4 Day Coral Sea
With a full boat of 26 excited guests and 10 crew members, Spirit of Freedom set out to Norman Reef, Playgrounds to begin our 3 day Cod Hole Trip up North through the Ribbon Reefs and up to Lizard Island. Once we got through the briefings, procedures and gear set up it was time to jump in for our first couple of dives of the trip. For some, their first dives on the GBR.
Tuesday morning, waking up on Ribbon Reef 3 for the first dive at Steves Bommie, its always a nice way to start the day. Spotting some unicorn fish, big-eyed trevally, Giant trevally as well as some Great Barracuda hanging around the surface and the masters of disguise, Stone Fish.
Up to RR number 5 to Clam Gardens, we got in for a nice leisurely dive along a sandy slope, checking out the coral bommies along the way. Spotting a cruisey Cuttle Fish hiding in the hard corals and a few White Tip reef sharks.
A nice long steam further up the GBR to RR number 9 ¼ to Coral Princess Bommie where guests enjoyed the hundreds of Garden Eels peeping out of the sand. We also saw Sweetlips, Barramundi Cod and some Mackerel.
Making our way to Challenger on RR 93/4 for our last 2 dives of the day, easing into the afternoon dive looking for little Pipe Fish, Nudibranchs and Bat Fish. Then once the sun had set, we geared up for the very famous and exciting Challenger Bay Night Dive. Of course it did not disappoint. The Trevally were already putting on a show for us on the surface but it wasn’t until you dropped beneath that you really saw all the feeding frenzy mayhem. Grey Reef and White Tip Reef Sharks, GTs, Red Bass and Moray Eels, were all darting around using our torchlights to find their prey.
Wednesday morning we woke up and headed to Lighthouse Bommie to start the day, before we even had a chance to check the current a curious Olive Sea Snake popped up for a look, as well as our friendly but shy Green Turtle Thomas came to say HI!
Then we were up to RR 10 for our dive at the Cod Hole, the guests were super excited to meet our big Sea Puppy friends… the Potato Cod. We had 1 Cod show up to the feed and he didn’t want to wait any longer for his pilchards. We had a Grey Reef Sharks show up as well as a few Devil Rays.
To finish off our Ribbon Reef adventure we headed to Dynamite Pass for a double dive. Because of the big tides we did 2 awesome drift dives down the canyon like wall. Second dive having a little more flow running than before. Along the way we spotted some Bumphead Parrot Fish, Barracuda, Mackerel, Moray Eels and a Scorpion Fish.
Once everyone was onboard we made our way to Lizard Island as the sun was setting over the ocean.
That brings us to the end of our 3day, 11-dive venture up The Great Barrier Reef.
No Troubles, Just Bubbles…
SOF Trip Director