Everyone has their vices. For some people that’s illegal substances, for others reality tv. Perhaps you’re a smoker and actually quite enjoy it, thank you, or maybe you drink a little more than you’d ever admit to your Doctor. It’s a human trait to have a weak spot. I used to think mine was good red wine – I can easily knock back a bottle each night – but I think I might have to revaluate.
You see, I have a problem.
I can’t stop thinking about sand cays.
The issue first began back in August 2013. I travelled out to the reef with Ocean Freedom, my friend Becki in tow, and the weather was so good they visited a spot only reserved for the best of days: Vlassoff Cay.
As I took my first steps on to the marvellous white sand, looking out at the infinite blue stretching to the horizon the first seeds of my addiction were planted. I was standing on a beach in the middle of the great barrier reef! It doesn’t get better than that.
^^^Thanks facebook, for the grainy photo quality.
I visited Vlassoff again, although it took me a year. This time it was to ward off one of my only bouts of seasickness during a spearfishing trip. Although I enjoyed our stop there so much I’d forgive my friends for thinking the whole literally-vomiting-in-the-ocean-while-snorkelling-thing (it was a fun morning) was simply a ruse.
The next month I finally stepped foot on Michaelmas Cay. It was such a brief visit (I stupidly wasted my time scuba diving, ugh) that I didn’t even snap a photo. Sorry. You’ll have to take my word for it instead!
When I took my first scenic flight over the top of the reef and we glimpsed Vlassoff from the air I could hardly enjoy myself. I didn’t want to be in the helicopter 500 feet above – I wanted to be on that soft white sand!
Poor me, eh?
I had the same problem during my flight with GBR heli. The jealousy I felt for those people enjoying the cay was not very becoming, especially since I was seated in a million dollar helicopter having an experience that most people would never get to have (let alone have in their lunch break).
A month later I managed to persuade (bully) Doug and my Mum to sail out to Vlassoff for the night. It was the first time my problem had felt vindicated, with the entirety of our group gaping at natures way of just bloody well showing off. The weather we had was insanely perfect and the water surrounding us was as clear as a glass of water. We could stand on the bow of the boat and look down at the coral, the ocean had barely a ripple.
Then came a second trip with Ocean Spirit last month. I sacrificed dive and snorkelling time to maximise my Cay visit, which if you know me shows exactly how much I love this little sandy oasis. Managing to take about 38549696 pictures of paradise still didn’t do the place justice. I kept having open and shut my eyes to make sure it wasn’t some hazy dream.
Seriously, sand cays are that pretty. The blue of the water and white of the sand look fake. Are you sure I wasn’t just plonked down on a film set, Truman show style? Places this good looking can’t happen by accident, surely?
Just to make sure I went back two week later. Ahem. Obsessed much?
I told you I had a problem.
When I flew back from the reef last month I found a new baby that I need to be mine: Sudbury Cay. I could only stare longingly at her for a few moments, but I know where I want to head very soon. One day i will stroke your perfectly pointy tail, one day…
But it doesn’t end there.
Last week was a very sad week for me: the last time I would be visiting the Great Barrier Reef before I head off on my big 4 month trip. So which boat did I choose to go out on? Why, the boat that started it all: Ocean Freedom.
This time we visited Upolo Cay, which is a very shy cay indeed. When Cyclone Yasi tore through the area in 2011 this poor little stretch of sand had it’s top whipped clean off and now only emerges at low tide.
Thankfully the ocean Gods were smiling on me, and Ocean freedom pulled up at the perfect moment for us to revel in Upolo’s beauty.
Sure this was my last chance to swim with Australian fishes for a while, but I am going to have two months diving on a tropical island. So given the choice between cay time or snorkel time? Cay time won. Hands down.
If I ever win the lottery I think I might have to spend the rest of my days anchored up on my multimillion dollar yacht at places like this. Is there anywhere on earth more beautiful than this? Surely not… What do you think?
^^^Unflattering glamour shot, to brighten up your days guys. Don’t say I don’t do anything for you.
There was a moment on Upolo last week where I genuinely turned to Mikey and told him that if I ever contract some horrid, incurable disease then I’d please like to end it all here. Just an $800 bottle of wine, box of sleeping pills and the feel of sand in my toes.
This is quite a morbid way to end a post, but I think it demonstrates my obsession pretty well.
I have a problem, I really do.