4 Day Coral Sea Trip
Spirit of Freedom had to anchor up on the opposite side of Lizard Island to normal due to the northerly winds that we have been having. But this didn’t stop us in having a lovely little walk on the beach and to the airstrip for the people getting off. This meant the people flying in from their scenic flight from cairns got to have a little explore of the island before coming on board Spirit. Luckily they also dodged all the rain.
Unfortunately we had to explain almost straight away that we had northerly winds and it was going to be hard for us to find sites, which would make it more exciting for them as we might be doing exploratory diving with tender or live drops.
First up for our checkout dives we went up to Hicks reef north of Lizard Island and did 2 dives at Hic Ups. Tony, the Skipper decided not to do the night dive here as the conditions weren’t favorable, but we would try and do it the next night. This is also when we made the call to stay in the Ribbons that night due to the winds and squalls coming through.
The next day we started out on Day reef on a sight called Sunrise Surprise. After the first dive we traveled south to Ribbon Reef 10 to dive Fish Market where some lucky passengers got to see a manta ray. We then went to a highlight bommie of ours in the form of Lighthouse where they got to see green turtles cleaning themselves and sea snakes swimming between their legs. We finished off the day on Ribbon Reef 8 on a site called The Crack, the guests got to see some Dory’s finally which they were happy about. We were due to do a night dive here but visibility dropped to about 3 meters due to a big squall that came through and we had to drop the lines so Spirit stayed safe and we couldn’t then find the mooring line again. Which meant the guests could start on the beers a little earlier.
On Saturday we started the day with fantastical Vertical gardens, with beautiful visibility. We then hopped over to Pixie Pinnacle, where all the macro life was out in force, we had nudis galore, shrimps feasting everywhere and mantis shrimp.
We then went over to Google Gardens which is our favorite coral garden on Ribbon Reef 9, and it didn’t disappoint with coral everywhere and even some cuttle fish made an appearance. We finished the day with 2 dives on Wonderland, an afternoon dive and a night dive. And everything was out they had sharks, shrimps, nudis, crabs, eels, rays they came up loving it.
On our final day we decided to play chicken with the weather and went to Steve’s Bommie, just as the last guests were coming up from the dive the wind started to pick up which meant we had to move further south, to Ruby Reef on a site called Candy Crush. We then moved further south still and did our final 2 dives of the trip on Escape Reef on Convict Bommie where they were greated by a lone Manta Ray.
We would like to thank all the passengers for their patience and understanding about not going out to Osprey and for putting up with the weather. But we had a fantastic trip.