The Great Barrier Reef is the largest coral reef in the world located off the north eastern coast of Australia. It's a single piece of living organism to be seen from space. Well known for its vast biodiversity, warm clear waters and very popular dive destination. The outer part of the Great Barrier Reef is favoured for such activities, due to water quality.
We booked a 5D4N LOB trip to dive the Osprey Reef to do some shark feeding and Cod Hole for Potato Cod feed, but we ended up doing neither one. All these due to an approaching cyclone. We had very bad sea on the first day and low visibility throughout the dive trip (5-15m). I find it hard to write about this trip because it will not give justice to this place on a good day.
However I would like to share my experience about diving in Australia in general compare to other part of the world. As usual, we were given a dive briefing before each dive, the LOB will be tied to the permanent anchorage points, the Cruise Director will draw up the dive site map, write down what to see, how deep, how long and safety stop. After which we will all suit up, buddy up and go diving but here's the catch, we won't be accompany by a Dive Guide or Dive Master. They only keep an eye on us from the LOB!! We are asked to dive on our own with our buddy following the dive briefing and dive plan. For day dives, we can surface anywhere we end up, the dinghy will pick us up, but they don't actually pick us up, they will throw us a rope and drag us back to the big boat. At times, it can be a long way back and the choppy sea made it hard to hold on to the rope. For night dives, we are suppose to make sure we come back to the decent/permanent anchorage point at the end of the dive. I can't imagine how an inexperienced diver will be able to figure out where to go underwater and navigate back to the starting point, it must be stressful, safety? what safety? So if you plan to dive in Australia, make sure you are experience enough or have a good dive buddy.
Oh right, we can actually ask for a dive master if needed, we did asked for one on the first dive but halfway down the dive, the dive master went missing in action. What kind of dive master ditch the dive group? We end up going on our own for the rest of the dives.
A couple of dive sites are good like Temple of Doom, 2 1/3, Steve's Bommie and Ribbon Reef. Coral are pretty healthy and colorful, sweetlips, snappers, turtles, sharks almost every dives, if not for the bad sea and bad visibility, the trip can be superb, so diving was ok but service sucks!
Travel date : 21 - 26 Jan 2005
Travel route : SG -F-> Cains -> B -> Great Barrier Reef
Accommodation and diving : LOB TAKAType of diving : Reef, wall
Water temperature : 28-30°C
Best time to dive : Year round but Jan to Apr is wet season with higher rainfall and sometime typhoon.
-F-> Flight -B-> Boat -C-> Car