June 28 - July 1, 2012...Whitsunday Islands

 I can feel it…there will be no rain today…."Om"…ha ha ha.  Today Kev and I are riding to the marvelous Whitsundays.  I have always wanted to visit, and now I can't believe that it's happening!  I found an awesome deal on the wotif website for Airlie Beach, that happen to be in our budget so I booked it.  Today was actually a fabulous ride.  It did not rain….so chanting does work!  The skies were not the brightest, but the temperature gauge was moving up…yeah baby!  Meandering our way into the Airlie Beach area, I was totally waiting for that "Wow" moment…It just did not happen!  The skies were grey, which meant the water was grey, there just was not that picturesque  postcard pop that I was looking for.  I was, however, thrilled to be warm and dry!  Airlie Beach is home to a lot of young european backpackers, who come to drink and party…It kinda reminds me of Mexico's Cabo!  We checked into our small place on the side of the hill, lugged the gear in, opened up the sliding verandah door and marveled at the fabulous view of Boathaven Bay.  I had the camera out snapping some shots when into my lens view flew a beautiful sulfur crested cockatoo!  He landed on the rail and just watched me continue to mess with the camera…it was totally cool!  I had some almonds an thought that he/she would like a few…as soon as I placed them on the table the word was out, five other cockys flew in, it was amazing.  The cocky crew actually flew in every evening for an almond cocktail…loved it! 

The weather was brighter every day and Kev and I decided to take a sailing trip through the Whitsundays for a couple of nights.  Now this was the way to totally slow things down!  We would be away from land, the bikes, and phone service.  It definitely was a fabulous investment, and an experience that we will never forget.  There were 3 other international couples on board and a crew of 2.  Because we booked this trip on a whim… Kev and I soon found out that we would have no privacy and would be bunking with the crew…Right On!  All Aboard!…ha ha ha, had to say that!  Motoring slowly out of the harbor it was not long until we were in open water.  I could feel my body starting to grow heavy and relax back into the hard fiberglass deck…I soon realized that  there would be no decision making of any kind for 3 days!  No traffic decisions, road decisions, animal alerts, weather alerts, tent assembly, food assembly, bike packing, bike maintenance, charging issues, water issues, petrol issues…Ahh, and to top it off  I'm surrounded by my most fav thing in the world…turquoise water! Excuse me…Let me just take a brief moment to reflect on all of this…Man we live in a beautiful world!  Captain Sam began to rattle off all the dos and don'ts, tacking maneuvers, where to sit, where not to sit, grab, not grab of the Silent Night…"Does everyone understand?" Captain Sam authoritatively stated…I glanced around at the international eyes of Switzerland, Germany, Bolivia, France, Italy and America…I pretty sure team America got it, but I'm not sure about the rest!  

Ahh I think that I'm gonna have to learn how to sail!!!…What a fabulous feeling being powered by Lady Earth's breath.  The Silent Night is a very sexy boat, and really it is all about looking good on the water…ha ha ha!  She definitely had all the right moves sailing across the clear turquoise waters, so much so that a pod of bottle nose dolphins decided to play in her wake,… so lucky!  We sailed into Tongue Bay and dropped anchor for the night.  The night waters became dark and glassy as the sun set behind the islands.  We had all worked up quite an appetite, the foreign tongues of Team International had come to a halt as we all devoured deckie Benny's dinner of chicken surprise, salad and bread… Surprised that deck hand Bennie had such culinary skills, ha ha ha   The next day we were all up, out and sunning on the beach before 8am!  Not just any old beach, but the famous Whitehaven Beach!  I have carried a picture of this beach in my bike panniers, and now I was here…really amazing and quite unbelievable.  We were the first ones on the beach and found a great spot to lay down our poor quality, yet, expensive towels that we had purchased especially for the trip.  Now to play in the crystal clear waters that became even more turquoise blue by the minute as the sun moved higher in the sky, you would need to wear a stinger suit to protect you from the stinging jellyfish that occupy these waters.  It is basically like wearing a thin full piece lycra wetsuit,  it's totally all the rage and beyond sexy.  My thought is, well at least you can see me against this purest of white sands…whereas, before my skin tone pretty much blended right in!…ha ha ha  We soaked in the morning rays, swam protected amongst the stingers, watched the black rays hover through the shallows, tasted the lime bodies of green ants against our tongues (important tip… have the right end of the ant point at your tongue or you will get bit!!) and marveled at the swirling white sands of this absolutely mesmerizing and breathtaking beach.   

Just when you think that your having the day of your life, it just keeps getting better!  We continued to sail around, in an out of the Whitsunday Island group to an absolutely magical snorkeling area named Blue Pearl Bay.  On went the sexy stinger suits, mask and snorkel, but no fins, Kev and I were the first ones in, and last ones out!  This was the most beautiful snorkeling area I had ever been to…even topped some of the diving areas we've been too, I would say.  If I had to describe what I saw in one sentence it would go like this:  A perfect, busy, complete oceanic ecosystem that reminded me of an underwater, florescent, Cirque du Sole reef.  Topping this off, a beautiful lone manta ray stealthily glided by…Ahhhh!  I really think that Ahhhh is not enough…it definitely deserves an Ooooh…And I know that was kind of 2 sentences!…ha ha ha.  After snorkeling we sailed over to Langford Reef, ankored and jumped in the zodiac that zipped us across to a sand bar beach that pops up at low tide.  We snoozed a little, watched the sun set and polished off the last of our red wine…The day was just bloody amazing!  Back to the harbor tomorrow I will try and bring myself back from this fantasy life and adventure…but I am fighting it! 

Back on dry land my legs were a little wobbly.  Kev and I checked in at the Backpackers Hostel at Airlie Beach for the night, collected our gear from storage, checked on the bikes and got ready for our departure the next day. 

Cockys enjoying an almond cocktail!

Cockys enjoying an almond cocktail!

Sailing through paradise...

Sailing through paradise...

The ohhh so sexy stinger suits!

The ohhh so sexy stinger suits!

Possibly the prettiest place on earth...