Diving the Reef

Trip Start Jan 19, 2006
Trip End Jan 19, 2007

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Flag of Australia  ,
Friday, April 14, 2006

Taka dive boat is pretty big (30 passengers about 10 crew) and is also quite new. Got on board to be shown our cabin which was twin bunk beds (pleasantly surprised as thought we were sharing) down in the basement. Next layer up was huge galley for food and relaxing and dive gear out back and sundeck on top. Crew were great and really friendly and helpful. First night was a bit 'rocky rolly' (as they say out here)
as we steamed all night up towards Lizard Island and our first dive site quite a long way north up the coast. We slept fine though fortunately and were ready for a day's diving. We are PADI qualified by the way (did our open water and advanced on our honeymoon in Tonga 4 and a bit years ago) Did 4 dives on our first day, one after brekkie, one mid-morning, another after lunch and then a night dive. Visibility was absolutely great - about 20 metres. Within 30 seconds of going in the water on our first dive
we saw a couple of sharks - fortunately white tip reef sharks (don't eat humans - we are told anyway) which was great. Coral was amazing colours and in great condition although mainly hard coral. Also absolutely thousands of fish of all shapes and sizes and fantastic colours again. Night dive was also good saw a sting ray and pretty good visibility considering we just had a torch and a bit less scary than our last night dive where there was loads of sea weed (although we couldn't be sure as we couldn't see very much). Great
day diving and great food too. Were absolutely shattered by the end of the day and slept very well ready for day 2 similar routine and still a bit unsettled conditions due to end of rainy season. Second dive we did was the 'Cod hole' which basically involved us all going to the bottom of the sea bed (pretty shallow - no more than 20 metres most of the places) and we all sat in a circle while the potato cod (huge fish - about 4/5 feet big) came swimming round looking for food and some other big fish too e.g. Napoleon Wrasse. One of the instructors
was feeding them in front of us in turn and our on board photographer/videographer recording it all for posterity. Was a great dive. Other dives also good that day and night day great as saw a shark at night although was a bit scary just seeing the flashing eyes through the water!
Favourite dive was 'Steve's Bommie' which was basically a great big pinnacle of coral which took a good 5 minutes to swim around but you start at the bottom and work your way up looking at all the coral, fish and sea life on your way which was really cool.

Final day we did our last dive and were shattered by this time before we spent a few hours crusing back into Cairns by mid-afternoon. A great trip, fantastic diving (comparable to our best in Maldives last year) and great people on board too. Went back to our hostel Traveller's Oasis and had a great room with a balcony, unfortunately just staying for one night though. Kathy and Gabe who own the place are great people to talk to for any advice if anyone is heading out here. Thoroughly recommend it!
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