morning to Whitehaven beach which has the finest sand in the world! The beach is such a beauty! We took a walk up to a look out point with amazing views. Apparently there were huge spiders along the path towards the look out point, but Alaska walked through it first…Peter managed to find two coconut shells and take some of the finest sand in the world with him towards the boat. We then sailed to a bay where we could snorkel and where we would get our first diving introduction lesson! The first impression when you start snorkeling: WOWWWW!!!! You cannot believe your eyes! The living coral, all the beautiful fish, the beautiful colors – your eyes pop out of their sockets. We tried to make some pictures of each other with fish, which was not as easy as it sounds. As the fourth diving group, we finally got our first diving lesson. We got a short introduction of 15 minutes with the basic diving skills we required and we could practice each one of them. And then finally we could dive! Such an amazing feeling – living under water. Time flew by! 15 minutes of diving seemed like a minute. Also on the boat we saw different fish in the water, especially when the fish were being fed. Not to forget: it was amazing how one of the crew members called on an eagle and we could see him fly in circles around the boat and dive for food that was being fed to hi. We had an amazing dinner that night and later that night we played a game called ‘eat a box’. It is a hilarious game to play and losers were spanked, which was quite fun to do 😉
The next day we sailed to the bait reef in the outer reef. In this reef we were allowed to snorkel a lot. It was several square meters of corals and heaps of different fish to see. I (Dennis) saw a reef shark from 1 meter distance. Check some of the pictures of this amazing reef here. On the boat again we were allowed to jump off the boat into the water and swim with big fish. One of the fish bitten a guy in the fingers, thinking it was food. The diving the day before was great, but these sights at this reef were much better – if you ever go to the Whitsundays, go to the outer reef! That afternoon we sailed back again to Hook island (the northern of the two big islands) to stay over in Blue Pearl Bay for the night.
The next day we sailed a bit again to settle into a different bay where we could snorkel again. The crew of our ship started throwing fish food around us in the sea and all the fish would be swimming around you like crazy to catch the food. They were right in front of your face and so many of them. In this bay, many jellyfish could be found as well. It was such a great experience to see so many beautiful fish so close around you. Afterwards, we had to sail back to Airlie beach, unfortunately.