IMG_1687.JPG (623316 bytes) My trip from Cairns to the Whitsundays was made a lot easier as I traveled by van with this Canadian traveler, Troy.  The camper van brought back memories of Betsy, Whity!!! IMG_1693.JPG (436259 bytes) Once in Airlie Beach I had a few hours before I boarded a racing sail boat for a 3 day cruise around the islands.  Here is our group eating nachos the first night on board the sailboat.
IMG_1691.JPG (687242 bytes) The killer jellyfish are very prevalent in the waters right now so we all had to wear special stinger suits to protect us from the jelly’s stingers. IMG_1746.JPG (241631 bytes) Here is the sun getting ready to set beyond the hole in the rock!  It had potential for a great picture.  Not quite what I envisioned, but oh well!   
IMG_1711.JPG (497316 bytes) Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is one of the most beautiful beaches in the area.  The colors of the ocean in this area reminded me a lot of the beautiful colors of the Caribbean waters. IMG_1721.JPG (364816 bytes) We spent one morning of our sail on the beach at Whitehaven.   Here I am making the most of the tide going out as I relax on the beautiful white sand.
IMG_1747.JPG (210145 bytes) Our 2nd night on the boat we dropped anchor off of Hook Island and went ashore to watch the sunset.  Here is our crew enjoying some appetizers and drinks at sunset. IMG_1749.JPG (192383 bytes) The sunset ended up being very beautiful as you can see here.   How am I ever going to survive not living on the ocean where I can’t see the sunset over the ocean whenever I want?
F1000021.JPG (823519 bytes) The underwater cameras never capture the colors of the reef, water and fish.  But here is an attempt at showing the underwater life I saw as I was snorkeling off of Hook Island. F1000016.JPG (614813 bytes) Cute, huh?  Not so much!   Snorkeling was another highlight of the boat trip.
IMG_1758.JPG (305745 bytes) As we headed back to the harbor we all wished the time out on the water would last just a little bit longer.  But now it is time to head further south toward Surfers Paradise and Byron Bay for me! IMG_1761.JPG (224317 bytes) Enjoying life on the sailboat!  Eureka II can’t compare with Chimera, but still it was a great experience.