Luckiest Girl in The World

Friday, September 14, 2007

Whitehaven Beach, Scuba Diving and Snorkelling

Chalky on Whitehaven Beach

So holidays are supposed to be about lie-ins and taking it easy, right? Well those of you who know Chalk would expect that, but when you're in paradise with the Coral Sea on your doorstep, the Whitsunday Islands being the only interruption to the calm sea and one of the 7 natural Wonders of the World, The Great Barrier Reef, just behind them sleep falls down the list of priorities!

(L) The Coral Sea, view from the Balcony,
above: Illusion pool

Our apartment was everything we were expecting and had everything we needed. The ensuite had shutters that you could pull back so that while you were in the bath all you could see is the sea. The swimming pool was an illusion pool so it dropped over to a waterfall and down to a second pool below it. Anyway, we hadn't come all this way to swim in a pool we can do that in West Ryde!

We made friends with Cassie in the local booking office and on her recommendation booked a day out to Whitehaven Beach taking in some snorkelling, optional Scuba Diving and a cruise past quite a few of the islands. So it was a 9am pick-up from our hotel and down to the Marina to board our transport for the day - Mantaray a cruiser along with about 25 others to enjoy the day. We cruised past some of the Islands with resorts on them and were mesmorised by the calmness of the water and the azure colour. Chalky put his hand up to do a scuba dive later on that day, (he had expressed an interest and when they mentioned that it was on offer that day - down from $70 to $45 he was a shoe in, but more on the scuba dive later.)

above: Hill Inlet (r) Us enjoying a swim at Whitehaven

First stop was Tongue Bay where the boat was moored and we boarded dingy to Hill Inlet, a stunning inlet located at the northern end of Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, as the tide shifts, the golden sand and blue hues of the inlet blend seamlessly to create a breathtaking mosaic.

(l)Bek underwater... (above) us with Chalkies Beach behind us
The only thing you can say about Whitehaven beach is that it's better than Blackpool!! OK that's not the only thing, it is thee most beautiful beach in the world (regularly voted as such) with perfect white silica sand that is so fine it doesn't heat up at all and you can polish scratches out of your watch face. The water is just the clearest, purist sea water you've ever seen, it's all at a beautiful temperature and you feel like you never want to leave. So yeah, s'awright.
After we were dragged away from Whitehaven back to the boat for a Mediterranean lunch then it was time for those brave souls who were scuba diving to start their briefing (and signing their life away and any incling of responsibility of the operator!!)
Chalky getting geared up for diving

With all the preamble out of the way and the test routines which sorted the wheat from the chaff (or rather the blokes from the birds) our numbers were down to 2 divers.

Put simply scuba diving is a bit like holding your breath and diving as deep as you dare to get a good look underwater, but put more accurately it's feeling like you're a great big, if slightly clumsy fish, being able to follow the fish as they meander down the sea bottom, all the while amongst the colour and splendor that is the barrier reef makes you feel awe inspired. The only other time I feel so lucky and thankful is when I look in the mirror each morning!!

To use another Blackpool comparison, it would be like going on th Arabian Derby and chucking your ball in the 3 furlong hole avery time!!
When my Scuba time was up then I joined Bek in a spot of snorkelling, she directed to me a boat where 3 blokes would feed the fish when you swam by so that you were suddenly in the middle of a school of fish with them sliding by your skin, a bit spooky but good fun.

We both had an absolutely fantastic day and finished it off in a suitably athletic fashion by having a few beers (in the bar that Mathew McConaughey and Kate Hudson frequented whilst filming here) and getting an Indian takeaway delivered to our apartment. Well we had treated ourselves to a lie in tomorrow
We had use of an underwater camera compliments of my old employer - Sony, as you can tell we had lots of fun with it and you've got lots more treats to come...we're going to do a post for each adventure on our holiday and then publish one entry a day.


Anonymous Lesley said...

Wow looks a fantastic place will defo have to visit when we come over. Looks like you had a brilliant time and how could you not in such a beautiful place.
Look forward to seeing the rest of your trip!

5:33 am  

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