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We are sailing...

Airlie Beach, Austria

We booked ourselves onto a maxi sailing boat aptly named 'Spank Me' for a 3 day and 3 night trip around the gorgeous Whitsunday Islands near Airlie Beach. Obviously we didn't want to miss the Hatton vs. Mayweather fight so we decided to spend five nights in Airlee Beach before setting sail.

For the first time since we've been travelling we had a decent dorm with some people that wanted to have a laugh (rather than just sleep all day). This is where we were introduced to two of the most important things in Australia - Goon and 'Ring of Fire'.

Goon is basically cheap wine in a silver bag and Ring of Fire is one of the most lethal drinking games I've ever come across, combining several traditional drinking games (thumb master, i have never, rhyming game, etc.).

On the first night we started playing Ring of Fire and within two hours Dan was fast asleep. The rest of us continued getting hammered and then headed out, but we only managed to make it to a bar about 20 yards away from the hostel, had a few drinks and then all staggered home half an hour later. Although we somehow managed to take about 600 photos in the half-hour that we were out! Dan finally woke up at 5am not knowing whether or not he'd managed to make it out of the hostel (he hadn't...).

The rest of our time in Airlee Beach was spent sunning ourselves by the lagoon in the day and drinking bags of goon at night.

The sailing was awesome. We all helped winch up the sails and Dan and Sean even sailed the boat for an hour or so each (the other passengers looked a little worried when I was sailing it along at a 45 degree angle!). Aside from having to have 30 second showers, everything on the boat (most importantly food) was pretty good. While on the boat we did three more scuba dives on the Great Barrier Reef and saw sharks, stingrays and turtles. One of the dive sites (called 'The Cathedral') was awesome - it was basically a cave and a narrow tunnel 15m under water. Small cracks in the ceiling of the tunnel allowed rays of sunlight to shine through.

The next three days were spent chilling out on the boat, stopping off at little deserted islands (like Whitehaven, which is amazing), snorkelling, scuba diving, rock climbing and drinking. We had to end a game of Ring of Fire prematurely because the boat ran out of alcohol!

Once back on shore (Sean minus his sunglasses, which still haven't been recovered) we all met up for drinks at the hostel bar. This is where chaos ensued! We managed to get everyone (26 passengers + 3 crew) standing on the table singing 'Spank Me Barmy Army' at the top of their voices. Everyone in the bar was looking at us like we were a bunch of nutters (understandable I suppose) and the night got pretty messy...

All in all, the sailing was brilliant, but it was nice to get back to dry land...

Next stop, Fraser Island for a four wheel drive safari on the largest sand island in the world! (SM)

permalink written by  Sean, Karl & Dan on December 16, 2007 from Airlie Beach, Austria
from the travel blog: Around the world in 180 days...
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