4 Day Coral Sea Trip 13
One sunny Thursday morning a plane full of underwater adventurers flew up to Lizard Island to ‘Spirit Of Freedom’ and her crew, it was the perfect day to start a perfect trip out into the Coral Sea and Ribbon Reefs.
Our day started with the meets, greets and safety briefs before we hit the water in the afternoon. First stop was Challenger Bay located at the bottom of Ribbon #10 where we did our customary check out dive to shake off the rust and get familiarized with procedures on board. We did our second dive here also before we battened down the hatches and made way for Osprey Reef out in the middle of the Coral Sea, just a quick overnight steam and we were there by sunrise.
For the second day of the expedition we had five dives planned along the NW wall of Osprey, first up was Spirit Plateau at day break, a great introduction to the style of diving that makes Osprey so unique with steep walls into the abyss and some nooks and crannies as which to explore in shallower water. Next up was Castles, which has many hidden swim throughs then after lunch was The Gap.
To finish off the day we did two dives on Admiralty the latter being a night dive where the reef transforms as giant Bumphead Parrot Fish sleep and hunting pelagics come in search of a feed. We spent the night out at Osprey with a solid nights rest ahead of another full day of diving.
The next morning we had tied up to North Horn to have a crack at some drift diving, the first along Marlin wall and after brekkie we coasted along the ever so beautiful Soft Coral Wall. After beauty came the beast, the Shark Attraction Dive where more than two dozen Grey Whalers come in close for a piece of the action, the sheer ferociousness of these gracious hunters is a sight to behold and a memory many will never forget.
To wrap up what was a stellar couple of days at Osprey we dived False Entrance in all her beauty, with an incoming tide the visibility was next to none and also the number fish schooling on the outer ledge was unfathomable. That night we headed back towards the lower Ribbon Reefs for our final day of diving before making way back to Cairns.
Sunday started with what has been rated by some as the best dive in the Ribbons, Steve’s Bommie. This dive sight has so much to offer from tiny nudibranchs to large pelagics and everything in between including Nemo, there is so much to see that we just had to do this site twice. After lunch is was time to start winding down what had been a spectacular trip by diving coral filled shallow bays housing many juvenile species and some resting turtles.
Following the fourth dive of the day, the fifteenth of the trip it was time to wash up all our equipment before settling in for a few quiets and a fabulous BBQ dinner prepped by our awesome chef Samuel. While cruising back to Cairns that night we swapped silly dive tales and also contacts for future trips here and abroad. With friendships forged and memories made it was time to disembark on Monday morning.
Many thanks to all the joined, Happy Days.