Thu 7th September 2017 – Mon 11th September 2017
When Captain Tony brings up the weather charts onto the TV in the Saloon you know that it is going to be a fun trip to Osprey Reef. We started out by talking about the weather and then moved on to talking about how awesome the GBR and Coral Sea are. To back this up we headed out to Coral Princess Bommie and Google Gardens for our first two dives of the trip. These two sites have an incredible amount of coral on them that is in very good condition. We always ask everyone after diving these sites if they believe all the media stories about the condition of the reef after been here. There is not a single person who isn’t wide eyed after seeing these sites and talking about how incredible they are.
The crossing out to Osprey was much talked about before hand, we do love Osprey and it is worth the travel to get out there but we do prepare for it with sea sick tablets and the understanding that it can be a little bouncy on the crossing. We had just such a crossing for this trip but everyone took it well. Some decided to catch up on sleep by skipping the first dive of the day while others embraced the free flowing coffee and kicked off the day with a couple of hammerheads on the first dive at Blue Marlin Wall. The early diver does get the good sharks.
Feed the sharks at North Horn is always fun and especially unique for the crew who get very up close with these animals during feeding time. It has always been tradition here of SOF that crew who are on their last trip get to feed the sharks. So with the departure of the Canadian Thor who has been with us for three and a half years it was Elliot’s turn to get into the middle of the action. To kick things off all the grey reefies vanished for a moment as a large silver tip cruised in for a look, with the departure of the silver tip the grey reefies were back and Thor opened the food cage with no problems at all. The food was devoured in a couple of minutes and then the hunt was on for teeth that had come loose during feeding. Nice job Elliot and thanks for the memories mate.
Soft coral wall had the perfect current flowing down it with plenty of sunlight laminating the corals and the sharks and large tuna gliding by in the blue. The local Potato Cod also made an appearance. It was a lovely chilled out dive to finish our time at North Horn.
We headed down to Admiralty Anchor to finish of the day with an Afternoon and Night dive. The swim throughs were are a hit as always during the afternoon. We also had a Manta on the surface at the back of the boat and the smiling German managed to get some very nice eagle ray photo’s. The night dive yielded a small octopus as well as a nice school of bump head parrot fish coming in for an evening feed before settling down for a snooze.
We awoke to a cracking sunrise and a small current at ATB. With only a small current we took the opportunity to hover over the cleaning station down at 30 meters for as long as we could on our NDL time. Dog tooth tuna, sharks and scores of soft corals lighting up the sight with the colors of the rainbow. I believe the description best summing up this dive was, “bleep, that was bleep awesome, bleep I could do that all bleep day” Thanks Mick, no worries on the use of the French at all mate.
False entrance was a bit tougher with the wind and tide having a tussle over which way the water wanted to flow. With the wind winning and the out going water flowing we dropped in using the mooring line to help us get down to the bottom. Once we got there a large school of Trevally greeted us. A couple of sleepy white tips were layzing on the bottom. With the current working us pretty hard we kept low to the bottom and hugged the sides of the channels as we looked over the new coral growth on this site.
We stopped in at castles for a double dip for the afternoon. Lots of exploring on this site with very visually stunning topography. Swim throughs and cracks in the reef all making this a really interesting site.
Sunday Morning and Steve’s Bommie was a lovely sight after a wee few bumps in the night coming back from Osprey. We had Octopus, Sharks, Nudi’s and fish galore on the two dives we did here.
After Lunch we headed across to Flair Point where we spent the afternoon with cuttlefish, turtles and rays. We sat upstairs and downed a cold one while watching the sunset and the sky put on a display of reds and purples that leave an artist in envy. Simons BBQ dinner hit the spot as it always does and then it was stories and cheese time while we headed south for Cairns.
Another great Osprey trip, with great people and fantastic diving.