Mon 2nd October 2017 – Thu 5th October 2017
As we departed Cairns on a nice, sunny Monday afternoon with 26 guests and 11 crew onboard, we made our way to Saxon Reef, it was satisfying for some to refresh their skills and get back in the water as others set off to explore the GBR for the first time. We met some turtles, sharks and lizardfish along the way. We finished our second dive, as the sun was setting and then prepared to travel north to the remote areas of the Ribbon Reefs. Not a bad way to spend a Monday.
Rise and shine and what a beautiful sunrise it was. Here we are at one of our most loved places on the GBR, Steve’s Bommie. A lovely pinnacle dive with so much life to offer, our guests enjoyed getting some depth to start their morning. Finding themselves diving in fish soup, an abundance of life; Nemo’s, Nudis, Unicorn fish, Leafy scorpion fish, fusiliers and a friendly turtle. Not to forget a Great Barracuda and a Marbled Grouper.
Next we headed up to Ribbon Reef #5 for a dive at Rouge, an epic wall dive with lots of cracks and caves to explore. Along the way we found a Moray eel, an interesting looking Squat Crab and lots of different Clown fish.
Cruising further up north to Ribbon Reef #8, we geared up for our 3rd dive of the day around Tower of Tomoko, a nice little bommie we all made it around and saw a rather massive Marbled grouper, Yellowtail Barracuda and a couple of baby Grey Reef Sharks.
As the day came to a close we moored up on RR# 9 at Challenger Bay. We still had 2 more dives in us so we jumped in to check out Challenger by day. Then just like that as the sun set behind the clouds and darkness fell upon us. It was Challenger Bay at night. NIGHT DIVE TIME!!! As the Parrotfish prepared their night shields and the predators set out on their nightly hunt, us humans prepared our torches and scary shark stories. Great success, we saw plenty of White tip and Grey Reefies, GT’s and Moray Eels out and about. Everyone made it back to the boat in one piece 😉
After a fabulous night sleep, we were up and at it again. Awake bright eyed and well rested, ready for our dive at Lighthouse Bommie. And it was freaking awesome! A Devil Ray, 2 grey reef sharks, schools of barracuda, schools of jack fish, Tuna, 6 olive sea snakes, nudibranch, fusiliers. I didn’t know where to look. Seriously one of those dives where everybody came up smiling… Happy days!
We then made it up to the famous Cod Hole where we picked the perfect time for the tides to be in our favor. Once we were briefed and ready to meet our lovely potatoey friends we all jumped in to begin the feed.
An up close and personal encounter with a very large Potato Cod is definitely on a few peoples buckets lists so lets tick that one off.
We had about 3 or 4 Cods show up for the feed and then they cruised around with us while we checked out the rest of the cod hole for a dive.
We couldn’t miss out on diving one of the crews favorites sites so we headed back down to Google Gardens on RR #9-ish. It always makes me happy to see such beautiful, healthy coral out here. It is a very pretty, pristine site. We saw some Cuttlefish, Maori Wrasse, Pipefish, Sweetlips and plenty more.
Its come to that time where we jump in the water for the last dive of the Cod Hole trip and everyone was amazed to see the bright colours of Fairy Basslet and Sail fin Queens. We then made our way to Lizard Island for a beautiful Aussie style BBQ cooked by our chef Simon. To toast the end of a great trip J
To the deepest parts of the ocean.