Far North Expedition – North Bound
Spirit of Freedom was ready to disembark on the North bound Far North Expedition where we would travel over 7 days covering a distance of up to 600 nautical miles and dive a range of sites up the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef and the Great Detached Reef.
These isolated reef systems are remote and have yet to be explored, our 7 day Far North trip combined exploratory diving with some of our already discovered sites.
Our first day we dived around Ribbon Reef #9 where we did our check out dive and our first few dives of the trip, we got to dive some of the best pinnacle sites like Pixie Pinnacle and Lighthouse Bommie, unfortunately we did not have the right tides to dive the Cod Hole on this day so we dived Google Gardens instead with great coral coverage and a range of beautiful GBR fish life.
Day 1 Dive Sites:
We then started our over night travel up past Lizard Island and further north to a reef system called Creech Reef, the first dive at Taku’s Taco was an amazing way to start and really show what this far north expedition is all about, an amazing sloping reef covered in lots of hard healthy coral with visibility 30+M and fish everywhere before it drops off to a deep wall of depth. We also got to explore Aladin’s Cave, Leopards Lane and found a new site we named Barracuda Bonanza where we spotted a few Leopard Sharks, Loggerhead Turtle and plenty of Silver Tip sharks buzzing around.
Day 2 Dive Sites: Creech Reef
(TBA) Barracuda Bonanza
Another over night cruise even further up north to the Great Detached reef where we planned to spend the next few days exploring this reefs and diving the hell out of it! FAR NORTH BABY!
The next few days consisted of some Live Drops and Tender drops, we dived Deep Pinnacle and enjoyed getting depth and seeing massive Gorgonian Sea Fans the size of small car, we enjoyed crazy washing machine current dives such as Turmoil where not all of us made it back to the boat and our safety sausages were our best friends, divers were surrounded by 7 devil rays as they played in the current. We explored sites such as Winter Wonderland and Perisher Blue, Kings Bommie and The pinnacle where the coral was pristine and you couldn’t help but be mesmerized by the beauty and life living and thriving on these reefs. We spent time exploring and finding new sites such as Pacman, where we had a whale shark cruise up to SOF and then disappear, unfortunately none of the divers got to see it but the crew onboard had a glimpse of this incredible creature. We dived Epic, which is a huge sea mound that roises up from about 200+M to create a dive-able reef with current running over the top of it at about 10M. We finished at Raine Island on the Saturday with 2 live drops to follow the wall and search for the very skittish Green Turtles. This time of the year is the green sea turtle nesting season and it brings in hundreds of turtles to Raine Island, the visibility was only bout 10m as we sit right out in the open ocean however we did spot a few turtles swimming around. We finished off our last day with 2 dives around Jukes Cay where we spotted a school of Bumphead Parrot Fish and Wobbygong shark and with a finish dive at a new site we discovered which we named Sharknado! As we jumped in there wasn’t too much current but about 10-20 inquisitive sharks and by the end of the dive the current picked up and starting ripping over this sea mound. EPIC DIVING and an awesome way to finish off a fantastic trip, with lots of adventures and crazy currents.
Day 3 Dive Sites: Great Detached Reef
Winter Wonderland Live Drop
Big woody x2
Day 4 Dive Sites:
(TBA) Great Detached Northern Entrance
(TBA) King Bommie
The Pinnacle x2
Day 5 Dive Sites:
Perisher Blue Live Drop
Rains Island x2
Day 6 Dive Sites:
Jukes Reef, Captain’s Red’s Point of Pain
It has been a wild 7 days on this North Bound Far North Expedition onboard Spirit of Freedom, we were blessed with glass out conditions and spectacular coral reefs, it has been wonderful exploring these reef systems and showing our divers what the far north has to offer. Thank you to our guests and divers, we hope you enjoyed your time onboard and we hope to see you all in the near future again.
FAR NORTH BABY!