isabelle, the girl who stayed at the farm in mackay as well, drove up from mackay to airlie beach on saturday the 2nd of september.
it was the day were i met john, my new workaway-host. he lives in australia on the gold coast but he doesn’t like it there so he sails around since a long long time.
it was perfect for me because i didn’t have to hitchhike or arrange a bus-ticket. it was only a 1,5 hours drive to airlie beach and we arrived around lunchtime.
first i went with isabelle and her cousin to their hostel and then we chilled in the lagoon right next to the beach for a bit.
after that i said goodbye to them and walked to the sailing-club where john picked me up. he showed me his boat to let me check if i am okay with that and that everything is fine for me to start sailing the next day in the morning. his sailboat is 38 ft and is really nice. a living area, kitchen, bathroom, one bunk bed in the front and one in the back of the boat. i really loved the boat and the owner, john, is such a cool guy. after having a look at the boat we went to grab some lunch
in town. then we went shopping to the supermarket to buy everything we need for the next week because there are no supermarket on the islands of course.
he told me that i should put everything i want in the wagon and he pays for everything. i didn’t expect that he is going to buy for my food as well but that was very very nice.. i could buy so much fruit and veggies and rice-crackers, rice, dried fruits and coconutmilk. so good!
then we brought all the 12 bags we had full with food to the boat and made everything ready for the next day.. the waves at airlie beach were really high that day and the boat just went from one side to the other. i started to feel a bit sea-sick and he can’t sleep when the waves are like that anyways so we drove to boat to a better place close by. i had such a great sleep that night because i didn’t sleep a lot on the day before. my bed in the front of the boat is very big and with
a window through the deck where i could watch the stars. i felt so at home on the boat!
we start to sail the next day in the morning. the wind was not too strong so we used to motor in the beginning and when the wind started to get stronger he let me set the sail. he had a stop at a island where there used to be a big resort but the cyclone in february or march that year destroyed everything. now it looks like a ghost town. crazy and sad to see what the cyclone destroyed..
then we sailed to a place called whitsunday island. it’s the biggest island in the whitsunday region. whitsunday has around 74 islands. on the island we did a hike which took us around 2,5 hours return. the hike was called whitsunday peak and it was very hot and steap but the view from up there was incredible because it’s the highest point of all the islands so you see every island around.
after the hike we had a swim and sailed to a beach close by. we made a fire at the beach and cooked some sweetpotatos, pumkin, potato, and eggplant. everything tastes better when it’s cooked over a fire.
we watched an amazing sunset while we enjoyed the nice dinner. then he showed me a movie, called the beach. it’s about backpackers in thailand on the famous island koh phi phi. i guess the island is only famous because of that movie. i was there when i was in thailand but i never watched the movie, as usually. i was impressed by the movie, it’s really good.
i started the next morning with yoga on the boat which was very nice. then we sailed for the next three hours to an island called whiteheaven beach. it’s the most photographed beach in australia. it’s around 5-6 km long and the sand is very soft. heaps of tourists with big tour-boats there but we found a nice and quiet place to anchor. we had a long walk along the beach and i showed him how to make a video because he found the newest go-pro with case and selfie-stick not too Long ago on the beach. he got really lucky because it’s the newest and fanciest go-pro on the market. he was really impressed what he can do with the camera.
back on the boat we went for a swim and cleaned the boat quickly outside on the bottom. i cooked us some tortillas with heaps of vegetables for dinner which was very good and healthy and i was glad that he really liked it as well because i only know that he is used to eat lots of fish and pasta with beef and tomato-sauce. then we saw the rest of “the beach” movie because the last day i fall asleep halfway while we watched it. i always fall asleep while watching movies even if it’s a really good one; i don’t know why.
the next day in the morning john woke me up because he spotted a whale somewhere close. i jumped in the dinghi (the small motorboat) and we cruised close to he whale.
the big whale had a baby-whale that she was feeding. such a great way to start the day again!
then i made some delicious porridge and we started to sail to a really little and lonely island where i found heaps of amazing shells. we brought them back to the boat and
polished them and made some holes in it, so that i could buy some string when i am back on land and make braceletts and necklaces.
after i collected the shells we drove to a place which was amazingly touristic as well. we did a small hike to a lookout where there were around 100 other people or even
more then that. the hike was called tongue point and from there you have the most incredible view i have ever seen!
we walked back and there were lots of young other backpacker waiting for the big tour-boat to pick them up. i jumped in the small dinghi with john and drove to
his boat named “bliss“. i could drive the dinghi and the other backpacker just stared at me and pointed the fingers on me. it was fun to watch and i am surprised that john always allows me to drive the small boat and even the big one as well. i am glad that he teaches me so much stuff about sailing and trusts me so much.
we didn’t want to anchor and sleep over night at the touristic spot so we drove to an island not too far away. we had to drive around the island until we could find a good spot to stay because it was very deep everywhere. we anchored at a place which was 17 metres deep. normally he anchors by a place which is around 3-4 metres deep.
in our case we needed 65 metres of chain to anchor which is heaps. normally small boats only have chains until 30 metres long but he has a 80 metres long chain which came in handy.
i did some yoga for sunset and cooked us another healthy dinner after that. on that day was fullmoon so i put on some chill jack johnson music and relaxed outside.
john told me that he couldn’t really sleep last night because it was so wavy. i didn’t feel anything and slept the whole night like a baby as usually.
we left the spot in the morning and made our way to another nice beach with good snorkelling another 2-3 hours drive away. we saw a big whale with her baby-whale on the way and stopped. we put on some music and turned of the engine. the two whales were jumping around for us, just like the enjoyed the music and they came really close to us.
it was so sweet to see!
we stayed two nights in a place called butterfly bay. it’s a really popular spot were heaps of sail-boat are going. we saw a small shark swimming next to our boat at night and we had three big big fish swimming around the boat all the time as well. we went snorkelling and saw lots of nice big fish and awesome colourful corals.
at night we watched a movie called “captain ron”. it’s about a family who has brought a very old sailboat to a place in the caribbean. they never went sailing before and had no idea
about boats so they organised a captain to sail the boat for them. the captain was crazy and they went to all kind of trouble and great adventures on the way.
it was really fun to watch and it’s a great sailing-movie. the caribbean looks amazing, i can’t wait to go there as well one day!
after butterfly bay were i collected heaps of beautiful shells again we drove to a place called stone haven. we had a cruise around in the dinghi and saw so many turtles close to the beach and a few sting-rays as well.
i had signal on my phone again after 2-3 days without. i was happy about that fact because i missed to have contact with my friends but it was also really relaxing not to have signal for a bit because i realised how often i used my phone all the time but for me it’s really important to stay in contact with everyone and i also have to answer lots of e-mails all the time and organise stuff so i can’t really imagine a life without having signal often.
on my second to last day we sailed for a couple of hours to a place on hayman-island. it’s called castle rock where we found a great place to snorkel with heaps of nice small
beaches around. after we spent a night in the spot we made our way to our last stopp – called nara inlet. it was in a big bay which means the whole spot is really well protected from the wind, heaps of other boats where there as well because the water is really calm when you stay there overnight. they also had a aboriginal-cave there so we had a short walk to see the cave. after that we made our way back to airlie.
the wind was perfect to sail back to airlie beach which was awesome because the other days there was almost no wind at all. john showed me some sailing techniques,
when you sail with the wind or against the wind.. we sailed a bit against the wind which was not so relaxing because it was really bumpy and we got wet.
i thought that’s how sailing was because it was the first thing he showed me after setting the sail. but then he said that this is the worst kind of sailing and he showed me how it is to sail with the wind. it almost felt like surfing when you sail in the same dirrection as the wind. he gave me the wheel and let me be the captain again, so AWESOME!!
i am so grateful that i got the oportunity to meet him and sailed around for 10 days. it was one of the best experiences in my life and i am jealous of his amazing life on the boat! hope that i can come and sail again with him somewhere in the world. he told me that his two sons don’t like to sail around on the boat for too long but i would be so happy if i would have a dad who lives on a sailboat and is adventurous as he is.
after three hours of sailing back to airlie we had a walk around in town and bought more food at the supermarket. i really felt the ground moving from side to side when i walked around in town. i had a nice and warm shower at the sailing-club and after that i cooked dinner for us on the boat.
the next day i went to a shop called boost, where we bought acai-bowls. so delicious and it was his first time that he ate those and he loved it. he also said to me one night that he can maybe become vegan too. it was so sweet to hear because he was scared before about what vegans eat and now he thinks the food is delicious. that made me happy 🙂
then we went back to the boat to pack my stuff. he is so generous, he gave me his headphones and a jumper and a small blanket and some flip-flops and he even bought me a turtle-necklace at the market because i love turtles. such a kind and genuine person!
after that he brought me to the entrance of the sailing club where a german backpacker picked me up and gave me a ride down south.