Airlie Beach & Whitsundays
We reached Airlie Beach on an extremely hot afternoon so the only thing we were capable of doing was chilling out on a “Vama Veche” style terrace, with live music and big beer jugs.
Despite its name, Airlie Beach has no accessible beach, but just an artificial lagoon where you can swim and sunbathe or just prepare a tasty barbeque. The beach cannot be used due to jellyfish. However, it has a hippie atmosphere and it is the main port for Whitsundays, a group of more than 40 islands, with savage white-sand beaches.
So we boarded a sail boat, Samurai, and went for a 3 days adventure around these islands. We were again the first Romanians the captain and the crew had ever met. And I say again because each time someone asked us where we were coming from the discussion ended with “Wow! Romanians! I have never met any Romanian!” We were 9 people on board – Germans as majority, of course (3), French, Canadian, English, Irish, us – all below 30 and all travelling the world in their own style.
We all slept on the boat during the hot tropical nights and the daily program was always the same: waking up at 7:00 for a light breakfast, diving/snorkeling, then changing locations, lunch, more diving and snorkeling, dropping anchor on a deserted island and enjoying lazy sunsets on the beach with a beer in the hand, barbecue/dinner and then back to our wavering bunk beds.
The sailing experience was nice, Whitehaven beach which is in all top 10 beaches in the world is really white and soft with different shades of clear blue water, the snorkeling quite good and I had my first introductory dive! Yes, I did it! But I am still not convinced whether I liked it or not! I saw exactly the same fish, turtles, corals that I saw during snorkeling, but being stressed on top… let’s see, maybe the Great Barrier Reef will change my mind!
But one of the experiences on this boat was quite unique. On the first evening, before sunset, all the boys disappeared from the boat. They came back after approximately 30 minutes and said they have just gone to explore the small island near the boat. We had our dinner barbeque, few beers and it was a dark night already; all of a sudden the captain said it was time. We followed the crew and jumped on the tender boat. They took us on the small island where a bonfire had been prepared by the boys. The captain lit the fire, we gathered around it and we stayed there on the deserted island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, gazing at a sky full of stars as we’ve never seen before and talking about all and nothing. Thank you, captain, for such a marvelous night!