The day the camera died

I know life is not about living life through a lens, and nothing bothers me more than people holding up their iPad to take a photo. However, there are definite times that taking a few photos would not hurt, and visiting the Whitsunday islands, and Whitehaven beach would be one of those moments.

Today, Raphael and I landed in Arlie Beach, and booked a full day trip with ocean rafting. The tour company was the only one with a direct access to the Hill Beaches on Whitsundays. As such, we would be seeing some of the world’s most beautiful beaches.

Starting the morning we hopped onto a neon yellow rigid inflatable boats, originally intended as rescue boats. The crew zipped us a long the ocean, crashing over waves at over 25 knots. Raphael even hung on along the side of the boat, I was slightly worried he would fly away!

In our small group, we visited a variety of stops along the north loop to spend extra time snorkeling the inner reef. Landing in 2 snorkel spots along Hook island, we prepared to take the plunge. To protect us from jelly fish, the group wore sleek stinger suits. Initially, I thought I would be so excited to jump into the water. However, I was horrified as fish corded along side our boat. The team threw in a few fish pellets and neon yellow fish as large as your hand swarmed!

Sitting on the edge of the boat, I was petrified to jump quite literally into fish! After 10 minutes of pondering, I made the plunge. It was right about then that Raphael’s gopro lost memory room (Raphael had been snooping around too much with the fish already!). You see, the gopro will take up secret memory space if you do not press correctly a series of commands on your computer. Later, we found a solution, but the point of the matter is that we have only 1 photo of the swirling yellow fish. Me, I did not have my camera because I did not want it to get wet (which it would have looking back), and my waterproof one chose to not turn on that day.

Trying not to dwell on our inability to take photos, Raphael and I paddled through the cove, known to be one of the most pristine places in Australia. Close to shore we discovered hordes of large blue fish swimming around the reef, black and white zebra striped fish, and a Nemo clown fish! To my horror, on the way back to the boat, I ran into a fish that the snorkeling team friendly referred to as their dog. I could see why as it was HUGE and swam after sudden splashed or moved. While I was rather sure it was not large enough to eat me, it’s pure size and speed frightened me.

Back on the boat, we headed out for a second snorkel spot, similar in fish variety, I found myself swimming after a giant sea turtle and followed it along as it came up for air and nibbled on the coral. In the same way, I swam, or more like sprinted away from a jelly fish that was as large as my arm span. I knew I had a stinger suit, but that thing was giant!

As we cruised along to Whitehaven beach, we began to get a small drizzle. However, at the speed we were going the rain drops were quite literally slapping us in the face! The crew referred to this as aquapuncture, a term which was all but mildly funny at the time. Independent, all of my pains flew away as the sun parted as we set our eyes for the first time over the swirling sands of whitsundays.

Standing on the first lookout, the sand was pure white, 98% silica. As the tides shifted the waves came together in triangular formations. To me it seemed as if Moses was parting the sea, as the waves came together at sandbanks and shallow spots. With the beach to ourselves, we quickly hurried down to explore the 7 km beach. The sand was pure white, so fine and powder like it squeezed beneath our feet. In fact, the sand was so pure nasa melted it to create the lens for the Hubble telescope.

Walking through the little pools of water that flowed through the swirling sandbanks, the water was bright turquoise, I had to take off my sunglasses to believe the color. Raphael and I spent hours watching the water shift and the colors change with the depth. This was a view I could never get bored of looking at. At that point, I decided I would have it give in and buy the photo cd the boat offered of the trip for 32 dollars, I knew this would truly be a day to go down as one of the best days of my life.

In the end, I did not know how I could ever go to another beach other than this one, as no other would seem quite this beautiful. But, I guess I will have to try, because now it is off to rainbow beach and fraser island.

P.S. we will post pictures from our photo cd once we have a chance to use a real computer rather than an iPad.





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