YD Scuba Diving Forums banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
I went DIR... but my bungies pulled me back!
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Imported post

Has anyone had any experience of diving the GBR and Coral Sea from the Spirit of Freedom.  Hope to go in March next year and any comments would be welcome.

Darren
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Imported post

Hi, yes, my wife and I did this trip this April/May.
I am dashing back to work now, but will try to give the info tonight.
Cheers, Malcolm.
 

·
I went DIR... but my bungies pulled me back!
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Imported post

Look forward to hearing about your trip.

Cheers

Darren
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Imported post

Hi Darren, this won't be long; I'm no great typist!
Our diving was in early May 03.

Boarded at Cairns and did the Coral Sea trip 1st, with a dive on Opal reef on the way. Vis almost UK like, i.e., not great.
Got a note in logbook-----white caps, that set the scene for much of the trip.

Long and very bumpy ride out to Osprey reef way beyond the Barrier Reef, slept part of way, and had a weird poltergeist type dream due, I think, to the wild seas. At one point, my wife was lying on the bed, the next moment; she was standing bolt upright after a particularly enthusiastic lurch of the boat.
The wind was still pretty wild, but we got some great dives in superb vis.
Dramatic drop offs down to where we shouldn’t go, and really attractive corals etc----about as unspoilt as you could ask for.
A few sharks around, but surprisingly, we saw very few large fish.
Night dive very attractive, one of our divers reckons he was bumped by a shark on his torch hand----nothing bad, but there certainly was a cut on his hand.
There is a dive out there noted for the sharks, due to the weather, we couldn't do this one.
Only had one day out in the Coral Sea, the winds were really strong----gale force 8 so we had to run for cover to the barrier reef after another exciting steam.

We dived St Kilda also this year, and the seas were a lot higher and livelier in Aus!!

Plenty of cover behind the barrier reef and a lot of really pretty diving.
Mainly fairly shallow in good vis, although not as good as Osprey reef.

Corals in great condition, we only saw 1 other dive boat at sea, Mike Balls.

The Cod Hole dive was in a pretty strong current, I think, due to the strong winds, some of us were hanging on for grim death to whatever was handy to stop being swept away, plus the boat snapped it’s moorings which made returning to the ship post dive rather too challenging, we were all picked up by the RIB.

All in all, it was a superb trip.
The boat is excellent, large, comfortable-----and very white!!
Crew, very competent and friendly.
If you go, you will have a seriously good time, we loved the diving, and just as importantly, we loved this part of Australia.
I loved it so much; I am going back in March 04 to work for 6 months----plus to do a lot of diving!

If I can help with any other info, please let me know.

Cheers, Malcolm.
 

·
I went DIR... but my bungies pulled me back!
Joined
·
400 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Imported post

Sounds like you had quite a trip!.

Were the dive guides quite strict in guiding people or were they happy to allow a bit of freedom when conditions allowed.  Also was nitrox available on the boat?

Thanks for an interesting write up and hopefully March will offer better weather than May

Cheers

Darren
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Imported post

Hi, Yes, nitrox was available at extra cost-----as it usually is.
There was no 'guiding'----unless specifically requested, and I think, seperately charged for.
Divers were buddied, and treated like qualified divers.
Dive quals were properly checked.
There were a group of Japanese divers who did want to be guided everywhere, which was catered for.
By and large, the rest of the group dived as independant buddy pairs.
No limit to bottom times, good predive briefings, and strict attention to signing back onto the boat postdive.
The boat was the best I've seen, very comfortable, and a large dive deck. I would certainly dive with them again----probably concentrating on the Coral Sea trips.
Tropical Far North Queensland is a great place-----you won't be able to swim on the beaches when you go though because of the box jelly fish, stay within the stinger nets if you do. Diving on the reefs, they are no problem.
Have a great time, Cheers, Malcolm.
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Top