I’m going to need 3 days to absorb everything we managed to do today.
And as everything is running to a tight schedule here I will deliver today’s experiences whilst ‘channelling’ a PDF file.
5:00 – Awake – no reason just awake listening to a Cockatoo on my rail announcing the obvious – yes its getting light, thanks bird.
5:50 – Hotel phone alarm goes – has a weird personalized message about the highlights of Hamilton Island, not sure how much I take in.
6:30 – Psychometric retesting just to make sure it was us who sat those tests that first time. Still odd, still not sure how they deduce that you’re not an axe murderer.
6:30 – Breakfast served concurrently – foolishly had cup of tea – time it took meant I didn’t finish test – have to do that tomorrow now
7:25 – On bus heading for boat
7:50 – Depart on Fantasea Catamaran out to the Great Barrier Reef– offered seasick medication – girls are watching so refuse to take it.
8:15 – Regret decision not to take seasick pill
8:30 – No colour now present in cheeks, palms sweaty, heart beat erratic – I’ve either fallen in love or am really starting to feel sick.
8:45 – Sit outside on boat deck chewing ice, everyone asks if I’m ok – reply ‘yeah mate sweet as’ – while hating myself for the lies I’m telling.
9:15 – Just when I was about to really regret the extra ham and cheese croissant, we get into the lee of Hardy’s reef – and all goes calm – so all is well…..again…….just.
9:45 – Dressed in full length lyrca (stinger suit) and feeling very Cathy Freeman I take to the water. It’s at this point that it’s reaffirmed to me exactly why I want this job. Fish, Coral, turtles, things and stuff all creating a visual feast before me underwater. Truly magical spot in the world that’s well deserved of its ‘wonder status’ I keep squealing through my snorkel and note that it sounds like a teenage humpback.
11:00 – Out of water and now no longer a GBR virgin. Have started practicing lines like ‘So there I was out alone on the reef when suddenly…..’ Can’t wait to slip into conversation….will save for pub.
12:00 – Leave reef via seaplane, try and act cool like I’ve been on a seaplane ‘plenty of times’. All while containing the little boy jumping up and down inside screaming ‘wow I’ve never been one of these before’
12:04 – Blow cover by letting out girly squeal during take off.
12:30 – Arrive at Hayman Island resort – meet possibly the world’s nicest general manager Mr Roger Wright
1:00 – After a quick squiz at the beach (Ha ‘squizz’ = ‘look’ where I come from) , enjoy a magnificent serving of lunch – 14 dishes representing the 14 different countries from the candidates.
1:30 – Have 16th helping of delicious meat product, something on a stick something. Have discovered it doesn’t matter what you eat – its all amazing so no guess work needed just grab and gorge.
2:02 – Roll myself towards the desert offerings/ loosen belt.
2:08 – Desert Seconds
2:12 – Desert Thirds
2:18 – Desert Fourths
2:22 – Desert Fifths
2:30 – Asked by member of TQ team to share some deserts with others
2:35 – Narrowly avoid physical confrontation when going for desert sixths
2:43 – Asked by General manager to take a walk.
2:50 – He takes me to kitchen, opens chocolate kitchen vault – says ‘help yourself’
2:52 – Help self
2:55 – Still Helping Self
2:57 – General manager has look of regret on face.
2:58 – Have found more room so keep helping self.
2:59 – Concierge brings baggage trolley, General manager and staff help me onto it so I can be wheeled to boat.
3:05 – Boat offloads ballast so that the round contestant from NZ can be loaded on.
3:10 – Depart for Hamilton Island on board a 34m mono hull The Sungoddess , Hayman staff members also on board, muttering something about heading back into city to re-stock chocolate.
4:30 – Arrive back, taken into press conference.
4:35 – Stifle laughing as the only question asked to everyone is by a Japanese reporter about Swine flu. Everyone tries to give sincere answer, no one films any of it – and 16 contestants all suddenly become experts giving opinions on how to contain this pandemic.
5:00 – Interviewed by German TV crew – note to self – Sarcasm doesn’t seem to work to well with German reporters – who knew?
5:15 – Shower/change read notes from day
5:45 – Blogging exercise –agghhh its school exams all over – given just under an hour and a half to write up whole days experience and insert photos. Dig myself into a waffly hole and discover I’m still gushing about the boat ride out – with only 30 mins remaining.
6:15 – 15 minutes remaining, writing as fast as I have ever done in my life – curse not being able to touch type, bristle when Eric from Canada next to me announces he has finished.
6:59 – slap in first pics I can find, lament how much dribble I’ve written – curse not managing time better – stress about not knowing the latin name for a Giant trevally – nearly break down trying to spell ‘spanse’…… then discover there is no such word with ‘expanse’ being what I am after.
7:10 – Dinner at Romano’s restaurant, still stressed about blogging disaster.
7:11 – Tempted to drown sorrows in alcohol, but eventually calmed down by lovely dinner companion from Hamilton Island tourism team in Sydney.
10:15 – Discover 6th wind – head to media centre for interview on Canadian TV
10:30 – meet a real life Canadian – Geoff? Greg? – am dazzled by his ability to retain entire weather report in his head.
10:40 – Have group interview with him, can’t decide what hurts my eyes more – the camera lights or his shirt.
11:00 – BACK IN HOTEL ROOM – so excited to see my bed – am tempted, but no need to document this
11:10 – Cannot actually type/spell or keep eyes open so reitre hurt.
5:45 – and so it begins – back on air with Newstalk ZB radio interview in NZ, discuss everything I’ve just written
6:45 – Finished – just need to load photos.
7:00 – Need to get back to psychometric test (see 6:30am) so will have to post photos later when I can.