At 8:40am we are picked up by the Whitehaven Express Tour bus.
They take us on Shute Harbour Road to Meridien Marina Able Point of Airlie Beach. We board the same vessel as two years ago but in February 2012 fitted with two new engines, more powerful, faster and cleaner.
Captain Brian welcomes us on board - especially Jeremia ;)
Then we leave the harbour and head straight on to Whitehaven beach.
To us the beach did not appear as bright white anymore as last time. However, still very white.
Whitehaven Beach is known for its white sands. The sand consists of 98% pure silica which gives it a bright white color. Local rocks do not contain silica so it has been suggested that the sands were brought to the beach via prevailing sea currents over millions of years. It is not allowed to take any sand for souvenir!
Unlike regular sand, the sand on Whitehaven Beach does not retain heat making it comfortable to walk barefoot on a hot day. This sand is also very fine, and can damage electronic equipment such as telephones and cameras, although it is good at polishing up jewellery.
The beach was named and discovered in 1879 by Staff Commander EP Bedwell. Being one of the many names from the then English county of Cumberland Bedwell brought to the area following James Cook's 1770 naming of the island group The Cumberland Islands.
There are many boats and even a water plane at the beach.
After some time on the beach we have a BBQ and some drinks.
Before we say good bye again to this astounding beach...
Joshua and I swim to the boat and Joshua jumps into the ocean from the upper deck for three times.
Then we are off to the next spot.
To the outlook on the inlet and the Whitehaven Beach.
After observing a whale feeding its child, we are heading to our final highlight, snorkeling in Stingray Bay.
Some nice corals
And some large fish
After the snorkel we head back to Shute Harbour. And again a photo of Jeremia with our captain - now Jeremia is sleeping :)
One final question to answer: was it as good as the first time two years ago? Not just. Why? Well, this time the boat was full with its maximum amount of passengers - 47. So less room on the ship and more stringent management of time. Second, the crew. The two deckhands were, lets say, special. Not really funny (althought they thought) and not the kind of Aussie we had on board last time. What also might contribute is the fact that this was the second time for us - maybe less of an experience?
Would I recommend it? Yes, still a recommendation.
The guy who brought us back to the campground offered us a special rate if we return somewhen in the future, lets wait and see...
(c) Dirk Frantzen 2012 — published via iPad
Position:Whitsunday Islands, Australien