Monday, March 23, 2009 Cruising Day 8 Whitsunday Islands

The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be; to see them as they are".  Samuel Johnson

Today, the most anticipated tour so far "The Great Barrier Reef".  It didn’t fail to meet expectations – it was just "INCREDIBLE".

IMGP8892 The Whitsunday Islands, Australia are a collection of continental islands of various sizes off the coast of Queensland.  They are situated between Townsville and Mackay and are approximately 900 kilometres north of Brisbane.  Bordered by the Great Barrier Reef and some 74 tropical islands in the calm waters off the Coral sea, the Whitsunday’s lie midway along Australia’s Queensland coast and are situated within 160 km of each other. 

The whole area is subtropical.  Today it’s a beautiful 27C.

We’ve booked a tour today to go snorkeling on the Reef.  We boarded a Catamaran type ferry along with 300 other passengers.  The trip is IMGP8790 to take 2 hours before we can be let loose on the Reef.  About 30 minutes from our destination my BP dropped to my feet and I was as sick as a dog.  Three (3) bags full later, and a cold compress to my neck and head I felt great.  Goodness but it was rough, (little did we know the way back would be WORSE).

When we got to the Pontoon (which was massive) I felt much better and Gert and I went snorkeling (after I received awesome instructions from one of the guides).  We had an absolutely wonderful time.  The colours of the many species of fish was truly breathtaking.  We’d seen

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documentaries on the TV about the reef and were totally immersed in the surroundings.  It was like nothing we’d ever experienced before; IMGP8813 IMGP3076






we were totally in awe.  The Coral itself, a living creature, has many different shapes and colours reminding me of a sun catcher.  No two pieces looked the same.  The fish swam very freely around us and we appeared to be "just one of the fish" as we snorkeled amongst the reef.  The sights and sound of this experience will stay with us  forever.  We also took a glass bottomed boat to get a close up view of the coral – it was just amazing – I swear you could see it breathe! More photos coming once we get the 35mm film developed from the  disposable underwater camera.








As indicated, the trip back on the Catamaran was just as rough if not rougher than the initial trip.  We experienced swells of between 8-10 ft.  Many people were ill.  Thankfully, it’s the only 45 minutes that we’re not protected by the Coral Sea.  Along the way we saw another Canadian sailboat, with at least 1 reef in the main due to the strong winds.  We were very pleased to see the Volendam.  We immediately went on board to shower and get a hot cup of tea.  We think an early night is in store with wonderful dreams of the Great Barrier Reef and us swimming with the fishes.


Monday, March 23, 2009 Cruising Day 8 Whitsunday Islands — 4 Comments

  1. I can’t even imagine how many photos you’re going to have by the time you get back, but I can’t wait to see them!

  2. goodness you two are having a whale of a time! Enjoy! i look forward to the overlong sickening repeats when you get back! over a glass of red! off course that depends if there is any left in your wine cellar by then 🙂 Keep up the wonderful work this is an excellent travel blog!

  3. I’m green with envy! Maybe not of the catamaran ride rather snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef sounds fabulous! Can’t wait to see your pics.