Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Sailing the Whitsundays

It's our anniversary this week.  Shon and I have been married 15 years.  More on that later.

In celebration of our marriage, we decided to take a little holiday together.  We booked a sailing trip through the Whitsundays.  They are a group of islands situated on the Great Barrier Reef.  Though we have never  been scuba diving (plenty of snorkeling though) we decided to give it a go and signed up for the "all you can dive" package.  We ended up doing 5 "discovery" dives - we had to stay with a diving instructor (Tristan) and couldn't go lower than 15 m.

My sleeve says "Sail, Dive, Sleep, Repeat."  Sounds like fun!

Here's our boat, the Wings 2.  It was comfortable, and the food was great!
We left from Airlie Beach, and sailed around for a couple days.  It took a bit to get used to the motion of the ship, but we didn't have any sea sickness problems.  
In Airlie Beach, Queensland.

There was a yacht race.  The water is so blue!

The crew were very friendly.  Here is Captain Pete.

Diving was really fun, especially once we figured out how to control our buoyancy and stop from floating into stuff without using our hands (waving your hands around does no good and just makes the water cloudy.)  The reef is gorgeous.  There were so many colorful fish.  We found Nemo, and a lion fish (very poisonous).  One of my favorite parts of being under water was listening to the whales.   I could have just sat and listened until my air ran out.  They were very vocal.  In addition to humpbacks, there was a pod of pilot whales swimming through.  We saw a couple of large  humpbacks putting on a show.  It was amazing.  (It looked like there was an explosion in the water.  I am amazed at how far out of the water such a large animal can go.)  We saw a few dolphins and sea turtles as well.  No sharks or jelly fish (though just for the record, I'm more afraid of jelly fish than sharks.)
Whitehaven Beach is gorgeous.  We could see dozens of sting rays swimming in the water below the lookout.

We climbed over some rocks and found a secluded beach.  Sitting on the rocks, we saw a large animal surface.  It looked like a fat dolphin.  It was a Dugong!  I've been looking for two years and this is the first I have seen.  They are the Aussie cousin to the manatee. 

Whitehaven beach was so amazing.  I've never seen sand like that.  It was like snow - fluffy and white.

What a sunset! 

We had such a great time that we can't wait to go back and take our family with us.


Anthony and Kristie said...

That sounds like a dream. Congrats on 15 years:)

Liz said...

Gorgeous!! Would love to visit there sometime! Happy 15th!

Kimberly said...

I'll volunteer as family! Congrats on 15 awesome years!

Michelle said...

Happy Anniversary!! Looks like you guys had a blast!!