|Our private room on the boat|
|Before the massive wave engulfed us!|
|Bo preparing our brekkie|
|The Germans and I with Whitehaven Beach in the background|
|Our boat approaching Whitehaven Beach|
|1 of 3 goannas that we saw on this short walk!|
Once we returned back to the beach, Erik did some stand up paddleboarding while I enjoyed the soft sand.
From Whitehaven Beach, we took off for Hook Island, where we got in an early evening snorkel session. This boat has a sea scooter, which is essentially like a fan that you can use while snorkeling to get you around faster. Erik and I used it and found that it was a great way to cover a lot of ground but that it made us cold quickly because we were not using our muscles to swim! After a hot shower (a luxury not found on many of the sailing boats), we enjoyed another beautiful sunset from the deck of the boat.
In the morning we set off for a prime snorkeling spot off of Hayman Island called Blue Pearl Bay. This spot is known for its fish and in particular, a large Maori Wrasse fish named Elvis. Fortunately, "the king" made an appearance for us, which you can see in the first snorkeling video below around 1:25. Shout out to my parents, sister, and brother-in-law, who sent us a GoPro camera for our birthdays this year!! Hopefully the videos do not make you seasick...it was our first attempt using the camera and we did learn some good tips for next time. Both the fish and coral were impressive at this location, though you can definitely see how tourism has affected the coral and the colors are clearly not as vibrant as they once were.
Snorkeling in Blue Pearl Bay from Ashley Hanson on Vimeo.
We then set sail for Langford Reef to try to spot some sea turtles. That was a successful venture, and in addition I spotted two black-tipped reef sharks in the shallow surf while walking along the beach! This video is mostly snorkeling with the sea turtles (we saw a single turtle and a family of three), but if you have sharp eyes you can spot the reef sharks at the 20 second mark . They are extremely skittish and swam away quickly when I entered the water near them.
Langford Reef Sea Turtles from Ashley Hanson on Vimeo.
After our snorkeling session at Langford Reef, it was time to head back to Airlie Beach. The sail went up and we arrived at the pier on Monday at 2pm. We said goodbye to our fellow travelers and hopped on a bus to the airport, where we flew back to Melbourne that afternoon.
|Erik enjoyed helping on the boat when he could. He has some experience sailing with his grandparents around the Great Lakes.|
Although it was a quick trip, I felt like we were able to see and do many things because we were cruising around the islands on a boat. I think the choice to take the boat trip instead of to stay on one of the island for a few nights was the right decision, and I would absolutely recommend a sailing trip around the Whitsundays as the best way to see all that the area has to offer.
Whitsunday Islands from Ashley Van Doren on Vimeo.