Look at me mum, I'm on a sail boat!!!!
Trip Start Apr 12, 2007
36Trip End Oct 20, 2007
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With yet another hangover in full-flow, wednesday morning proved quite difficult. The reason being was that i had a few errands to run. The few errands took the form of last minute preparations for my sailing journey, that afternoon.
I was to be spending 2 days and 2 nights on a boat, sailing around the whitsunday islands, the prospect of which proving most exciting, as i'd been looking forward to this for a fair while now. Fed, watered and now stocked up with the essentials - namely a hat, 12 cans of beer and 4 litres of goon - it was off to pizza hut to begin our journey....
Er. come again? OK, the bus picked us up from there and immediately i met german Caroline ("are all german girls called this?", I pondered) as well as some isreali gal and a wickid couple Aaron and Melanie (norwich and cardiff, respectively)
Prorities first: The skipper (Jimmy) requested all beer and goon be instantly put into the eskies (cool box) at the stern, not long before we were issued our bunks. Spawny bugger that i am, i fluked a double bed to myself. OH yes... get in there...!!!!
All settled in, we left Airlie Beach under the power of the little engine. After an hour, it was time to get involved and the 4 crew were very enthusiatsic in getting us stowaways pulling our collective weight whilst on the ship. Hoisting the sails, spinning those spinny things (that you see the pros doing so at a frenetic pace), all grand. Within an hour we were proper sailing. Fantastic! On the open sea, 10 knots of gust and just chatting on deck, getting to know my accompanying travellers. A few times we had to 'tack' as the wind was blowing in a different direction to where we wanted to be, so this proved excellent opportunity to practice the deck hand work
Naturally, it wasnt long before the cheeky beers came out and probably the finest nachos i'd ever tasted appeared just as we anchored in a bay for the night. Hmmmmmmmm.
With a dinner that was more then a little ropey, all done, the first night passed off with lots of beer and goon and chatting to loads of new people, though the exersions from the exploits of the previous few nights kind of crept up from nowehere and limited the enthusiasm for the evening. Nice relaxed drinks though, all good.
After a sound nights sleep, the following day began early doors around 7am and with breakfast right royally scoffed down, rapier stylee, it was straight into the sailing again. After and hour or so, we moored around a headland from the jewel in the whitsudnays crown - Whitehaven beach. A brief dingy ride to shore, then a 5 minute hike through the forest, took us to the lookout post. Here's the place to get the picture-postcard shot of the beach.
Unfortunately our day was a little - who am i kidding - it was totally overcast which kind of detracted from the colours and the beauty
Tourist photoshoot out the way, it was down onto the actual beach (at least, i think it was), randomly bumping into sarah, sarah, ciara and michaela on the way. Ahh, hadnt seen my girls since yesterday. Got my fix of eostrogen for the day. How nice.
The rest of the morning was filled, first with the worst frisbee session recorded in post war times, and then with a cool impromptue volley ball game between 10 of us from the Boomerang; all this before walking down to the sea and having a bit of a splash around. A few swam out to a sandbank some 100m away; upon coming in I luckily pointed out 2 stingrays in their path, which they had to wheel around. Cool.
Then back on the boat for a spot more sailing (REALLY enjoying this now - fantastic feeling) before pulling up for a spot of snorkelling. All good.
More sailing. Ace. More snorkelling. Yawn. Infact i didnt bother with the second snorkel because a) its so bloody boring and you cant see a fraction of the things you do when you dive; b) it was bloody freezing; and c) i thought i'd be clever and get an hour or so kip, to get my strength up for tonight's festivites...
Hmm. The sail into the sunset was all too grand though. Sod the whales, sod the snorkelling.
Just give me a big, proper yacht - Boomerang, i hasten to add, seems to be getting bigger and bigger by the hour (one of these crazy new organic-tardis-yachts fresh out of China's skunworks, perhaps?) - some wind, some decent weather, decent people and an eskie filled with ice cold beer. And I'm happy. So happy. Brilliant experience.
And so we anchored for a second night, after somewhat drunkenly berating the crew of another ship as we passed it. Thankfully tonight's food was leagues above last night, with Jimmy the skipper on BBQ duty (yep, full on gas barbie welded to the stern). Awesome.
Then the drinking began, with representatives from england, wales, germany, france and australia forming the hardore, huddled together up on the open deck, under the stars. It wasnt long before jovial drinking turned into drinking games and then the reemergence of the game i'd picked up on Miagnetic Island - the Hula Hula game. BLOODY HILARIOUS.
Everyone drunk and in stitches and having a bloody good time. All lasted till late, but the game of 'Roxanne' finished off a few
Fantastic night at sea.
Slightly hungover, the following morning was all go, go, go as it was just a straight sail all the way back to Airlie. We benefited from a good 15knot wind and with the main sail hoisted right up the 1367ft mast (it was huge), Boomerang was full-on cutting through the water. The right hand side of the deck skimming the oceans surface, it was THE opportunity to sit on the high side of the boat, dangling the old feet over the edge just like the pros. So, so cool.
We arrived back to the marina far far too soon, by 11am. Nooooooo!!!!!!! the sailing has ended!!!!! And after a photoshoot of al the crew and shipmates we all went our separate ways.... for the day at least...
That night 10 of us met up again for 'a few drinks'. Again, what started as jovial, merey banter, soon degraded into wreckless drinking. Boomerang's alternative power soiurce - also known as Lisa, the ship's livewire cook - had us playing the age-old game "sneak a coin into some unsusptecting persons drink and then they have to down it". Phew. went through a few pints that night. And being as though I was the sole representative of England, naturally I upped the anti by down a JUG - just over 2 pints.
Rest of the night? Fcuk knows.... cant remember a thing Ha ha!!!!
Awesome, awesome few days. Without doubt and totally and unreservedly, one of the highlights of my entire trip