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Fancy dress and marble beaches on a Whitsundays sailing trip


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The end of week two of my three-week East Coast adventure was now approaching rapidly. I sat outside Peterpan’s travel agent and reflected on my time away, everything was happening so quickly, yet I had been anticipating my adventure since January!


When the bus arrived to transport us to the boat, I sat with my English friends that I had previously met on Fraser Island, who had recently graduated from Leeds University and were travelling in the exact same direction as I was. One of the best things about travelling along the East Coast of Australia is that you will most likely bump into the people that you have already met at previous locations of interest. This was ideal for an individual like me, who was travelling alone, as it provided me a great sense of familiarity that often proved to be quite comforting. I had already spent a significant amount of time with these boys and they had become like brothers to me - they were good fun to be around and were extremely caring.

The large boat that we boarded was called the Atlantic Clipper. It held a reputation for being the best party boat in the Whitsundays, however, I had now begun to favor the more relaxed style of activity: sitting on the beach with a tinnie and a pack of cards.

Our boat set off for sail in the afternoon and we headed out into the deep Pacific Ocean where we stopped for a few hours to use the giant slide, attached to the boat. Everyone was provided with sting suits which protected us from the event of being attacked by a sting ray or jelly fish. Many were therefore reluctant to dive in as they were greatly afraid of encountering any form of deadly sea anemone. However, the boys and I took to the slide straightaway, going in forwards, backwards and in every possible way we could to obtain the most thrill. We dived and back flipped off the boat, which was a good 10m high above sea level, using GoPros to record our fun.

When the day ended and evening was nigh, we dried off, collected an alcoholic beverage and sat at the top of the boat, watching the dazzling sun set on the horizon. I had a glass of goon, which had become my main choice of drink in Australia. It was a tatsy (but cheap) knock-off wine, however, I wasn’t too sure as to what it was comprised of and wouldn’t really want to know! Even so, it made me pleasantly merry and up for a good time! For tea, we had spaghetti Bolognese; I consumed about three portions and heaps of garlic bread as after an hour of continuous diving into the sea, I was feeling rather ravenous.

The first half of the evening went perfectly to plan as we sat around on the top deck, drinking and talking to everyone on the boat whilst playing cards. However, as darkness approached, the skippers came upstairs to inform us that we were going to have a fancy-dress party. My face dropped, I really could not imagine anything worse right now than having to wear a random ensemble of un-matching clothes whilst having to partake in a dance competition to decide who could be the king and queen of the Atlantic Clipper.

Even so, I had to force myself to embrace the ‘fun’ as otherwise I would be perceived as a ‘party pooper’! The dance competition commenced with the cheesy banger ‘boom boom boom, I want you in my room’ and everyone rushed to the pile of random clothes which looked and smelt as if they had been pulled directly out of the charity shop. We each then threw together make shift outfits and danced ridiculously on the top deck of the boat.

I spent most of my night making regular trips to the fridge to pour myself some more goon which helped to maintain the merriness, making my night just that bit more bearable! The girl that wore the cropped outfit and shook her hips like a belly dancer was obviously crowned queen of the Atlantic Clipper… there was no way that I, dressed as a hippy, dancing as if I were a 90’s raver was going to win, there was simply no competition! After the mad party, we all calmed down and retired to the comfy sofas on deck and spent the night gazing dreamily at the twinkling network of stars above.

The following day we were woken abruptly by Jack Johnson’s ‘Banana Pancakes’ being projected loudly throughout the boat. We were expected to eat breakfast and get ourselves prepared for the day within a mere 15 minutes. Yet we were all rather exhausted due to having gone to bed at 4:30am and the boat was now set to sail again at 8:30am in the direction of Whitehaven Beach.

The boat was anchored amongst deep water, and we all boarded small speed boats to travel over to the shore. Whitehaven Beach was impeccable; it is comprised of the most beautiful, soft pearl sand, which is well renowned for being the purest in the world. We walked along the coastal path and stopped regularly to take many classic tourist photos.

Where the sand had been deposited in several layers it had an exquisite marbling effect on the composition of the sea’s shading of blue. The view was simply stunning; this was the most unique scenery that I had ever witnessed. I thought to myself as I gazed across the beach that I was extremely lucky to have been able to, at such a young age, fly to Australia on my own and experience such fantastic opportunities. Even though the partying was not my ideal type of fun, I had met some brilliant friends and had been to what is classed as some of the world’s most magnificent places. After this weekend, I only had one week left in what I now believed to be my favourite country, and at this moment, I truly did not want to ever leave!

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