We were woken up at 7am to the sound of breakfast being prepared by our two-man crew, Jay and Martin. I had some toast with butter and gave the infamous Vegemite a second try. Apparently, the proper way to enjoy Vegemite is slathering a thin layer onto toasted bread with butter, not eating it out of the jar with a spoon. It wasn’t quite as bad as I remembered from the first time but still not pleasant.
After breakfast, we had our second snorkeling session. It was filled with loads of fish. Harry, our kiwi captain, had fish food that he was throwing out into the group so the fish would swim right up into your face. We were on the lookout for a specific resident fish, George, a giant blue and green fish. A few people in our group were lucky enough to catch of glimpse of him, but his trip was short as he disappeared into the deep water soon after. The visibility was still pretty poor since the area had been hit pretty hard by Cyclone Debbie. Lots of the coral and trees in the area had been destroyed. Some of the businesses in Airlie Beach are still closed d/t the damage from the storm. Our captain told us that we had the first bouts of good weather in about two months.
PS, I forgot to mention we saw a dewgong! Our guides said it was really rare and he had never seen one before on any of his trips but we were blessed by the sea cow gods!
We had sunny blue skies for our walk to Whitehaven Beach. We got dropped off onto the beach on the opposite side of the island and hiked up to the viewpoint where I took the most amazing pictures. Whitehaven Beach is known as the beach with swirling sands. Every picture of Whitehaven looks different because the sands change every day with the tides. It was the most amazing blue water and white sand that I have ever seen. The sand on the beach is 98% pure silica and so soft that it literally squeaks beneath your feet. Normally, I hate sand at the beach because it burns your feet and always gets everywhere, but this sand was the best I have ever felt. It was cool and powdery soft. After using the sand to exfoliate our skin and relaxing in the cool blue water, we headed back to the boat, where Harry took us out to another spot to enjoy the beautiful sunset.
After enjoying the sunset and our delicious dinner, a group of us laid on the front deck and stared up at the starry sky for hours in awe. It’s so amazing how you can arrive to a place as complete strangers and after such a short amount of time, you become such good friends. By the end of the trip, our little group of travelers had turned into our little family on the boat. Everybody has travel stories to swap and everybody has the same mindset.