3 Day Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs Trip
Trip Report Cod Hole 02/04/2018 26 guests boarded Spirit Of Freedom as it sat by the Wharf in Cairns; it was a somewhat cloudy day.
Being up in the Far North Queensland this time of the year is Wet season so we are very accustomed to having the odd Cyclone brewing here and there. Today we had Cyclone Iris down in the south, which made conditions for our first check out dive a tad bit windy! Nothing we couldn’t handle! Whatever doesn’t kill us makes us stronger and we jumped in at Norman Reef, Troppos to dive below the surface and enjoy the peace and calm of The Great Barrier Reef!
Once everyone was accustomed to the Spirit way of diving wesat for a marvelous dinner prepared by our chef Sam and headed up North.
Tuesday morning we awoke up on the Ribbon Reefs at Steves Bommie, with a bit of current running Steves produced the goods as always, plenty of schooling fish enjoying the water flow and lots of amazing macro life to find hiding around the pinnacle.
Then we cruised up to RR#5, Clam Gardens where the winds had well and truly left us, and the conditions were looking lovely! Guests enjoyed cruising around the nice sloping bank finding Giant Clams and even a couple of guests Nicky and Wendy were lucky enough to spot not 1 but 3 MANTA RAYS!
Then onwards and up wards towards RR#9 Coral Princess Bommie, where we saw some White Tip Reef Sharks and lots of Pipe Fish, Nudibranchs and Sea Cucumbers.
Moving around to Challenger Bay we tied up for a double dive here, the afternoon dive was great, Leafy Scorpion Fish, Sharks, Turtles, Bat Fish, Spiny Cheek Anemone Fish and Garden Eels scattered around on the sand!
Then jumped in for our night dive and watched, as the site became a feeding frenzy of Grey Reef Sharks, White Tip Reef Sharks, Red Bass and GT’s using our torchlight to hunt their prey! Awesome experience for everyone onboard especially those who’s was their first night dive!
Wednesday we woke up for a morning dive at Google Gardens, and could not have asked for better conditions. Low winds and minimal swell and current let the divers explore the whole site. This site is truly amazing with the amount of hard coral coverage as well as small soft corals around all the bommies.
Then we moved over to Pixie Pinnacle where the guests enjoyed diving around the big underwater structure with plenty of fish everywhere to see. Schools of Fusiliers, Anthias scattered the bommie and schools of Jacks circling in the blue.
We headed up to RR#10 for the Cod Hole dive and it was an awesome feed with 3 big Potato Cod coming into say hello to all the divers. The big friendly sea puppies got up close and into everyone personal space just how they like it.
We then made our way to Snake Pit for the last dive of the trip and as it has been full moon recently we’ve been experiencing some big tides, thus bringing some current. So we had a nice strong current running through the site.
Being in-between Lizard Island and the Reef it doesn’t offer too much protection, however with current comes life and we spotted 10-12 Eagle Rays, plenty of fish and even a huge Logger Head Turtle. You may have to work a little harder on this site, but it offers the marine life that Spirit Of Freedom dives for!
Once again finishing off another amazing Cod Hole Trip as we steamed over toLizard Island and enjoyed an Aussie Style BBQ onboard and the beautiful sunset.
Thank you to all the guests for a great trip, with fun & safe diving, we look forward to seeing you all underwater again soon!
No Troubles, Just Bubbles Lucy Hutchinson Trip Director