Global: Session 2 - Billabong: Australia
Posted: Sun, Jul 17, 2011
Billabong and Back
After a huge breakfast of bacon, eggs, corn pancakes and milo pancakes we headed to billabong sanctuary. There we held a croc, wore a snake, held a wombat, and pet a koala. It was an amazing experience! After Billabong we headed back to Townsville to wander about the town. Some of the gang hiked the “goat trail” of Castle hill for a beautiful view of the city. Later we had amazing Aussie burgers for dinner. After we were stuffed we headed to the movies to see the final Harry Potter. It certainly was an exciting adventure of a day!
Posted: Sat, Jul 16, 2011
Are We Happy?
And the answer to this question is not quite as happy as we were on the sailboat with our captain, Mal, but still very excited as we ventured on to Townsville today. Mal’s famous words, “are we happy?” always brought a smile to all of our faces. We finally made it off the boat after an awesome sailing experience. A long bus ride and a dreary morning later we arrived in Townsville and made our way to the hostel. After settling in and enjoying a little lunch we headed out to Reef HQ, an aquarium where we could learn a bit about several aquatic species that we will be seeing in several days on our scuba diving excursion. In the aquarium we saw everything from bioluminescent fish to Cuddles, a giant lazy Nurse shark. The group also had the opportunity to get our hands on, literally, baby leopard sharks, sea cucumbers, and sea stars. For a great ending to our day we watched the local men’s rugby team, the Cowboys, take on the Tigers, a team from Sydney. Although we painted our faces to become the newest Cowboy pep squad, it was not enough to prevent them from suffering a loss to the Sydney Tigers. Overall it was an easy travel day packed with fun at the aquarium and heaps of cheering at the rugby game.
Posted: Fri, Jul 15, 2011
We started our rainy day with a 1km hike from sawmill beach to Dugong inlet, there, we hung around for a bit and turned Chris into a green sea turtle. On our way back to the marina we had lunch and regrouped on deck because the choppy seas were throwing us around in our cabins and our captain Mal told us to come up on deck. Finally and sadly on land again, we took nice, warm showers and peed in an awesome urinal. To end the day we had dinner at Sorrento’s where we had kangaroo pizza that tasted kind of like the perfect mix of meat and fish.
Posted: Wed, Jul 13, 2011
We all woke up to have some fruit and Vegemite toast at about 6:30. Mal motored us out to White Haven beach, the Mecca of pure white silica sand. We all piled on the dinghy with our backpacks filled with water and sun block, ready to see the sting rays. We hiked to the lookout to take some pictures of the whole beach. After that we finally made our way down to the beach where we lolled in the powdered sand. Some swam in the frigid water while others (the male folk) hunted for the secluded “Betty Beach”. Eventually everyone climbed the rocks to see the secret beach and everyone saw stingrays and nurse sharks! We headed back to the boat to patch up wounds and eat some lunch. On our way to the snorkel spot, we saw a HUMPBACK WHALE!!! We dove in for a long snorkel and spotted many cool fish. Dan and Chris even saw a squid! We went back to the boat for some much deserved (and much needed) showers. We ended the night with lasagna and mind games, then finally went to bed.
Sea Turtles and Sailing
We were allowed to sleep in until 8:00 this morning. The first thing we did today was get a quick briefing on snorkeling. Then we all loaded up in the dingy with all our snorkel gear and went snorkeling in the beautiful blue water. While snorkeling, there were tons of colorful fish and coral. Near the end of the dive, a turtle was spotted! It was very calm and allowed us to swim with it for a while. Once back on the boat from our snorkeling adventure, we prepared for a short sail to One Foot Island. The tide was extremely low, and we walked from one island to another. During this walk, we looked for whales and turtles. Unfortunately, none were spotted. Once back on the boat for the second time today, we prepared for a longer sail. We helped raise the sails and move them while sailing. Dinner was served shortly after we dropped anchor for the night. It was a delicious reef fish with rice and veggies. After dinner, the boys on the boat decided to partake in “ninja training.” After ninja training, we went to the bow of the boat a looked at the stars, even though it was cloudy out. Some people fell asleep on the bow bringing our fantastic day to an end.