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Journals from James Cook University

2014-04-17 Lecture Recess

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Whitehaven Beach activities-I could play in that sand all day!

Lecture Recess hit on April 10th. Unfortunately, Cyclone Ita followed shortly behind. Maile and I left for Townsville on Thursday, April 10th. We stayed down at the Townsville JCU campus with a friend of a friend, and then awoke at 5am to catch a bus to Airlie Beach on Friday. On this day, we learned that Cyclone Ita was predicted to hit Cairns and surrounding pretty hard. Luckily, we were out of its path. We had a sailing trip to the Whitsundays and Great Barrier Reef planned from Friday evening to Monday afternoon. I had a suspicion that it was a bad idea to continue with the trip considering the weather plans, but the sailing company acted like nothing was happening and continued with the trip. It wasn't the greatest weather, but we made it to Whitehaven Beach, which has some of the purest sand in the world. The Hubble telescope was actually constructed using the sand from this beach. From there, we moved to another island, where we scuba dived and snorkeled. On Saturday, we were told by crew members that we couldn't make it to the Great Barrier Reef because of the cyclone. We were disappointed, but still tried to make the best of the trip. Sunday morning we woke up to pounding rain and windy skies. The crew told us we had to cut the trip short because the cyclone was headed toward us (even if it was supposed to be a mild version). This is all fine and dandy, except for the fact that the company didn't give us any refund for the shortened trip. So all in all, lecture recess was a bit disappointing. 

So it appears we were stuck in Airlie Beach for a while. Things got crazy: busses stopped running, and we couldn't book anything to get home. The highways were closed due to flooding. I wanted to get home as soon as possible, so I kept calling and finally booked a bus home on Wednesday. We stayed in a really nice hostel and met amazing people from all over the world! It was amazing to be able to experience so many cultures in just a short period of time. 

In addition, in Airlie Beach, I found a coconut and learned how to shell and retrieve the milk from it. I was walking on the beach one night and saw two men fire twirling, so I went up and they let me try it. Let me tell you, it's kind of scary!! 

Anyway, that is how my break went! We have a few days left of it, so I am hoping to make the best of the rest of my time. 

Until next time, 


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