3 Day Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs
It was a fine day in Cairns when a bunch of underwater adventurers joined Spirit Of Freedom and her crew. After all the meets, greets and safety briefs it was time for us to make way for the Great Barrier Reef.
We had a three trip ahead of us where we would do 11 dives on several reef systems all the way north up to Lizard Island, with a good weather forecast to go along with it.
On Monday afternoon we did two dives on Saxon Reef, which is 30 nautical miles NW of Cairns, here everyone became familiar with our procedures as well as a couple of refreshers for some while several turtles glided along the reef.
Over night we steamed north to the Ribbon Reefs and when we arose in the morning we were at Ribbon #3 for a dive at Steve’s Bommie. Always a spectacular dive and a great way to introduce everyone to the Ribbons. We had five dives planned for the day and the second was up on Ribbon #5 on a pinnacle dubbed Crack’A’Jack, rising up from nearly 40m here we get to see a huge array of species, big to small.
Over lunch we had made our way up to Ribbon # 7 to Tower Of Tomoko, a nice little out crop to circumnavigate.
We then carried on north up to Challenger Bay, just in between Ribbon Reef #9 & #10, here we would an afternoon and night dive.
When darkness falls all the predatory fishcome out to play with Giant Trevally and Red Bass hunting in our torch lights while reef sharks lurked in the shadows in search of an easy meal. For the evening we had a night at anchor up on ribbon #10, a peaceful nights rest aheadof another action packed day.
In the morning we jumped in at Goggle Gardens on ribbon #9, magnificent corals cover the reef wall and in patches of branching corals Cuttle Fish guard their eggs.
After breakfast we moved up to Lighthouse Bommie, another spectacular pinnacle, which hosts an assortment of marine life with Nudibranchs, Disco Clams, schooling barracuda and turtles. Next up was the notorious Cod Hole! Just like clock work several giant Potato Cod showed up wanting a cheeky afternoon snack and of course that all important selfie. Our final dive of the trip was up around the corner in Dynamite Pass, here the water is always blue with soft corals lining the wall and juvenile fish seeking shelter in the shallows. Once we were all packed up we made way for Lizard Island to watch the sun set over the mainland with drink in hand complemented by an amazing Australian style BBQ.
Thursday morning we hopped over to the island for a nice walk along the beach before our final goodbyes and a scenic low level flight back to Cairns.
Until next time, peace out! Ellis Trip Director