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Location: Whitehaven Beach, Australia

Today, we left the shelter of civilization we had found in Mackay. Leaving civilization once again seems just as comforting as when we arrived after our Vanuatu passage. We had spent the last 3 days enjoying warm showers, a local beach, a plethora of restaurant options and a friendly group of live-aboard boaters in the marina whom we got to know. We were blessed with the presence of one of the world’s foremost racing yachts as we sat in the marina. The world famous “Dorade” sat as polished as the day she was launched, in the slip across from ours. We even got gifted some original hot sauce made from the infamous Carolina Reaper Chilies, by one of our marina neighbors. The Crew got up on time today, and we were able to finish passage prep and managed to get refueled and out of dodge by 9:30am, on time and in good spirits. From what we have seen so far, our new location in the Whitsundays may not be as remote as some previous destinations, but it is by no means any less gorgeous. Motoring past the southern islands of the Whitsundays left impressions on all of us, but as we arrived at our anchorage this evening, late. We students are still very much in the dark as to the surrounding beauty of Whitehaven beach. Along the way today Carolyn, our program director, counted 15 separate pods of whales. We watched whales breaching the water all day as we motored our way along all afternoon. Overall, everyone is exceptionally excited to see the famed Whitehaven Beach tomorrow and we all anticipate our first GBR dive in only a few days.