Airlie itself is small and is pure tourist ville with bars and clubs at each corner with some of them allowing you to dance on the tables...... We all got ID'd going into a couple of the bars whilst we were there. The town has a lagoon much like Cairns, which is where we spent a lot of our time. We hate to admit it but it was also the first place were we purchased a McDonalds (including a McFlurry.....).
Our 3day 3night sail of the Whitsunday Islands was on a 77foot racing yacht called "SPANK ME". Sounds like an 18 - 30s booze cruise but it was far from it. The crew wanted you to get involved at every opportunity and we had chances to take sails up and down as well as helm the yacht.
The crew of the boat included a Canadian girl called Sarah who cooked for us, a deck hand called Greg who mostly picked us up and dropped us off to beaches and dive sites, the skipper of the boat called Adrian and a divemaster called James (...we still dont know how he passed his instructors course!).
I managed to keep it together for most of the sail and was sick just the once, the same number of times as Sharna, although I wasn't locked in the toilet at the time.....
We had a chance to go out to White Haven Beach (98.9% silca sand - fine enough to clean jewellery with). We got dropped off to a sand bar just before sun set with a few drinks and some food to watch the sun set go down, also time to snorkel at every locations the boat stopped off at.
The two dives we made were totally different from each other. The first we made on the first evening at around 6pm when light was fading. We were briefed by the divemaster to keep the shallow side on our right and the deep side on our left as none of our consoles had compasses on. This proved difficult as the rib dropped us off right on top of the coral which was only 2m deep. The dive rapidly turned into a night dive which you normally have torches for. The second was made on the third day at the Great Barrier Reef. This was amazing and although not as clear as Cambodia, the coral formations were superb. We didn't manage to see any sharks or turtles but we did see a 1.5m long Giant Wrasse (know as Wally...) and some Bat fish. This dive lasted only 35min which wasn't long enough but we have all now dived the reef................