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Reef Report for Saturday, December 17, 2005

Cod Hole Dive Trips with Taka Dive
The ultimate live aboard dive Trip?

While we could ourselves write a story about diving on Cod Hole and the Ribbon Reefs, we thought you might appreciate this story we received from Greg and Danielle, a young adventurous couple from California, who just returned from four-day trip to dive Cod Hole and the Ribbon Reefs. © Gregg Witkin Gregg sent us the story below, which we present in it's entirity:

Now that Danielle and I have finally returned from our trip down under we wanted to contact you and let you know about our dive trip with Taka Dive. As intermediate divers from California we held some trepidations about spending 4 days out on the Great Barrier Reef doing nothing but diving, eating and diving. Our experience on Taka was amazing, and no matter what diving we do in the future, we canít imagine the Great Barrier Reef not always be one of our greatest dive memories.

Diving the Great Barrier Reef gave us a sensation like no other feeling on earth, the sights that we were able to see were truly awe-inspiring. At same time diving is a challenge that shouldnít be taken lightly, because there is inherent danger; one should always stay well trained, and ask questions of the dive staff as they come up.

We were thrilled at the amenities that we were provided on Takaís new dive boat, the Taka II. We had an ensuite double cabin, they were more than enough for Danielle and I. Besides itís own bathroom and shower the bed was incredibly comfortable for both of us, and the air conditioner was certainly a blessing in that tropical sun. December is pretty warm in the Australian tropics, but we found itís not the heat that is the problem, but the direct exposure to the sun that will zap all your energy, and you will need all the energy as you get to dive and dive some more!

We were able to choose to dive 11 times throughout the four days, which included two night dives. The boat moved from site to site, so we were always diving a different set of coral formations with their uncountable residents. There is everything from the very small, to the very large and everything in between. There were fish so colorful that you couldnít believe they were fish, and some so beautiful (lion fish, scorpion fish) that you can barely take your eyes off of them.

The coral is a separate matter, as you are literally surrounded by a wall of living organisms. Itís hard to put words to it, but it can best describe as walking through any major downtown financial district (i.e. © Gregg Witkin San Francisco, Sydney, London, or New York). You feel insignificant, but in a most glorious way. On our first night dive we had the distinct pleasure to witness one of the coral reefís most magical moments, the mass spawning of corals. At first we did not recognize what the thousands and thousands of tiny egg packets in the water were, but taking another look we realized what was happening. Once on board the coral spawning was truly the talk of the boat. This annual event, if you are lucky enough to catch it, will stick with you as a diver for a very long time.

My wife laughs at me, but my favorite part of the dive was seeking out and filming the giant clams. They are amazing creatures, totally underrated in my opinion. Besides being the length of tables their colors blend in with that of the rest of the surrounding coral. The clams have beautiful color patterns, each one has a different pattern of color; reds, blues, oranges, even some plain white ones with splotches of brown. You can swim right up close to them (depending on your buoyancy control) and they will close for you. They always put a smile on my face and I think I took more digital video underwater of the giant clams than any other creature.

The food and crew on board are first rate, and the crew members always had an interesting story to share with us. We had a great time getting to know our fellow divers. Though it wasnít a party boat (a good thing) we all were still able to sit back after a long dayís diving and drink a couple of cold ones with some fellow travelers and share a smile.

A Couple words of advice: Donít forget your red filter if you are filming, youíll hate yourself if you get color washout on your pictures. If you are bringing electrical gear like a charger for your camera or a computer make sure you have not only an adapter for the Australian electrical outlet but also a travelers transformer that will convert 240v to 110v if you are coming from America.

So there you have it, calm seas, great dives, killer boat, and wonderful people. A trip my wife and I will never forget. Cheers Mates!


More information on Taka's Cod Hole and Ribbon Reefs dive trip.

An index of all Cod Hole dive trips.

(C) DiveTheReef The weekly reef report is written by Joel Groberg of DiveTheReef.com, who compiles them from the many conversations he has with dive staff in the area, as well as† many other local sources in the dive community.

Index of all reef reports.

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