4 Day Coral Sea Trip
A rather rainy stop in at Lizard Island as 19 guests came to meet the already 4 7 days guests aboard Spirit of Freedom. We had a very special guests join us for the Coral Sea Trip, the man himself… Mr Nick Leigh was coming out for a luxury trip with his partner Martina to spend her Birthday on the Coral Sea.
Once everyone has arrived and took shelter in the cozy cabins of SOF we headed out to Ribbon #9 where we were to do 3 dives. The check out dive was at Pixie Gardens, guests had a lovely surprise from a Manta Ray sighting. We then headed over to Pixie Wall for an afternoon dives and our night dive. Lots of Shark and Giant Trevally action.
We then battened down the hatches and prepared the vessel for our overnight voyage out into the Coral Sea. Waking up Friday morning out at Osprey Reef. We had Northerlys blowing, so we headed to A-Maze-Ing for our first dive on the southern side of Osprey. Then we did a live drop at Fan Ledge, and onto onto False Entrance and finish off at Secret Caves. Osprey Reef is all about the massive wall drop offs and typography. We spotted a few larger Grey Reef Sharks and Tuna, schools of fusiliers, Parrot Fish and Moari Wrasse.
With the winds calm enough to spend 3 days in the Coral Sea, means trip we’ve lucked out with the weather and we get to go to the Coral Sea Reefs that we normally only get to a handful of times a year. We headed to Bougainville Reef that evening and started things off with a Live drop at Corner Shop meeting a very friendly Potato Cod along the way, Anchors Away was next to check out the MASSIVE Anchor left lying in a crack in the reef, then onto Wall Mart and for the last dive we did another Live Drop up the southern wall. Bouganiville Reef offers once again amazing wall dives and drop offs into 1000+M of water; the hard corals and fish life out on this small reef system is very impressive. The visibility had been 40+M. We’ve seen schools of jacks, Barracuda, reef Sharks, the Coral Sea Black Butterfly Fish and Tuna.
Once we’d finished our last dive it was all aboard and we headed further south to Holmes Reef where we did another 4 dive day on Sunday. Holmes Reef offers beautiful soft corals, some as big as small cars, some schooling fish life and incredible visibility. We started things off at Nonkies Bommie for our first dive; this pinnacle is an amazing underwater mountain structure with big beautiful gorgonian sea fans all around the bommie. 2nd dive we did a Live Drop dive down Holmes Run Wall, then onto Double Trouble to explore around the small pinnacles, spotting Snowflake Moray Eels and once again beautiful Sea Fans. Finally finishing off at Holmes Time (great name) for a nice shallow cruisey dive, navigating through the shallow bommies. We saw a Marbled Ray and some White Tip Reef Sharks.
That concludes an amazing Coral Sea Trip, diving some of the best reefs out here, it is great to see such good coral and fish life out in these remote ecosystems.
Happy Birthday to Martina, Liz and Elli and thank you to the wonderful guests for spending time with us out on Spirit of Freedom!
No Troubles… Just Bubbles
Lucy Hutchinson, Trip Director