4 Day Coral Sea Trip
On the morning of 17 January, Spirit of Freedom departed Lizard Island with 22 passengers for a 4-day trip to the Coral Sea.
After a delicious lunch, the vessel made a quick stop at a beautiful dive site known as Google Gardens for a checkout dive before proceeding to ‘The Monolith” for an afternoon and night dive. Most divers would later describe this night dive as the highlight of the trip, as once underwater they were greeted by dozens of sharks and large schools of predatory fish such as red bass and giant trevally.
After the night dive, SOF left the ribbon reefs for the open ocean and steamed for nearly 10 hours for a two-day excursion out to Osprey Reef.
Friday began with a morning dive at False Entrance, where divers were stunned by the sheer drop-offs, abundant fish life, and visibility exceeding 40 metres. After enjoying a hearty second breakfast, divers were able to explore a number of swim throughs at the nearby Nautilus Caves.
After lunch and a bit of a rest, SOF steamed down to Admiralty, a dive site located adjacent to the entrance to Osprey Reef, where they completed an afternoon dive as well as an additional night dive.
Saturday was kicked off with three dives at North Horn, the very northern tip of Osprey Reef. Despite the vessel remaining in the same location, each dive was very different as passengers completed drift dives along Soft Coral Wall and Blue Marlin Wall. After lunch came the famous shark feed!
Passengers were treated to one of nature’s most impressive moments as twenty to thirty grey reef sharks were observed in a full-on feeding frenzy.
After a long day, the final dive at Osprey took place at a site called ‘The Gap’, a relaxing dive with little to no current but a variety of massive soft corals and schooling barracuda.
Overnight, Spirit of Freedom steamed back into the ribbon reefs for a double-dive session at Steve’s Bommie. As it is nearly impossible to find all of the site’s most sought-after marine life in a single dive, a second chance meant that each passenger got to see it all!
After nearly four action-packed days of diving, passengers were able to enjoy the last two dives of the trip at the bottom of Ribbon Reef 3 at Flair Point Joanie’s Joy. Both sites are covered with extensive and shallow coral gardens, providing a extended bottom times and a relaxing end to the trip’s diving.
After a final BBQ night filled with delicious food, wine, and cheese platters, SOF departed the ribbon reefs and made its way back to Cairns with both passengers and crew extremely satisfied from a truly great trip.