2nd Day Whitsunday 'Is there a banana on board?'

Whitsunday Islands Travel Blog

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The Habibi

The second day we were up early for breakfast and then as soon as we had our stuff together we were taken out in small groups in the tender to a nearby beach, where we walked for 15 minutes over to 'Acquaintance Beach' or something like that. It's one of the most famous and most well-liked of the Whitsunday beaches, but it is also the 2nd of the biggest tidal beaches in the world, meaning that it is only really accessible at low tide. We walked first to the look-out over it, and then to the beach itself, having to walk quite a long way to reach the water. The water was beautifully clear, though the current strong, and the scenery gorgeous. I swam for quite a time against the current, and then sat out on the sand reading. After an hour or so the tide started coming in fast and we found we had to move our towels and bags every 10 mins to stop our things floating away.

Whitehaven Beach from the look-out, Whitsunday Islands

Back on the boat we set off for Tongue Bay and after an hour or so journey we were equipped with stinger suits, masks and flippers for snorkelling. It isn't quite stinger (jellyfish) season yet but we had to be careful anyway, especially as Fire Coral is also common in these areas, not to mention sting rays and other poisonous fish. The snorkel was excellent and I saw many fish there I recognised as well as many new ones. We were very close to the shore, unlike the dive/snorkels I have done before in open ocean so it's not surprising the species were different. The tide was up so we were quite far above the corals and could pass over the whole reef easily, going back and forth parallel with the beach before cold finally got the better of me and the thin stinger suit and I set off back.

Whitehaven beach, Whitsunday Islands
Under the boat was a huge Maori Wrasse hiding which was cool to see.

After the snorkel we moved to another bay where some people did a second snorkel, and then afterwards were all enlisted into a Twister tournament on the top of the boat, which sadly I was knocked out of by the natural rocking motion of the boat! After Twister we ate dinner and chatted over some wine. Earlier, the captain, Greg had been asking loudly who had a banana on board and he finally told us why. Apparently in the days of ship trade bananas would be used to conceal rice cargo to stop water getting to it and causing it to expand. But if a boat was seen carrying bananas that meant it was worth looting and pirating, so sailors seeing bananas on board a ship wouldn't get on it, so it came about that bananas on board a boat were unlucky.

Megha and I in stinger suits, Whitsunday Islands
The deck hand Katy had been hurt twice that day which was an unusual occurance which is why the captain had been asking who had one and insisted when the culprit banana was found (which it was) it was thrown overboard. In fact he only kept the tradition alive for fun but he could cite a few examples where finding a banana on a bad day and throwing it overboard changed their luck dramatically. It wasn't long before we all called it an early night from all the fresh air. Unfortunately because we hadn't drunk much I didn't get a lot of sleep owing to the extreme temperature in the cabin. I wished I could sleep on deck but didn't want to go crashing through the boat only to find it was too cold to sleep out in a sheet!

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The Habibi
The Habibi
Whitehaven Beach from the look-out…
Whitehaven Beach from the look-ou…
Whitehaven beach, Whitsunday Islan…
Whitehaven beach, Whitsunday Isla…
Megha and I in stinger suits, Whit…
Megha and I in stinger suits, Whi…
Playing twister on top of the boat…
Playing twister on top of the boa…
Playing twister on top of the boat…
Playing twister on top of the boa…
Sunset at Whitsunday Islands
Sunset at Whitsunday Islands
Whitsunday Islands
photo by: kimpigott