Far Northern Expedition – Southbound
Monday the 29th of October, Spirit Of Freedom was sitting just off Horn Island awaiting its new arrivals before setting off on a dive expedition of the furthermost parts of the Great Barrier Reef. After an all night steam to the Great Detached Reef area we got off to a great start in dreamy conditions at ‘Perisher Blue’ before making our way up to Raine Island for a drift dive along the southern edge with giant Green Sea Turtles as they made their way up the beach after some to have travelled thousands of miles to lay their eggs on this tiny island out in the Coral Sea.
Unfortunately Captain Tony took a terrible turn to trouble town and we had to make a quick change of plans making sure our beloved captain was in safe hands.
Captain Joshua stepped up to the challenge of commanding this cracking crew and all their quirks as well as the most amazingly understanding and sympathetic quests.
We’d made it back into three-reefs area to crack on with the diving, firstly by having a couple epic dives at ‘Epic’ where a small pod of Bottle Nose Dolphins played amongst the divers. After a quick drift at ‘Turmoil’ we headed back to Great Detached for an afternoon and night dive at ‘The Pinnacle’.
The next day was followed by another five dives stretching from Great Detached Reef down to Wood Reef and then finally in the Five-Reefs area, before we began our journey south overnight we decided to give Spirit a quick buff to bring out her true shine of her glorious underbelly and after quick late night inspection she was looking good to go and away we went, Happy Birthday Deb.
Friday was a four dive day with most of which being exploratory dives as we trickled south along the outer reefs, ‘Ryan’s Rapids’ made for much excitement as if we couldn’t get enough already with ripping currents attracting reef sharks and a large school of Sailfin Snapper all the while the reef it’s self boasted some of the most spectacular plate branching corals.
Once again we steamed through the night down into the Creech Reef area for another four dives, starting at Aladdin’s Cave then tiptoeing towards ‘Taku’s Taco’ where a Leopard Shark lay in wait. Over lunch we continued our journey south stopping off at ‘Amazing Grace’ and Joan Reef, both dives being drag racing drifts with the incoming tide. With an early night and a well-deserved rest we awoke the next morning in the lower Ribbon Reefs some 120 nautical miles south of Joan Reef. After an easygoing wall dive we moved down to ‘Steve’s Bommie’ for a double dive before finishing off what had been one hell of a wild week at ‘Flair Point’.
Over the week that had been unpredictable, unprecedented & an unbelievable expedition we covered over 600 nautical miles while completing 24 dives across 20 different locations.
A massive thank you must go out to you all that joined Spirit Of Freedom; it is beautiful people like yourselves that make these Far North Expeditions so special and so much fun.