Dan In The South Pacific 2006 travel blog

The Pacific Sunrise

One of the pre-dinner snacks

Banksia flowers

South Molle Island, with the ship in the bay

Whitehaven Beach

The wheelhouse

The upper deck of the ship

The galley

Everything from here on is commentary after being at home for almost 6 months. I remember a lot of it and have taken solid record of it in my journal but it will have less of the recent experience passion that the other entries had.

My cruise of the Whitsundays Islands began by dropping off my gear at the booking office. At the office I met two girls who were also on the same ship so we walked to the wharf and then waited for the crew to let us on the ship. The ship is massive compared to the other tall ships in the wharf. There is a ton of space and it is probably twice as wide as any of the other ships I may have chosen. There was a crew of 5, while most ships have a crew of 2 or 3 and one of our crewmen was a designated chef so I don't think anyone went hungry. As for travellers I am the only solo traveller but there were 16 other people so I wasn't usually bugging one or two people the whole time and they seemed to accomodate this by including me a bit more than I expected. As for our first day of cruising we started by stopping at Tongue bay. Here we got off the ship and had a walk through the forest to a lookout and then walking down to Whitehaven beach. This beach is world famous for its crystal white sand that is squeaky and the clear water. Great stop, the first beach I really enjoyed. We then went on to our evening stop, had a steak dinner (I mean, STEAK DINNER) and had a relatively quiet evening on the water.

We got up for sunrise the next morning, ate breakfast and went to a snorkeling destination. This was a coral beach so it wasn't pleasant to walk on, but I had a chance to see some live corals and some tropical fish. We were there for a couple of hours, then went back to the ship. We had lunch, and then went on to another snorkeling stop. I enjoyed the snorkeling and proved to myself that in most cases I have no real issue swimming, I just don't really like it too much. After we returned to the ship we got some strange news. We had an issue with the water tanks and apparently busted a hose overnight so we were forced to go to Hamilton Island for the night so the ship could be repaired and we could take on some more freshwater. Hamilton Island is one of the islands that is a resort island. In short, it is expensive to visit, expensive to stay for longer than 30 minutes and if you need food, clothes, beer, or anything then open the wallet. We had a massive roast lamb dinner and then had the evening to either visit the island (most declined) or stay on board the ship. While on board I watched some of the other passengers play a bastardized version of cribbage. This isn't a bad thing, but it certainly isn't the cribbage I was used to. It taught me that if a game is fun then you don't need to have proper rules, just fair rules.

The final morning was not as exciting but we cruised to South Molle Island, another resort island, and had a hike there. We then spent some time at the resort pool which was fun for most but I got a bit bored. This was most of the day. We then went back to Airlie Beach. We didn't actually sail during this trip which was a bit disappointing. The winds weren't strong and the ship was so big that you need quite a bit of it to make a difference. Overall a great trip and something that I wanted to enjoy but got more than I expected. If I was giving advice regarding this sort of excursion I would say spend loads. They feed you tons regardless of the trip, but I think steak and lamb beats any other ship menu. Also you get tons of personal space and this means comfort.

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