Monday 30th October – Thursday 2nd November 2017
On a Beautiful late October morning 26 guests boarded Spirit of Freedom in Cairns to depart on their diving adventure out to the Great Barrier Reef. As the passengers got accustomed to the vessel safety, Spirit’s diving procedures and settled into their new floating home for the next 3 days we had arrived at Saxon Reef, at a dive site called South Point to begin our first 2 dives of the trip.
Waking up on Ribbon Reefs #3 we started our big 5-dive day to an absolute glass off, perfect conditions to jump in for a dive at Steve’s Bommie. Of course everyone came up smiling as the Stonefish decided to put on quite a show. An array Anemone Fish and Leafy Scorpion fish seemed to impress everyone. The marine life at this spot is always something exceptional.
Cruising a little further up the ribbons divers enjoyed the sparkling, spectacular sites of Rouge as the sun shined down through the deep cracks and gaps in the wall. Its great to see all the different species of Anemone Fish and reef fish about.
Taking the scenic route we arrived at Tower of Tomoko for a fun little dive navigating our way around the small coral reef, with a big Queensland Grouper coming to say hello.
As the sun got lower in the sky and Spirit steamed further up the ribbons we stopped at one of our favorite spots up here. Challenger Bay for a day dive where divers had a chance to see the marine life out and about. Many little reef fish enjoying the afternoon sunbeams warming up the water. Once the sun had set we all jumped in for a night dive and of course Challenger did not disappoint. Plenty of Grey Reef Sharks, White Tip Reef sharks, GT’s and Moray Eels were out for their evening hunt. But the highlight of this exciting, action packed dive was a massive Logger Head Turtle spotted hanging around by the mooring line.
Wednesday morning was bliss as the sun rose up over smooth, calm seas. We began our day at Google Gardens, a pristine spot with a cascading seabed of stunning, healthy corals. Mesmerized but the array of different types of hard and soft corals divers got a bit of a shock when they saw a large Bull Shark swim by. A little bit of morning excitement to get the day started.
Mother earth has been treating us with the marvelous conditions out here and cruising into the Cod Hole was really something special. Beautiful blue panoramic views with fabulous visibility. Guests enjoyed an up close and personal experience with our friends the Potato Cod, we had about 4 or 5 Cod come and swim around with us. Divers enjoyed some depths afterwards down on the deeper ridges.
We then headed out in between RR#10 and Lizard Island we arrived at Snake Pit, a big mound plateau that sits at about 16m dropping down to 40m with a nice small current it was great dive conditions to do this particular dive site. We spotted an Olive Green Sea Snake; a shy Eagle Ray swam past as well as seeing some Cuttle Fish, Flat Worms and plenty of amazing Feather Stars.
For the last dive of our Cod Hole trip we decided to mix things up with a drift dive down Dynamite Pass, cruising along the wall, it was a fun way to finish off our time out here in the Ribbon Reefs.
We have been very lucky with the weather the last few days; it has really made this Cod Hole Trip something to remember. With a great, fun bunch of like-minded people coming together to enjoy the magnificence of The Great Barrier Reef, this trip will be remembered forever.
No Troubles… Just Bubbles
Trip Director SOF