Magical Whitsundays.We were all up real early excited about our boat trip. I had prepared a huge bowl of tropical fruit salad for our breakfast, we had mango melon, mandarin, banana, papaya and passionfruit, really yummy, with yoghurt and a sprinkle of muesli to top it all off.
There were a surprisingly large number of people waiting at the camp office to be picked up by the bus to take us to the Reef Jet, at 7.30am. The day is going to be just perfect, the sky is all over blue and the sun shining brilliantly already.
The Reef Jet is a large catamaran with three deck levels, it is licensed to carry 70 passengers and today they have 68 the most they have ever had; and we thought a Monday morning would be the quietest day! We were welcomed on board and offered a wetsuit at $7 a head so we could go scuba diving or snorkelling, without being stung by stinger jellyfishes, when we get out to Border Island, the three of us declined, we didn’t want to do either, though we may swim, and we also doubt whether there would be and stingers in the water this late in the season, but what do we know. Everybody else did hire a wet suit. We were all served a hot cup of coffee with cake, as the boat roared out of the harbour and towards the islands in the distance.
It was so beautiful as we headed out towards the Whitsunday passage, with the sun sparkling on the water, which was lovely and calm.
The crew of the Reef Jet were all very young, in their twenties except for the captain of the boat, we can’t speak highly enough about the service and kind treatment, always with a friendly smile, they have been well trained, even though none of them had been with the company long, 4 months seemed to be the longest anyone had worked on-board..
Most of the passengers were young tourists we, and a couple of others are the oldies on board, and somehow the crew seemed to treat us like their special pets, we got all the best treatment and perks.
Took us couple of hours or so to get out to Border Island where all the young ones were going to snorkel and scuba, we were taken to sheltered bay where there is lots of pretty coral and plenty of colourful fishes.
Once all of the swimmers had gone overboard to observe all the sea life, the crew dragged down the inflatable dinghy from the roof and invited us oldies to come out in the dinghy and use special periscope things, which you press into the water and look down into. The view was amazing and magical, thousands of multi coloured fish skittering everywhere not only tiny fish but some huge fish too, I wanted a fishing rod so I could catch one; but no we were not allowed to fish. These are tame fish, fed every day by the boat people. There was so much colour in the coral too and we could see giant clams and lots of wavering kelp fronds, so pretty, we stayed looking as long as they allowed us to. We drifted in between all the young folk swimming with their snorkels and wetsuits; the biggest fish of all.
(These photos are not mine, I have no underwater camera, they are just from the net.)
Once everyone was back on board we headed to Hook Island and anchored in a sheltered cove while we all enjoyed a feast from the buffet set up on the sunny deck; a cold meats and many salads and breads type meal that was very enjoyable, though it took a very long time to feed 68 passengers.
After the buffet we headed for possibly the best part of the trip, Whitehaven Beach with its sparkling white fine powdery sand and shallow waters, so very pretty, and crowded too, we were not the only folk there, many boats and helicopters and a light plane, were lined up along the shore. The crew told everyone that they would have to wade into shore as the water was too shallow to get really close to the beach, we watched them all throw themselves over into the waist deep water and decided we would stay on board as Daphne had no swimming suit with her. But when the crew realised that we were staying on board, they dragged down from the roof again, the inflatable dinghy and rowed us and the other older ladies in so we only got our feet wet. Erle and I were delighted as we really wanted to have a swim in the warm tropical water, didn’t take us long to don our suits and have a great swim in the shallow water, no talk of stinger jellyfish now. Daphne enjoyed sitting in the warm sand watching everybody and us else frolic, pity she didn’t bring her swimsuit, but she is having a wonderful day just like we are.
The Reef Jet is behind me.
A professional photographer wandered around among us all taking many photos, even of us, probably the first time we have been professionally posed, we didn’t end up buying any of the beach shots, but I will remember how to do the poses in the future.
After the 2 happy hours on Whitehavens lovely white sands everyone was called back on board, and the inflatable was brought to shore for us spoiled oldies.
We raved to the young crew about what a great day we’d had as we enjoyed another cup of coffee with them, and they told us, its not over yet, more fun things to do yet……..