Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Airlie Beach and the Whitsundays 1/22/17-1/24/17

It wasn't a super early start the first morning which I really appreciated.  We left about noon, which meant I got to wander down the waterfront slowly on my way there.  I stopped about 10 times to inspect trees I wish I could climb up without people looking at me funny.  No dice... Anyway we got aboard and took off.  Our boat was the beautiful catamaran Wings 3.  Yes it is a truly original name but it was a pretty boat.  Cue floating photo sphere which as we know is not the cleanest photo sphere but it is as good as I can do from a boat.
Floating Photo Sphere

One of the first things we got to do was snorkeling on a pretty spectacular chunk of reef.  Most of my pictures aren't spectacular underwater because I lack the filters I really need to make underwater photography look right but I had a few that I really did want to show.

These clams are awesome, if you move the water near them they suck themselves down into the rock and close up.  They are tons of fun to play with.  Like Christmas tree worms which I don't seem to have any great pictures of but will someday.
Cool looking coral pictures

We had to get back on the boat before the sun got too low so I spent a couple hours snacking on the deck while the sun slowly dropped out of the sky.

The next day our boat took us to the super famous Whitehaven Beach.  One problem... the weather did not hold up like it had the previous day so we got dumped on continuously and the water didn't look as spectacular as it could have.  On the plus side the water was quite warm and comfortable.
Famous, and currently cold and grey
and warm all at once

The ridiculous thing was the next day when we were heading back the weather went back to this spectacular sunshine.
I did take advantage of the sun though
Got a really nice nap out of it (PS yes I am the master of somehow avoiding people in my pictures there were like 20 of us on this boat)
One last unfortunately floating photo sphere

This brings me, as ridiculous as this sounds, to my favorite part of my stay in Airlie and the Whitsundays.  On my walk back I finally saw someone doing something about the coconuts in the trees.  Except BLARGH, he is cutting them down to chuck them out.  It was then that I decided to do something about this horrendous abuse of resources.  When he came down from one of the trees I asked him if I could snag a few of the coconuts from his soon to be dumpster haul and he said sure no problem.  Talking to his boss and coworker I found out that they get so many that the coworker's 5 year old kid uses a power drill to get into them before filling buckets with the stuff.  They perpetually have to much.  Anyway, I finally had a use for one of my super heavy duty trash bags that I have been carting around.  I loaded it up with 6 of the best coconuts I could find and they were these absolutely beautiful pale yellow (there were also some classic greens from the tree next to it but I decided to take the road less traveled because how could I not.  You might be asking why only 6... I'll show you.
Stumbling upon this treasure trove
Making friends with the coconut butcher
The reason I could only carry 6
The aftermath of having to use abused hostel kitchen knives to get into them.  I did split them open by chucking them from the second floor onto concrete in the back repeatedly.  

I actually shared some with Kjell (one of my compatriots from Frasier) only to find out he had never tried coconut before (WHAT!!!!).  I felt obligated to open his deprived eyes to the endless possibilities of life.  The 6 coconuts that I carted back weighed probably about 10 pounds apiece.  That was unfortunately on top of my 25 pound backpack and at least one of the coconuts really enjoyed rolling over and dropping on my head.  The important thing was I got them, got them home, managed to get into them, managed to split them open, and discover that these were straight up some of the best coconuts I have ever had.  They were gigantic and had tons of water in them, they were the perfect sweetness, and between the 6 I got a great variety of ages so I got the whole range of flesh density.  Yes, this was the best part of this section of the trip.  Kjell and I spent the rest of the day hanging out in the public lagoon/pool (chlorinated with an artificial beach and was super shallow) before grabbing dinner and some drinks with my boat mates.  

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