Tongarra Sailing Adventures, sailing around the Whitsunday Islands near Airlie Beach. The Mighty Tong, Tong-a-Tron, The Tong-meister, The Red Rocket, (I could go on!) Whatever you want to call it, it's simply this: AMAZING!
Steph, my fellow work mate at Nomads Airlie Beach, and I were lucky enough to get to go out on this beauty of a catamaran for a 2 day / 2 night trip around the Whitsunday Islands.
The day we were set to go we were told that it was pretty rough and wet out there but we were NOT going to let that put a dampener on our spirits (excuse the pun!). Armed with our alcohol and sun cream we headed to Abel Point marina and met our crew and passengers! Robbie the deckhand from Tongarra was there to meet us and give us a run down on what to expect in his special way - loud and funny!
We all headed to The Tongarra and got our booze into the eskies before our safety brief from the lovely loud Robbie! Can of cider in hand we sat and listened about what to do if there is a man over board (Keep pointing at them and shout 'MAN OVER BOARD') Then it was time to crank up the tunes and get to know the people we were to spend 2 days and 2 nights with!
As the sun began to set it was getting pretty windy so our skipper Asher decided it was best to keep on sailing to a less windy point for dinner... more booze and chatting it was then! Can't really complain can ya?! When we reached Hook passage, Ash and Robbie put up the transformer tent over the deck so we could all sit and eat our dinner (This is also where we would be sleeping at night - if that's what we chose!) Once that was done we were presented with an AMAZING spread of food laid out for us: Fish beautifully cooked, amazing mashed potatoes (I'm Irish I should know great mash when I see/taste it!) with tasty homemade coleslaw and bread rolls! YUMMO!
After dinner (and seconds of mash!) we headed off and moored at Dunbell Island for the night! At this point it was getting late so we all decided to get ready for bed. This meant heading downstairs and getting our mattresses/sleeping bags/sheets and pillows and picking our spot! Steph and I decided to sleep indoors this time and nabbed the table space which doubles as a double bed - comfort at its best! We had a few more drinks and talked some more with our fellow travellers and then it was bedtime as we knew we would be woken at about 6am to get the most out of day 2!
We were woken with the bangin' beats of a song from the soundtrack to 'Get him to the Greek' I fail to remember the song but had something to do with chocolate in it! We got up and started to bring all our bedding below deck so we could get a move on! It was still a little windy but there was sunshine in the sky! Magical! As soon as we had our brekki of cereal/fresh fruit/tea/coffee/bread and spreads it was time to head to Whitehaven beach one of the 5 top beaches in the world with its 98% silica white sand and Turquoise waters! No matter how many times you see this beach it's still breathtaking - No lies!
We packed our beach bags (Sun cream on this beach is a MUST as the white sand reflects the sun and you get burned in random places like your armpits and in-between your legs... it's not pretty!!) We then hopped onto the tender boat and whizzed over to the beach where the sun was shining - beautiful.
Due to the windiness we headed to the south end of the beach rather than the North end of the beach where Hill inlet lookout point is! BUT there is another look out point just as nice on the South End, it was roughly a 15min walk up to it (Wear shoes if you have soft feet, if like me they are not so soft it's easy barefoot!)
After taking some fun pics at the Whitsunday Island sign we headed up to check out the view of the beach and islands... GROUP PHOTO TIME! Back down we went to soak up the sun, swim and wander... Steph and I took this opportunity to shine up our gold and silver jewellery, exfoliate our feet, brush our teeth with the sand (I kid you not, the sand is amazing for ALL these things - apart from the crunchy sand mouth which was hilarious!!)
After we chilled for a bit, Ash came off the tender and took some awesome group pics of us with the boat camera (All pics are posted on their facebook page after each trip!)... We had pyramids, jumping shots and many more... pyramid shots were hilarious... we NEARLY got it!
Fun times... especially when Ash was so busy snapping away he never noticed the tender float off... cue Baywatch 'Hoff' moment of him stripping off his top and running to save it - What a hero!
Time to get back on the boat for even MORE food! Spoiled.com! This time it was a lunch of Wraps, rolls,salads,meats a feast fit for Kings and Queens! After all the excitement of Whitehaven Beach, I think everyone was content to dig into their food as it was pretty quiet - Can't talk, must eat! Up next was some snorkelling action in the beautiful Mantaray Bay... After laughing at each other in our sexy wet suits and masks it was time to go swim with the fishies! And My oh my what fishies there were... big ones, small ones, HUGE ones, and all colours of the rainbow! Fantastico!
Back on board there were teas and coffees waiting to warm our weary bones and a 60 second shower if you wanted... Meh! I say to showers I want to reek of the ocean!
Off we sailed to Stonehaven helped along with some chips and dip ... so full but can't say no! After a pretty cruisy/sleepy chilled sail, then all of a sudden something that I along with everyone else was hoping for happened... we saw WHALES... No lies! What a beautiful sight! I tried taking pics but they did not come out all too great I'm afraid :(
It was once again time to eat - Yes Really! This time it was time for everyones fave Spag Bol and Garlic Bread! I was even super looked after with seperate gluten free Pasta being made for me but even though I shouldn't have I could NOT resist some delish garlic bread... just a small bit though!! After yet another amazing dinner it was night time again...
That night there were games planned and out came the fancy dress and facepaints - AWESOME! Everyone got involved in dressing up and face painting which is always fun!! We were all pretty giddy... like school kids if you will! It wasn't just us passengers that got involved Skipper Ash and Deckhand Robbie also joined in which was pretty funny... Let the games commence! I'm not going to ruin the surprise of the games nor will I be posting any pictures of the games as what happens on Tongarra STAYS on Tongarra! Lets just say I lost my voice from laughing and cheering AND I loved every second of it! Go Team Christmas is cancelled!
Well now after the games, laughing, drinking and more even more laughing we were all pretty much pooped... I pulled a 'Ninja' and disappeared off to find somewhere to sleep... WINNER!!!
Next morning BRIGHT AND EARLY we were woken... there was a haze of hungover folk still all face painted (A few points and laughing at others when we saw the mess we were all in!) Weather was not so great this morning but everyone was still on a high from all the previous fun! We even managed to squeeze in one more snorkel at the beautiful Caves Cove famed for its amazing coral gardens and cave formations!
Sure enough the moment we had all been dreading came... It was time to head home - Nooooooooooooooooo!!! Well Mr. Skipper if you were going to force us to go home we were going to damn well enjoy every last second of this trip... rain or no rain! Thank you very much! Time to don the super trendy old school yellow fisherman rain coats and get our asses to the bow of the boat to taunt the waves! We all sat with our legs dangling over the edge kicking the waves butt! It's at this point we all started cheering 'F**K THE SUN' and 'Tong-A-Tron'. It was wet, it was cold, it was rocky BUT we had SOOOOOOO much fun! Once back to the marina we got some awesome pics by Ash up in the mast of the group spelling out 'Tong-a-tron' memories all round! It was time to part with our sea-faring buddies and awesome crew BUT alas it did not have to end right there as later on that evening we were all going to meet for our after-boat party-YEAHHHHHHH!
Unfortunately for me I had to go back to work BUT I did make it to the after party - just about... I was wrecked after 2 days/2 nights of absolute awesomeness... I cannot rave about my trip with Tongarra any more, all I know is it is not the last I have seen of this beautiful boat as I definitely want to go back on it one day (Soon) to do it ALL over again! So if fun and frolics is what you're up for in a trip you NEED to give Tongarra a go...
Come see the girls at our Mad Travel desk located in Nomads Airlie Beach and we will make ALL your Tongarra dreams come true!