Whitsundays Sailing

Hello again! I just forked out a whopping $13.50 for a veggie burger that was average at best and didn’t even come with a side of fries, so I am not pleased. On the bright side, I am here to write about my trip sailing through the Whitsundays which was amazing, so that should brighten the mood. Still not happy that I wasted my tummy’s precious dinner space and too much money on that burger but I’m trying to move past it. Also, I can’t be the only one who hates it when servers ask for your name and then constantly use it to make you feel important and valued and whatnot. All it does is make me uncomfortable. Anyway, let’s get Negative Nancy out of here, who even invited her?? Happy thoughts!


When I woke the morning of my sailing trip, the weather was still wet and cold. I walked to the marina in the humid, sticky rain and thought the trip would be absolutely dreadful if the weather continued that way. Luckily, the trip turned out to be wonderful, even without the weather’s full cooperation.


The sailboat was called the SV Whitehaven and usually holds 24 people, but we had a smaller group of only 16, which was nice and allowed for everyone to become friends to some extent. My main “group” on board was two Dutch girls, a British girl, and a German girl, but I also met a German couple who are both finishing vet school, two Eastern European women (I can’t remember exactly which country oops) in their early thirties who were there with their parents, an American woman who quit her job and sold her house to travel for a year (go her!), a Swiss couple, and a British guy. We had a diverse mix of people so that made it interesting! The crew was made up of two young Kiwi guys who were the cook and the tour guide along with the captain who was only 29, so it was a very young group in charge.


Like I said, the first day was rainy and chilly but it was our snorkel day so we made the best of it. I went in the water for maybe 15 minutes before I was too cold to carry on, but I saw lots of coral and bright fish, although I’m sure it would have been a lot more interesting before the cyclone hit. I found it super cool regardless but didn’t particularly enjoy being in the water on such a dreary day, so my snorkel experience was short lived.


We were welcomed back on the boat with amazing food and I was so thrilled with the vegan options they prepared for me. The food in general was delicious and I definitely got my money’s worth on that front. They had vegan schnitzels accompanied by soft fresh buns and even vegan butter to go with it, and lots of salad and vegetables. I was very well fed until dinner when the cook whipped up a delicious Thai green veggie curry on rice with a side of baguettes and vegan butter. Safe to say I was in carb heaven. I went back for thirds and I am already feeling fatter because of it.


After a gorgeous fiery sunset and a full, vibrant double rainbow that made up for the crappy weather of the day, we stayed up playing games and talking and learning all about different sea creatures. I found out that the majority of fish can change genders and that sea cucumbers can split themselves in half and become two separate living beings. I learned many other crazy facts that night about the underwater world but I have sadly already forgotten them. But it sure is insane what those sea creatures are capable of doing!


Once all the lights were out, a few of us sat on the upper deck and looked at the stars and oh my good golly!!! The lack of light pollution when you’re anchored at sea makes for the clearest, most amazing starry sky you could ever imagine! I am obsessed with the stars so this was next level excitement for me. I even saw three shooting stars and I got butterflies each time! It was just surreal. There is nothing more spectacular than a clear night sky. It was the perfect end to the night.


The next morning, I was getting ready for the day when I heard people shouting about dolphin sightings from the upper deck. I dropped everything and ran out to see some little dolphins swimming around in the distance, their fins popping out to make an appearance every few minutes. They didn’t put on a full show and leap gracefully into the air in perfect unison like they do in the movies, but it was still a very exciting start to the day.


The breakfast spread was just as wonderful as the first two meals, with a variety of breads, muesli, soy milk, and fresh fruit salad. Our second and final day was meant to be our beach day and thankfully the sun decided to peep out for us. We did a small hike, if you can even call it that since most people did it bare foot or in flip flops, to the extremely photogenic lookout point over Whitehaven before going down to play in the crystal blue waters and pristine sand.


Whitehaven is known for its incredibly white sand that is 99% pure silica. After scrubbing it all over my body, my skin felt as smooth as a baby’s bottom and it was basically a free spa day. To make the day even better, we saw a bunch of lagoon sting rays and even a lemon shark, which kind of ressembles a fish more than a shark and has giraffe-like spots, but the fact that it is called a lemon shark is what really got to me. How cute is that?! Little Lemmy is what I called him. I think it was quite fitting.


We had one last delicious lunch on board before sailing back to Airlie Beach and most of us laid out at the front of the boat to catch some of the bright rays that we had missed so dearly in the days before. I took in the last blissful moments on the boat and headed back to my hostel to take a much needed shower.


That night we had the “after party” at a bar in town where only about six of us showed up since most people were moving on to their next destination right away. It was a lot of fun and our tour guide hooked us up with loads of free drinks. Sadly, I had to pass off on most of them because I wasn’t feeling too great after two ciders, which is a shame because alcohol is expensive and I’m always quick to jump on anything with the words “free” involved, but I decided to be proactive and save myself the hangover. Morning me was very pleased with night me’s decision.


We ended up at a nightclub dancing all together and then I left before the rest of the group because, well, I’m a grandma! Seriously though. I had to be convinced to go in the first place and even then I barely lasted an hour. At the ripe age of 21, I hate clubs and can’t handle more than 2 glasses of cider. What’s up with that?!


This morning I was up to catch the bus to Townsville, where I am staying one night before I hop on the ferry to Magnetic Island tomorrow. I must say I really don’t like it here. The town has lots of potential with a nice marina and some cute old buildings, but it feels sketchy and I felt a little on edge even in broad daylight. There are just some weird people around here who give off creepy vibes. It’s extra strange because there are certain streets that feel super touristy and safe and lively and then you make one turn onto the next street over and it’s like you’ve entered a whole different world that is completely deserted except for just one or two creepy people lingering about. I’m definitely looking forward to getting over to Magnetic Island ASAP tomorrow morning. I’m also meeting the two Dutch girls from the sailing trip there, so that should be fun!


So that wraps up my Whitsundays sailing experience. It was so beautiful and so fun and I met such great people. Even with less than ideal weather, it was a good time so I envy anyone who gets to experience it during perfect sunny summer weather.


Also, thanks to all the kind souls who reached out to me about my tummy troubles. I really thought I was just complaining about it to be a pessimistic pest and would get through it eventually, but I got a few messages and comments offering advice and that was so darn sweet. You’ll be happy to know that my stomach has been feeling much better in the last few days and I think there’s a good chance I will survive!!!


Lots of love


Tal



2 views

Recent Posts