Day 16, Wednesday, 1/22/03
The nights sleep was pretty hot, we definitely didnt dawdle below deck after wed woken up. They started the engines and about 7:00, so everyone was pretty much up after that.

We slathered on the sunscreen and sat out in the sun with the ocean breeze. It was very relaxing. We had breakfast of fruit and toast. It was pretty good for being on a boat. Robo and Simon took us to a cove to go snorkeling. We squeezed ourselves into those oh so flattering stinger suits. Then, we jumped off the boat with our flippers and snorkels. There were some gorgeous coral colors. After about an hour, we moved to a different spot, called Mandalay Bay. It was absolutely amazing much better than where we went in Cairns. Some people even saw a turtle. Simon brought bread to feed to the fish. One was huge, probably about five feet long. He came right out of the water and grabbed the loaf from Simons hand. When he was feeding the fish, there were millions around. It was like being smack dab in the middle of a school. They didnt even notice the big humans swimming alongside them. Simon told me that the one big fish is a male and when he dies, a female will grow, change colors and turn into a male.

We had a great lunch of sandwiches and pasta salad and sailed over to Whitsunday Island. From the boat, we took the dinghy to a landing spot. We walked quite a long way to a lookout spot and took some beautiful pictures of Whitehaven Beach. The water was the perfect shade of teal and turquoise. I dropped my bag over the edge and Cory climbed down the rocks to get it.

After that, we headed over to the actual beach. It was beautiful. Cory and Chris brought their stinger suits and went swimming. I laid on the beach for a while. I cleaned my rings in the sand because Simon told us that the 99% Silica beach was good for cleaning jewelry. It really worked amazingly well. My rings were getting pretty gross with so much dirty sweat and sunscreen on this trip. They sure did sparkle when I cleaned them, though. I went to sit in the shallow part of the water with Jamie, Grant, Stacy and Lorenda.

We stayed at the beach for about 2 hours before heading back to the boat. But, not before Anna took some supermodel poses in the water, which gave Cory the same idea. On our walk back, we saw a three-foot long goanna walking across the path.

We showered when we got back to the boat. Shower is a very liberal term on a boat, though. You stand in the bathroom and pick up the hand held showerhead. You rinse yourself off for about 30 seconds, turn it off, soap up with shampoo and body wash, then turn the shower back on and rinse everything off. It doesnt sound very refreshing, but after two days of swimming, snorkeling and sleeping on a boat, It felt amazingly good.

They sailed us over to Hook Island where we would stay for the night. On our way over, they pointed out Haymans Island in the daylight. Its this small island with a really ritzy resort that costs $3,000 a night at least and is popular with the rich and famous.

We had another great dinner, this time of chicken stirfry. We all decided that this is by far the best weve eaten on the whole trip. We had a few drinks, then at 8:30, a water taxi showed up to take us to the Hook Island Bar. It is apparently a star backpacker resort that houses a barefoot bar. It was great, we just walked right in without shoes. The sign said: No shirt, No shoes, No worries. We listened to music (including the Aussie bloke song) and took that taxi back to the boat when the bar closed. Chris had fun with these strange birds that walked into the bar.

Day 17, Thursday, 1/23/03
We woke up this morning hot, sticky and sunburned. Ive had a blast on the boat and it really was worth it, but Ill be glad to get on land with air conditioning and a proper shower.

We had another brekkie of fruit and bread. We sailed to an area where a bunch of people jumped off and went swimming. The current was very strong and they were almost to Fiji after they jumped off.

I stayed aboard, tried to keep my sunburn covered and read my book. I enjoyed just relaxing with the rocking of the boat and getting lost in my book.

We had lunch of bacon and egg quiche and headed to Long Island and the Crocodile Club resort, where the rest of the group has been staying.

We got in our room and I collapsed onto the bed, right in front of the air conditioner. It felt great! We both took very long showers, but because Mel didnt tell us that we wouldnt get our bags until Rockhampton, we didnt have any clean clothes for tonight or tomorrow. None of us knew we wouldnt get our bags, so at least well all be in grungy clothes together.

We both took a really nice nap and got up in time to get to dinner. It was included for those of us who went on the sailing trip. It was actually really good. Not as good as the boat food, but definitely better than soggy sandwiches.

There was a guitar player and he was taking requests. We did the gum tree song and sang along with others. Cory and I went to bed early because we were exhausted and sun burned.

Whitehaven Beach

Cory and Amy with the Whitehaven background

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