Sunday, 1 May 2011

April 30 Whitsunday Cruise and snorkeling trip

We had booked on the Whitsunday Xpress to have a full day cruise around the islands with a bbq lunch included.

Collected by their bus from the local Centro shopping centre by 8.40am we were on our way with a bunch of 20 year old guys.  We thought we would be the “grandies” of the trip but luckily for us another couple got on at another stop.

At the marina we were quickly ushered down to the boat to join the remainder of the 40 people booked on the day trip.
Heading off on our boat trip

The 45’ boat was quite tightly packed and we found seating near a young English/Scottish girl named Nicolla traveling with a Swedish lass named Vikki.  The other companions seated nearby were from Newman in WA.  What a small world?

Bush walk to lookout
The ships crew was very welcoming and quite entertaining, Scotty and Rick being the deckhands and captain Chris.
Our first stop was Tongue Bay where we walked up a 1km steep track to Hill Inlet Lookout where we walked 1 km up a steep path to a beautiful area which showed most of the inlet, Whitehaven Beach, and the close islands.

We were given morning tea prior to the next leg of our cruise which was to Whitehaven Beach for relaxing and the BBQ lunch.  Many of the participants chose to swim to shore whereas the remainder of us took the rubber dinghy.  On the beautiful white sand, we laid our towels and simply soaked up the sun.  Whilst we weren’t looking about 5 other tourist boats, catamarans and even a plane on floats arrived with their discharge of tourists.

Enjoying Whitehaven Beach

Perenti joining us for lunch
Lunch was served up at the bbq site, cooked to perfection by our Skipper -  with either steak, rissole, sausages and onion with a lovely choice of fresh salad and fruit.

Several perenti lizards joined our tables for scraps and had some members of our group totally scared and trained to lift their legs from the ground so they could scavenge scraps.

Sand art on Whitehaven
Kev and I walked up the beach (mainly to view the seaplane) then turned around and walked back to the rock end.  The volcanic rock had set in the formations of either squares where it thickly rolled to the edge or rough plashed shapes where it had set when it hit the surf.

At about 2pm the time was time to return to the boat and I decided to swim back whilst Kevin caught the dinghy with our gear.  Nicolla wanted to swim also and was not very confident so I stayed with her all the way back.

The water was very warm and the swim very easy especially as Alan and Margaret had loaned us short wetsuits to help keep us warm.  Back on board we moved on past multiple eagles’ eerie where Scotty threw sausages for them and they caught and dived for their lunch.

Sea Eagle preparing to dive

We moored at Pinnacle Bay for our snorkel.  Geared up and ready Kevin and I jumped in quickly and swam to the shallower water where visibility was better.

Unfortunately the vis. was not very good and the coral rather bland but the fish life was very varied and abundant.  We swam in all directions to view the best of all the bommies and ledges and corals. Underwater photos were taken with a cheap throwaway camera.  When finished I will publish the photos (if they are any good).

Back to the boat we boat we floated about in the water until most of the snorkellers had returned.  Those who did not swim had been showed the reef and fish through the glass bottomed dinghy.  Everyone agreed that the day had been action packed and very full, the crew great fun and weather superb.

We exchanged addresses with Nicola and Nikki then caught the bus home.

Dinner prepared by Margaret was superb almond chicken, rice and stir fried veggies followed by lemon meringue pie and/or fruit salad.  Yum Yum

1 comment:

Son John n Lizzy said...

Wish I was swimming there with you. The sand art looks a bit like me though!! Ha Ha. Keep up the great blogging.. x Son

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Stinson Reliant SR8C VH-UXL
over Perth city (Photo: Greg Hill)

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Flying farming couple who live on 135 acres. Kev is obsessed by aeroplanes. Vicki is devoted to horses and White Swiss Shepherds.