Thu 5th October 2017 – Mon 9th October 2017
The guests flew into meet Spirit of Freedom moored up in the stunning Watson’s Bay, of Lizard Island. To begin their 4-day liveaboard experience out into the Coral Sea. We had a few familiar faces return for their 2nd trip with us, Russell and Peter, who brought along their friend Stephen. As well as a diving team all the way from South Korea and a mix bag of some other different nationalities. Always makes for a fun trip.
With a great bunch of guests, the crew let go of the lines and headed out to Ribbon Reef 9 ¾, to do our first 2 dives of the trip. The more experienced jumped in and set off to explore Pixie Gardens while some got used to breathing underwater again with the help of our wonderful instructors. We spotted a large Maori Wrasse, some Barracuda, Nudibranchs, and bundles of pipefish.
Once everyone was back on board it was time to prepare the boat for our steam out into the Coral Sea. Captain Tony is onboard and it’s only blowing 15-20 knots… No problem, Osprey Reef here we come!
Waking up 100miles off the coast of mainland Australia, we had arrived at Osprey Reef to begin our day with a dive at False Entrance. Timing could not of been better for this dive site. We jumped in at the top of an incoming tide, which allowed for little to no current with 50+ metre visibility. It was Awesome! Plenty of white tip sharks, schools of jacks, a few small Tuna swimming around as well as Bumphead Parrot fish as it gets closer to their mating season. The wall was filled with beautiful soft corals and plenty of little fish everywhere.
We then headed over to Nautilus Caves where we jumped in for an epic wall dive, allowing depth; some cool cracks and swim throughs. We spotted a few grey reef sharks in the blue.
It was Silver City for our 3rd dive of the day. The divers dropped down to look at the beautiful soft corals and fans on the deep ledge before ascending into the shallows and meandering their pathway through the underwater mountain structures resting on the deep oceanic shelf wall.
Making our way to the entrance of the Osprey Lagoon, we moored up at Admiralty for 2 dives. You never know what you are going to find here as it offers such a diverse array of marine life. Our guests were lucky enough to spot an Eagle Ray and lots of white tip reef sharks. They enjoyed the swim throughs and the amazing topography that this dive site offers. Our Dm/Hostee Christine, even saw a Manta Ray off in the distance. There is no photo proof so we are still a little unsure 😉 but anything is possible out here in the Coral Sea.
To finish off our action packed 5-dive day we set out for a night dive after dinner. We encountered many Bump Head Parrot fish sleeping in the crevasses, a few sharks cruising around and lots of weird and wonderful hermit crabs. Some adventurous divers did the swim through which is always awesome at night.
Day 2 out here at Osprey and we’ve come to the highlight of the trip. Mooring up at North Horn for 3 epic dives, this north point of osprey offers such a diverse range of dives. The visibility is 50+ meters, the sun is shining and everyone is in high spirits.
First with a drift dive down Blue Marlin Wall, with bump head parrot fish waking up and coming out off the reef, lots of tuna swimming past as well as some sharks eagerly awaiting their breakfast.
A nice surface interval and then we all geared up and got ready for our Shark Feed dive, everyone was very eager, even our first mate John was keen to blow some bubbles with the sharks. This week we had instructor Matty doing the honor of getting up close and personal to open the cage full of tuna heads.
It all went to plan without a hitch; everyone enjoyed the adrenaline rush of being surrounded by 40-50 grey reef sharks but not as much as Mr Potato Cod who pretty much owns the show every week. What a legend.
We headed over to Castles where everyone enjoyed their last dive out here in the Coral Sea. It’s a nice way to finish the day and this dive site really proves what Osprey is all about. Dropping down in the blue abyss to find a massive wall structure dropping down to 1000+ metres. Then diving around huge underwater mountains and swim throughs. This magical place makes you feel extremely small and puts this magnificent reef system into perspective.
Waking up back in Ribbon Reef #5 for a morning dive at Crack A Jack and what a cracker it was! Schools of jacks, leafy scorpion fish, coral trout, Barracuda, Glass fish, Nudibranchs. We had great conditions, minimal current and pretty nice visability. Happy Days.
Off we went to one of our favorite dive site down on RR #3 Steve’s Bommie! Where the guests went off in their buddy teams and explored this amazing pinnacle dive. Jacks, Barracuda, white tip reef sharks, stone fish, scorpion fish, lion fish, glass fish, nemos, moray eels, damsel fish, unicorn fish. EVERYTHING! We also found a new friend at depth and cant wait to come back and see him again… if you gnome what I’m talking about 😉
To finish off our Sunday Funday and our Coral Sea adventure, the guests were able to explore Century Bay and Flair point for 2 dives. We found crazy Cuttle fish, a massive Giant Moray Eel, blue spotted lagoon rays, nudibranchs and pretty corals.
So that concludes our wonderful trip, I’m sure everyone had a great time, lots of diving, eating, sleeping and repeating. What more could you want on a live aboard to the Great Barrier Reef and beyond?
No troubles, Just bubbles…
Trip Director SOF