Sail Away

For the love of the ocean, paradise is seen out on the reef and felt by the experience of sailing.

dail awayay

After a year and half of living in the Whitsundays, I haven’t let myself enjoy enough time being a tourist. I don’t believe we can truly appreciate what this sea side town has to offer by sticking to the mainland.   We meet locals, backpackers, boaties and fellow Australians that come to our town to feel the sunshine, heat and lifestyle that isn’t known in the cities or country towns.

The true magnificence is the big blue that backdrops Airlie Beach. We have the opportunity to leave our responsibilities at the Marina and sail off into the unknown and discover our environment more intimately, something to be treasured. There are a number of boats and companies that offer trips overnight, or longer.  I had the chance to travel through OzSail and was off on the sailing yacht of Mandrake.

After a long week of working nights I welcomed the 3 day/2 night break. I had never done anything like this, out of a comfort zone and ready to go along for the ride.

After turning up to my group, I soon noticed I was the only Australian guest, not so uncommon for our backpacker town. Five Germans, two Asians, one French and myself. With a warm welcome and friendly hello, the skipper of Mandrake, Paul, promised they’ll look after me.  With a massive smile our host Laura welcomed us on board and from leaving the Marina until we arrived back, both her and Paul went above and beyond to assure our safety, security and smiles.

Sailing off into the sunset was beautiful to say the least. We were surrounded by rain in the distance and the island of Australia behind us. Conversations flowed of who we are and where everyone was from. Laura was our host, tour guide, Paul our skipper and they soon became our friend.  With rain and roughness expected, we were still promised a trip of a lifetime.

“I love the sunsets, the wildlife and meeting all the people that come on board! I love sailing…” – Laura, OzSail host

The first day we woke up and got excited for Whitehaven Beach.  Whitehaven is one of the most picturesque spots in Australia.  Voted as one of the top twelve beaches in the world by Trip Advisor, it is well known for not only tourists around the world, but photography, filming and a wedding destination.  It can see up to 350 people a day from the tourism industry in peak season and the visitors are still swarming in to swim in the blue sea and wander through national parks and along the white strand.

Taking time out to relax, bury my feet in the sand and zone out to the calm water and rolling clouds is exactly what I needed. Wandering up to Hill Inlet you can see why this is one of the most striking places on Earth and why it is captured as paradise.

dail away


Most days we expected to enter the stillness, but as this is Queensland it wouldn’t be true without a little roughness above the ocean. Jumping into the sea the water below was calm but chaotic with life. Water temperatures were warm and you soon become lost amongst the aquatic ecosphere.  With so much life surrounding you, it feels like you’re accepted into a new world.

This is why we have so much demand on tourism and OzSail will meet those needs.

Paul educates us on the species we are visiting and it is obvious this isn’t just a job to the crew, but their passion. To sail the Whitsundays is an option, but to sail with a company that have love for our environment that they see daily, is a charm.

Our last morning was astounding. We woke up and dived into Blue Pearl Bay.  One of the captains favourite spots for free diving and all of us were able to be encapsulated by the beauty. Blue Pearl Bay was beloved.

As our trip came to an end, we relaxed or even gave our best to try sail the boat ourselves. I left with new friends, an amazing experience and eagerness to get back to paradise one day soon.


The social acceptance of sending nudes and our modern dating life

“I’m not wearing an invisibility cloak, but do you think I can still visit your restricted section tonight” – Daniel, Tinder Member

I don’t need to be a Harry Potter fan to figure that one out. I’ve signed up to the popular dating/friendship/fucking app a couple of times now – ok maybe about 4.  Each time deleting it knowing you shouldn’t need an app to meet people. Every other time was simply used as a way to piss my ex off, meet new people in a new town and possibly meet someone worthy of beer and pizza.  Before I go on, I can’t completely knock the site. I have met a couple of decent friends by this little friendship app in the palm of my hand.

But the reason I decided to jump back on was for mere entertainment and a blog. A couple of weeks ago, a very close girlfriend of mine was telling me how a guy kept messaging her and even though she clearly explained that she wasn’t interested in dating him and nothing will happen, the silly fool went on to send a dick pic.

My question… Why?

Why do men think – Oh yep, this will change her mind – this pink disgusting sea cucumber will definitely get me the date I was just begging her for!

Men, please just stop – and if you do send an unwarranted dick pic – NEVER ASK WHAT WE THINK. I’ll tell you why…

My girlfriend – after receiving the pic was genuinely concerned.

“Dakota, I need to show you something… What is that!?”

Oh great… What I just saw could not be unseen. In fact it is still burned in my memory.

“Hun you need to tell him to see a doctor, he can’t possibly think that is ok, he needs to see a doctor.”
“But I don’t know him well enough to refer him to the doctor.”
“Well, he clearly thinks he knows you well enough to send a dick pic, maybe just let him know.”

After some curiosity, wine and google, we diagnosed the poor gent with PPP (go on, I know you will all whip out your phones for a quick search engine).

As you can read, it was nothing terminal but definitely a reason why you should not send dick pics. So why has it become socially acceptable. I jumped on Tinder to maybe figure out an answer to sexual greetings…

From the humorously entertaining and the frightening, Tinder had at all. Within a few swipes I had my first sexual gesture.  He lost points for the Harry Potter reference (sorry, Daniel) but gained some for correct spelling. My next interaction was complimenting my name – that it was rare – from someone with a name I couldn’t pronounce, Rairii (thanks buddy). Then a mixture of; “How ya goin’?”, “What’s doin’?” and other questions with poor grammar.

And jackpot! Someone with a sense of humour. I’ll let you in on a little secret, if you can make me laugh, you’re an 11 out of 10.
“And then I jumped off a cliff”
“ Sorry wrong convo”
“ – But I’m pretty dangerous anyway”

Shaine was funny, but I still didn’t respond. I’m the worst person with communication, I communicate 100% then drop off the face of the Earth. That doesn’t particularly matter because this is simply for a blog.

After matching with a few more nearby candidates I got asked a range of topics from rim jobs to my degree and how long I’ve been in Airlie. Surprising.
It’s well known guys send shit messages for entertainment or a creep factor, do any women answer, or laugh it off?

What if I flipped the switch from normal to fucking insane? How will men respond? Is there a double standard to crazy inappropriate messages? Let’s find out…

Peter – Tinder member

“Hey J how long are you in Airlie for? You wanna meet up?”

Anonymous acting on my behalf:
“Yeah I’m keen for some fun”
“Like how do you like it?”
“I’m pretty forward”
“Just really comfortable in my own sexuality”

Peter didn’t respond… (Possibly because I could personally think of better lines to catfish with)

Let’s see if Davide will respond..

Me: “Davide! That’s a nice name. I use to work with a Davide. He was in the Porn industry”
Davide: “Hi, thanks, nice to meet you. What are you doing?”

Me: “Just at work at the moment. I have to start filming soon”

No response… maybe I should lead into the craziness a little slower?
New victim… Matthew (he was a good sport – or not judgmental and maybe a little crazy himself)
Me: “Hey Matty!!”
Matthew: “Dakota”
Me: “and how’s your night going?”
Matthew: “It’s been alright. Just having drinks with a couple of mates. How’s yours going?”
Me: “It’s ok. I’m in a bit of pain from the dentist so taking it easy tonight”
Matthew: “Ah that doesn’t sound good, it sucks going to the dentist!”
Me: “It definitely does. I think I regret it”
Matthew: “I bet you do haha. So where abouts do you live?”
Me: “Bowen”
Matthew: “Oh nice! I’m down here at the moment”
Me: “Oh awesome. Yeah I really like Bowen, I just got out of incarceration a few months ago so it’s a nice change”
Matthew: “I could imagine it would be”
Me: “So many nice people, they don’t even stare”
Matthew: “I bet they check u out tho”
Me: “Yeah maybe. I tend to scare some people. Dentist fixed that though”
Matthew: “Well that’s good”
Time to speed it up…

Me: “Can I ask you a question Matty? I just think you might be easy to chat to”
Matthew: “Go for it”
Me: “So… While in prison my girls and I thought it might be a good idea to file our teeth into sharp points.. we had an obsession with twilight. Do you think I’ll find love if I keep my teeth like that? I just really like it.”
Matthew: “Wow! Haha maybe. R u being serious”
Me: “ ? yeah? Why wouldn’t I be”
Matthew: “It would be different. But if you like it keep it like that, it’s your choice at the end of the day”
Me: “Oh you’re so nice. I like Matthews. My clairvoyant said I would meet a Matthew in the future”
Matthew: “haha crazzy hey”
Me: “Do you think maybe we could meet? See if there is a ‘spark’?”
Matthew: “May I ask what you were inside for? Yeah sounds good”
Me: “Promise not to freak out?”
Matthew: “yeah”
Me: “So I fell in love with my highschool sweetheart. He didn’t seem to like that, anyway I just thought I could make him love me. I mean, it hurt me too. It hurt he didn’t love me. So I wanted to hurt him.  Turns out castrations isn’t allowed… But I’m totally not like that anymore!!”
Matthew: “How long were you inside fore, I just had a mate get out. Haha castration isn’t allowed… that’s funny”

At this point I’m starting to wonder whether Matthew is a really nice guy, or catfishing me too?

Me: “He deserved it. I would do it again”

I was then blocked… and Matthew if you ever read this. I fear for your safety.  Don’t date girls that neuter their boyfriends.

So after very little action… on Tinder, I gave up. I couldn’t be bothered to waste anymore data. I saw people I have met years ago that didn’t recognize me, I saw men that I thought were in relationships only to learn that they unfortunately broke up with their wife, and I also saw cheating men ‘looking for fun’ who I knew were in a very domesticated life with their oblivious girlfriends.  Which made me really sad for those women.

Maybe I didn’t get the answers I was looking for on how our dating world has changed. Generations have evolved from the chivalry to the occasional 4 am message via a phone.  No need to even call anymore.  Is this what it will be like for the next 10 years of my dating life?  I like to think I’m quite relaxed and not high maintenance but even I don’t want to just accept my next potential boyfriend to ask me out with a message of “so… are we together or can I get back on Tinder?”. I do expect to be respected and I’ll give respect back.

Let me just say, dating sucks. That label is even lost. You aren’t dating, you’re just “hanging out” – which is a bullshit excuse for someone to have a claim over you with no commitment. Women get made to be a bitch if she is upfront and says ‘I’m not interested’.  And men don’t have it any easier.   They might spend time getting to know someone, realise their heart isn’t in it, meet new girls then get labelled a ‘player’.

Regardless of those consequences honesty is the best policy, and we just have to remind ourselves that a sense of humour will help, but no one finds explicit photos attractive.  No girl wants to date a man sending dick pics to women and no guy will want to date a girl posting naked photos in bed while hash tagging #goodmorning #newbedsheets #pillowtalk

Keep it classy, honest and hold on to those photos for someone special.