Have you even been so terrified in your life that you can’t help but laugh?
Well, that’s exactly how I felt in the middle of the sea on an ocean raft heading to the second most photographed beach in the world, Whitehaven Beach. I was greeted by two Australian crew members with heavy accents, ready for a good time, and full of sarcasm and cheesy jokes. All 28 people, ages 18 to 27, of my travel group from EF Tours stepped onto one raft, having not a clue what to expect for the day.
After a few quick snorkel stops, the crew took us directly out to sea.
I looked to my right where my tour guide, Lincoln Miller, was constantly getting soaked from the crashing waves. To my right, two girls laughed after being pelted by another crash of waves. I smirked, realizing my seat was not in the splash zone. At one point, throughout the hour trek, the waves were so large a girl was crying, terrified for her life.
Most of us laughed, mainly because we didn’t know what else to do, and secondly because we were so crazy to get on a boat with the seas at 25 knots. My tour guide, after being on this trip more than a dozen times, said this is the worst waves he has ever seen. Another wave sent the boat soaring through the air until it crashed hard into the next gust. Screams erupted as the crew looked like it was just another typical day on the job.
I watched as another wave higher than the boat came over the edge soaking those opposite of me. Now, you’re probably thinking exactly what I was, there’s no way one of the top ten world’s most beautiful beaches is out here. Well, I kid you not, a hundred more waves and three mountains later, we were smooth sailing through the most blue water I have ever seen. Take a look for yourself, and not at my great pictures, you must go check this out in person. Although pictures are great, stepping foot onto the pure white sand looking into the clear water was a feeling like none other.
We went for a stroll around the Whitehaven Beach, all of which was unreal. Our boat driver anchored, and we walked through the water carrying plates of food (most of which survived the adventure here). Although it wasn’t a hot day, when the sun did peak through the clouds it felt incredible. Being able to relax on the beach was exactly what we all needed after a few days of traveling.
The ocean raft ride back wasn’t as thrilling as the way there, mainly because we were riding with the waves, but it still made my stomach drop a few times. When we were almost back to land, the crew decided to play somewhat of a joke on all of us. They made sure we were all bracing for a flip, gripping the edge of our seats, and holding our breath. A fast whip of the throttle made us all nervous before the driver laughed and came to a halt near the dock. Whitsundays was one of the most beautiful places in the world! I am so thankful I had the opportunity to go explore.
The raft boat cost half a million dollars and has 700 horsepower.
There are turtles in the bay, however they won’t lay their eggs on the sand because it doesn’t have the right temperature.
The sand is made up of 98.9 percent pure silica compared to 10 percent for most average beaches.
A beach near the island is available to stay on for $6 US a night.
All Photos by Chelsea Bauman. © 2018 Chelsea Bauman. All Rights Reserved.