I took this picture at sunrise, sitting on the deck of an old sailboat — a tall ship. The ship was precisely as you would picture a pirate ship. And the setting was pretty much as picturesque as it gets. The sun’s rays skipped across the ripples of the water. Tongue Bay shone like a jewel. Whitsunday Island sat in front of me, taunting me to come hike it.
Everything about this moment sounds like perfection. But in typical HRM fashion, I’m going to tell you like it is. ‘Cause it wasn’t all perfect. I woke up early enough to see the sunrise simply because I couldn’t sleep. Oh man, that ship. Here’s something people don’t tell you about century old pirate ships: they’re super uncomfortable! The rooms are about as big as a packed cubicle. And the smell. Oh, the smell. The smell of old gym socks permeated every crevice of the sleeping quarters. And don’t get me started on the two-minute showers over the toilet. Haha!
I don’t mean to complain. The crew was fabulous. The food was fantastic. They really did everything they could to make our experience wonderful. I just learned a little something about boats, ships, and the like. And here’s what I learned: you should take a look at those damn things before you book. You might realize you prefer a more modern, comfortable ship over the nostalgia of the tall ships of the past. I now know I prefer a yacht. For reals!
Though, honestly, looking back, I wouldn’t trade my experience for the world. The Whitsundays were beautiful. Pristine. Untouched. And I was fortunate enough to sail around them, scuba dive their reefs, hike their trails, and swim in their waters. And for that, I’ll be forever grateful.