Our sailboat departed at 3pm from Airlie Beach. There were 10 other passengers on the boat and two crew people. Our captain went by the name Jelly (I’m told his real name is Kane) and he told us it takes about 3hours to get from Airlie Beach to anywhere exciting. So we got our swimsuits on, chilled on the deck, and got to know the other people traveling with us. There is one other American from Colorado who is living in Australia for 6 months while working. There are 4 Germans (two couples), a French couple that used to live in Florida, and a Chinese couple with their 5 year old. I would say the next youngest person (besides the 5 year old) was about 30, but the group was actually a bunch of fun! The French man, William, adopted Sam as his son on the trip and they talked about sports and tossed around the football together lol.
Anyways, I’ll break down generally what we did each day.
As I mentioned, we left the dock around 3pm. On our way to where we would be sleeping for the night, Jelly turned the “hot tub” on and then put a bunch of soap in it so it was foaming all over! It was super fun and we were just throwing foam at each other while hot tubbing our feet (there was only enough space for like 2 people to go fully into the hot tub)
Once we reached our destination for the night, we dove in the water quickly before dinner. I guess it’s stinger season here (jellyfish are in the water). Jelly told us he had to highly recommend we wear stinger suits, but then proceeded to jump into the water without one…. so we all did the same! It was a very short swim before eating dinner. The rest of the night was just spent sitting on the front of the boat, listening to music, and looking at the vast number of stars in the sky.
Our boat took off around 6am, but we didn’t get up for breakfast until about 7. Sam finally tried some vegamite… LOL it’s great fun to watch people take a taste. I even was nice enough to warn him to take the smallest sample.
Our first destination was Whitehaven Beach. I guess the sand there is 90% silica (still not really sure what that means), but you can polish your jewelry with it lol. It is superrrr soft. Apparently if you tried to take a small vial with you through airport security it would look like cocaine because it’s so fine. Anyways, the beach was absolutely beautiful! The water was so warm, the sand wasn’t hot, it was just great beach. We spent about 3hrs there.
Jelly told us it’s the 2nd best beach in the world… and Culebra is supposed to be #1, which I also went to so I know a lot about beach quality lol
After we got back to the boat, we headed to our first snorkeling destination. I guess the winds are blowing from the north right now, which makes snorkeling less clear. Still was able to see a bunch of fish though. A few people in our group even saw a turtle and a reef shark!
The second snorkeling location ended up being where we slept the first night. Sam and I snorkeled around for a little bit, but again it was a little foggy so we didn’t see a huge variety of fish.
Once everyone had their fill of snorkeling, we sailed over to our location for the night, Ngara Cove (I think that’s what it was called). We pulled out the kayaks and paddle boards and swam around in the water for a while. We were also able to jump off the top part of the boat, which was probably about 10feet. Sam practiced his backflips and finally got it down.
Our last day on the boat 😢 we had breakfast around 7:30am (same general stuff as yesterday). Then we headed to the land for a quick hike up to some aboriginal caves. There was a bunch of information about the aboriginal people on the way up and the cave had some paintings in it.
After the cave, we swam around in the water some more and got to water ski using the paddle boards! I’ve never actually water skied before but using the paddle board it wasn’t actually very difficult. The French man, Will, LOVED IT. He was doing all sorts of random things while being pulled around. It was pretty hilarious.
Selfie with Larry the Cockatoo
The rest of the trip was a 3hr cruise back to Airlie Beach. We got some delicious tacos to snack on and just enjoyed the sun and breeze.
After we all got off the boat, the French couple asked if we wanted to go to this waterfall Jelly had recommended to them. We didn’t have any other plans for the day and they had a car so we decided to go with them!
Turns out the waterfall was not a waterfall lol. It must be dried up from being too hot. There were a few areas it was dripping a little bit, otherwise the water was super stagnant and gross. On the plus side, got to pet a cute pitbull 3 month old puppy 😍
We didn’t spend too much time at the “waterfall”, so we ended up getting to our hostel around 3pm. We were both pretty hungry so we went and found some dinner at a random pub nearby. While waiting for our food we saw two of the German guys from our boat! We ended up sitting next to them and hanging out for a bit.
Off to Sydney next for the last stop in Australia!