Sharks, Rays & Turtles with Friends
It’s been a busy two weeks. We flew from Bali to Cairns, Australia on October 21 where we met up with our Seattle friends Geoff and Jennifer. Months ago had made our travel plans together to dive, sail and explore the Great Barrier Reef. We went out on a live aboard dive boat for two nights where we could do 11 dives. We had a great time seeing sharks, rays, turtles and beautiful soft corals both as dive buddies. For many of us this was the first time we were diving without a guide, our navigation skills quickly improved. We became accustomed to getting into soggy wetsuits over and over again and eating cake soon after we surfaced.
Much of our time on land was spent driving our rental SUV/Van to our next destination. We had booked these excursions along the East coast of the large continent Australia; perhaps with not enough awareness of the distances and drive times required. So after our diving trip we had to make our way from Cairns to Airlie Beach. We stopped overnight in Townsville where Jen and I did an early excursion to Magnetic Island to see wild Koalas. They ARE even cuter in person.
In Airlie we were scheduled to board a catamaran so we could sail through the Whitsunday Islands for two nights. Unfortunately Naomi had slipped on the winding stairway on the dive boat and injured her tailbone, so she chose to opt out of the sailing trip and focussed on her college transfer applications. She did take time to enjoy the beach and shops.
The beautiful catamaran was a nice size for the 5 of us plus the 4 other guests. On board there was a lovely couple from Holland and a Aunt/Niece pair from Poland as well as our crew; John our salty comedic Captain and Mitch the young knowledgeable deck hand. We had great windy weather that allowed us to truly sail and we all took turns behind the wheel.
We spent a day at the beautiful pristine Whitehaven beach where we saw rays and sharks in the water and iguanas on land. We snorkeled and paddle boarded while enjoying each other’s company and the delicious food Mitch prepared. Really the pictures say it all.