Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Airlie Beach and Whitsunday Islands Sailing trip

So after an overnight bus to Airlie Beach, I sorted myself out and spent the morning lazing around and figuring out how to get my next rabies jab, which was due that day. Surprise surprise, they'd have to courier over the vaccine so it wouldnt be immediate..

So i'd have to get on my sailboat and hope that it was all okay and delay the vaccine for three days. UGH.

Was at the meetingpoint at the marina with my little backpack and realized everyone was carrying copious amounts of alcohol. I saw two boys who had each of them a case of beer and a box of wine. I jokingly suggested that any onlooker might think they had a problem, but was reassured in finding that one was scottish and the other irish: no problems there.

Boat stocked and us ready, we set sail- or rather, we didnt, we used the motor most of the time. 23 passengers and three crew, comprising of a fat boy named Jimmy, an immature idiot named Eddie and a lazy girl named Sarah.

Due to the crew's lack of involvment or effort to create a good social atmosphere, everyone sort of grouped off into their natural language. The french spoke with themselves, the germans as well, and of course, I hung out with the four irishmen and one scotsman, who by the end of the trip swore i had an irish accent stronger than their own. Who knew.

The sun set on our first day of sailing as we headed out to a bay and dropped anchor, everyone drinking in their little cliques and waiting to be fed. I imagined some sort of social activities would be organized by the "hostess", sarah,but apparently she didnt recieve the briefing on what a hostess actually does.

The Lads: Thomas (left), Derek (white cowboy hat staring fondly at his drink), Cathal (middle) and Danny (right). Collin had run amuck at this point as he seemed determined that with so many woman stranded on a boat he would for sure be able to manage to convince one to give him the time of day!

our mast..

"Fat Jimmy", our skipper. An all around asshole.
No, really, i'm not just annoyed because the entire sailing trip was dependent on having a sociable crew and him being the leader of that was majorly lacking. But on the first night, everyone wanted to hear music. So music was played, but HIS music. Some of the irish boys wanted to hear something OTHER than EMINEM whilst sailing peacefully through, and he kicked up a fuss so much that the deckhand, Eddy, scolded the PASSENGERS telling them no music would be played if fighting continued. Funny, seeing as the only one kicking up the fight was Fat Jimmy, our "skipper".

That night was spent just having a few drinks (someone gave me some wine so i wouldnt feel so unsociable) and then sleeping above deck. But since it was destined to rain, I found a covered area under the sail. Others werent so lucky and got a nice wakeup. Serves them right for having gone to bed so early (8pm) and not realized the weather's likeliness for a negative turn.

The next morning we were taken to a beautiful beach to enjoy. But the catch: you'd have to wear a stingsuit, so that none of the icky sea creatures would sting you to death. It really does take the pleasure away from swimming. Feeling the water all over your body whilst you lay starfish style floating doesnt quite feel the same when you're bundled up in a allover body suit. NEXT PLEASE!

Eddy, the horny deckhand, spent most of his time wearing either a halo, or a boa or something else rather extraordinarily strange. Luckily he wasnt much bother, as he dedicated most of his persuits to the attentions of one girl. Unfortunately, the same girl that the skipper was interested in... so essentially both our crucial crew abandoned any form of social interaction (as is their job) to try and chase after the same girl for three days. Talk about professionalism.

the view from the lookout point on the island with the beautiful beach.

I gave up on the stinger suit for this one, the water was about two inches deep, I was fine.

more views from the beach.

After the beach we did some snorkelling, seeing some pretty cool underwater creatures. Though I think it wasnt as good as thailand, I still did get a fright when I bumped into a fish that was in all seriousness 225cm, and looking grumpy.

The reef was nice and so the rest of the day was spent in and out of the water snorkelling, sunbathing, and as for the lads: drinking.

Derek and I coming above deck with our stellar cowboy hats. (yes, I am now the proud owner of a cow boy hat.)

That night again, people went to bed early, despite the suggestion by the crew that a party was afoot. The party ended up being the three crew members putting on various strange costumes and huddling round the target girl (who the two male crewmen were going for).
The rest of us mere mortals just sat there watching the night get colder and wondering why we ended up on the boat that had no fun.

Sleep came soon, even though Collin spent so much of the night snoring that it was farely restless, and ended with me and a frenchman throwing wine, bottles of sunscreen and even poking him with a large stick to shut him up.

The next day we were taken to a rocky beach to snorkel some more... but the snorkelling was crap and the beach was unwalkable due to all the broken coral that was on there. We all sat on a rock waiting to be picked up again.
At least it had a nice view..

Another snorkel spot where the tide was in so visibility was shit, plus little jelly things were stingin us had us all less impressed with the trip, sincethe crew just taxied us out in a dinghi to that beach and left us there while they got about their business on the boat.

Finally we headed back, onto tierra firma and away from the crew. The whitsundays really were beautiful, but they would have been a million times better if we had actually SEEN them, rather than being taken to a few beaches and left for dead while the crew hung out and socialized amongst themselves instead of making any effort whatsover. It was a waste of money, more could have been done in a dinghy, though at least I got to meet some friendly lads.

Found my hostel in Airlie beach and the creepy manager, Doug, who couldnt stop talking even if you paid him told me he was giving me a "free upgrade" because of my bad sailing experience. That landed me in HIS room, sharing with him and a few others, including an a guy who used to be the bassist for an irish band who was pretty big but left it all because things had gone sour.

Hurrah, I dropped my stuff and met up with the lads for a night of drinking, as Derek's birthday was hitting at midnight. We went to the boat's afterparty, despite having reservations that the party would be shit. Yes, it was. Reservations confirmed. We got out of there on the first taxi possible, and continued the festivities, while giving a little break for me to slip into mcdonalds and buy derek a slice of chocolate cake for his birthday, the big 2-8.

Me and Colin (Dublin Irishman)

Me and Derek (Glasgie Scotsman)

Me and Fran (probably the nicest german I have met to date..and so ungermanlike!)

and Derek managed to get all the ladies to give him a hug and a kiss for the camera, here's my turn.

so by the end of the sailing experience, I could be summed up in a slogan:

After leaving the drunkards I headedback to my hostel for sleeps.
The next day I went for breakfast with the Irish Rockstar and realized he was a bit off in the head. Stereotypical for someone who's lived that kind of life, he was talking about himself like he was narrating some dramatic autobiographical tragedy, and living his life like a video camera was following him. Too much melodrama for me, so I went for the internet cafe to chill.
Bought and cooked dinner, giving an impromptu cooking lesson on how to make my Chicken in Basil, Wine and Tomato
sauce with Garlic and Lemon Mashed Potatoes to a boy in the hostel who was heading off to be a chef on a sailboat and had never cooked a thing in his life.

Stayed in that night watching "Big Daddy" and chilling before my bus to Townsville, but was rudely awoken at 4am by the Irish Rockstar, who seemed to think he had had some sort of epiphany and wanted me to go and sit on the beach with him at 4am so we could "talk about life philosophies". FUCK OFF, IM SLEEPING. (okay, i was more polite because I pitied him. But seriously, what the fuck?)


At 11:41 am, Blogger I. Myte said...

Wow. Enjoying very much following your adventures. Full of envy and mirth from your narration.
Keep up the travelogue and a safe journey to you all.


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