SAILING TO THE MAXI ABOARD THE MIGHTY BOOMERANG
Boomerang (1) , an iconic Australian curved wooden device that returns to the thrower when thrown, used for hunting and sport.
Boomerang (2) , an Iconic Australian maxi sailing yacht that hosts the most memorable sailing experience in the Whitsunday Islands, a party boat like no other. “Welcome aboard the mighty boomerang, label your grog and place it in the two massive eskies at the back of the boat, take your shirts off, grab a beer, we’ll get the music pumping and set some sails”. My skipper and deckhand began preparing the boat to leave the marina as I usher the 30 young backpackers and their 2days worth of grog onto the boat. “Hi, I’m Maggie, I will be your host for the next two days. I’m also your cook so be particularly nice to me (cue laughter). Cooking in this tiny galley, which is smaller then the size of your hostel bed, for all 30 of you is not easy so feel free to help out and wash your own plates and then we can all have a beer together after dinner.” By the time I finish my introduction speech involving where to throw up, how not to use the toilets, where to sleep and when to start drinking; it is time to get everyone on deck to set the enormous sails. Six strong men are required to use the ‘grinders’ to pull the sails up while the deckhand and myself secure the lines.
The macho shirtless guys volunteer to show off their muscles on the grinders while the ladies in their bikini’s sit along the side of the boat with their feet dangling over the side through the warm tropical Coral Sea. Oh yes, it is all so cliché. The deckhand gives his instructions “if I scream out any 4 letter Aussie word it means stop, are we ready? … GO GO GO” and the girls start cheering. Once the sails are hoisted the boat immediately begins healing over and we are flying along as the captain begins telling his tales of the Whitsunday Islands. We arrive at our first destination and it is not long before everyone is jumping off the boat to snorkel along the inner fringing Great Barrier Reef taking in the colours of the coral and the abundance of marine life. We then make our way to a sheltered inlet for the evening as we watch the sun setting and crack open the goon sacks before firing up the BBQ on the back of the boat. Dinner is a breeze as the girls helped me make the salads, the deckhand took care of the BBQ and the guys were full of compliments for the overload of food provided.
After a long day in the sun I decided to retire to sleep in the boom while the Northern English and Irish groups continued drinking through the night till the early hours of the following morning. I show off my climbing skills as I take my pillow up into the boom where I find a comfortable bed on the wide pile of sail nestled into the sail cover. I fall asleep gazing at a perfect view of the stars as I listen to the sound of the gentle warm breeze and ocean breaking onto the nearby beach (after blocking out the sound of the Irishman laughing of course).