I awoke to another wonderful day and just knew that the sailing trip would be great. The crew of the S.V. Whitehaven consisted of Dave, the skipper, and Lauren and Leon, the deck hands. Lauren also served as tour guide and ecological expert while Leon prepared all of our meals. We set sail and headed out to open ocean. The farther we got from shore, the more I realized how much I enjoyed being on the water.
At our first stop, we donned lovely, fashionable wetsuits and did a bit of snorkeling. I think wetsuits are the worst fashion tragedy ever, but I guess they’re better than getting stung by jellyfish. Australia has a jellyfish that is the deadliest in the world. I hear that when you’re stung by them, you can die from the shock of the pain. If you don’t die straight away, you wish you would because the pain is so intense. So with that in mind, I wriggled into the suit and hopped into the water.
|Slide Album: Whitsundays Adventure|
Even though I’ve grown up on an island and have lived within 30 minutes of a beach my entire life, I can’t say that I’ve actually spent much time there, especially in recent years. And when I do go to the beach, I definitely don’t do any snorkeling. I’ve never even been to Hanauma Bay before! So it was a bit difficult for me to put on the gear (snorkel, mask and fins) and waddle into the water from a beach made of coral rocks. Just thinking about it again makes my poor feet hurt. Apparently I’m what you call a tenderfoot, even though I clearly remember running around barefoot as a kid.
Once I was finally in the water, I was glad to have chosen to bring a noodle with me. A noodle is a styrofoam-like tube that helps you float. I put that noodle under me and off I went looking for fish. And, I didn’t have to look very far as the fish were everywhere. The visibility under the water wasn’t great, but the amount of fish made up for it. They weren’t even afraid of us – these big, awkward-looking whale-like creatures fumbling around them. There were so many different kinds of fish that it was simply incredible! When it was time to get back onboard, I didn’t want to leave.
After changing back into some warm clothes, we hopped aboard the skiff and headed back to shore to watch the sunset. I don’t think there’s anything like watching a sunset at sea. The color of the sky against the darkening water makes you speechless. Unconsciously, we all seemed to hold our breath as the sun slowly dipped below the horizon. At dusk, the glorious orange sunset morphed into a deepening purple with hints of pinks and golds. It’s moments like this that made me realize just how special Australia is and why I’m so lucky. In fact, it has made me realize that life itself is cause for celebration when you can witness such inspiring natural events like this. But why does it take coming all the way to Australia to realize it?
|Slide Album: Whitsunday Sunset|