Diving the Great Barrier Reef

Thursday we wake up at Lizard Island. It is change over day. The 3 day guests depart and the 4 day guests embark. We 7 day divers just continue on. To fill the time while the crew cleans the Spirit of Freedom, we go for a walk on the island. A stroll, really, through mangroves, up a small hill for a wide angle view and then down to the Marlin Bar at the 5 star Lizard Island Resort, where it is said that a room costs $1,100 per night per person and Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt spent their honeymoon.

After the new guests board and do all the preliminaries, we motor back to Lighthouse Bommie to see the Minke whales again and for the new arrivals to do their checkout dives. We are in luck this time and see a couple of Minkes close up. On the second dive, we hang out on the mooring line for about 30 minutes with our dive gear on, and the Minkes glide by numerous times, a couple of them quite close. Effortless swimmers and so big. We are in heaven!

Wake up on Friday at the Osprey Reef. Have motored all night for the 120, or so, mile crossing of open water. It is rough at times and sleep felt interrupted by the motion of the boat.

Four dives today, the most spectacular being a shark feeding dive. I never thought I would do one of these, but I find myself sitting on the wall of a coral amphitheatre watching the frenzy. There are about 20 to 25 reef sharks, two large cod fish and numerous small fish fighting for a couple of cod heads. I was actually quite calm as a shark swam right at me and over my head after the frenzy had died down.

Shark feed

On the other dives today Murray and I find numerous nudibranchs and flat worms which we love to discover. They are so colourful and when they do swim they are so graceful.

Nudibranch

Saturday, we wake up on Osprey Reef again for another four dives. We float in the void above a thousand foot drop off. Looking down into the depths, it is just black. Looking up to the sky is all blue water and brilliant. There is something about scuba diving that is peaceful. I could lay in the water and watch the fish for hours if I could.

Saturday night we cross open water again back to the shelter of the Great Barrier Reef. After about 10 minutes, we realize this crossing is not going to be easy and we pop some sea sickness pills. Our bed is laid out so we sleep perpendicular to the length of the boat. Not the best direction to lay when the conditions are rough. A person’s head and feet rock up and down when the boat rocks side to side. Laying parallel is better as the rocking motion is only from the right side to the left side of your body. I insist on sleeping parallel so I tuck myself down at the bottom of the bed and Murray lays down at an angle. The pills take effect and we are asleep way before we usually are. The pills are a success and when we wake up we are in calmer waters.

Flatworm

Our last four dives are wonderful, calm, relaxing and a great way to end our dive trip. We discover many creatures we haven’t seen yet, from nudibranchs to cuttlefish to leafy scorpions to gobies. We are sad it is over, but happy we have seen so much incredible wildlife.

Cuttlefish

Cuttlefish

 

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