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June 24, 2006

Yarghh!

Well Shiver my Timbers and Roger the Cabin Boy Me Beauty, I feel like a genuine Pirate.

The sailing trip aronud the Whitsundays was awesome! We were on a 110 year old Tall Ship called "Defender". With 20 other people all wanting to experience the high seas (that honestly is the last pirate reference).

We left port early Thursday morning and after negociating the tricker parts of the shipping channel on the diesel engine everyone mucked in and helped raise the 2 sails which sped us towards the Whitsundays at a heady speed of 8 knots.
We had pretty good weather for our 3 days - the seas weren't too rough (certainly not enought to upset a 115' 140 ton boat)!

On the first day we sailing around Hook island (the northern one) and snorkelled over some coral reefs with plenty of fish before lazying on the beech for an hour to soak up some rays.
Back on the boat that evening we had a fw beers while playing various games - such as picking up an ever shrinking box off the floor and trying to climb through a broom handle - I'll explain later.

On day 2 we walked to a lookout overlooking Whitsunday Beach (the 3rd best beach in the world - according to National Geographic - with sand so pure (99.7% pure silica) it was used to make the Hubble Telescope optics). We took some photos then sailed around the coast and having moored up spent a couple of hours on the beach itself.

On the 3rd day we again snorkelled, this time in a bay absolutly teeming with fish, including the king of the area, 'Elvis' a 50+ year old Giant Maroi Wrasse who will swim next to you and even left you stroke him.

After that excitement we got back onto the boat and sailed for home. We had a few beers in the evening with our fellow adventurers on the hgih seas before catching the overnight bus to Hervey Bay.

Tomorrow we begin another 3 day adventure - this time its a 4x4 Self Drive trip around Fraser Island. The worlds largest sand island and another World Heritage Site complete with freshwater lagoons and a 75km sandy beach!

More news upon my return!

Posted by edwardnorthridge at June 24, 2006 09:44 AM

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