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Reef Report for Friday, December 18, 2009

4 day Cod Hole & Coral Sea Dive Trip on board the Spirit Of Freedom
It was absolutely fantastic!!! Experience of a lifetime!!!

This story and picture were sent to us by Debesh Mukherjee, one of our recent guests on Spirit of Freedom. If this trip sounds like the perfect trip for you you can find full details here.

I am an intermediate diver and I dive for pleasure i.e., only during vacations maybe once in a year. © Debesh Mukherjee So, when I enrolled for the 4-day Cod Hole and Coral Sea liveaboard dive trip with Spirit of Freedom, I knew that I had to be in the best of my health & physique to handle the 15 or so dives squeezed into 4 days. I had to prepare myself for it. So I started my fitness routine 2 months prior to my travel date, almost 5 hours in a week of combination of workout, swimming and running.

Finally the D-day approached. We flew to Lizard Island from where we boarded the Spirit of Fredom, our hi-tech, fully-equipped dive boat. We were even lucky to spot monitor lizards in Lizard Island. The boat was one of the finest that I have ever seen. My cabin was very neat, the toilets were clean and the bed was comfortable. The staff at SOF were very friendly and professional. They catered to all our needs and really took care of us. The chef prepared meals were excellent. Each day we had theme meals like Spanish/mexican, Indian curry, Australian etc. We even had grilled Kangaroo steak on one day (of course with other grilled stuff).

In all we had a total of 15 dves in 4 days including 1 night dive. We saw a myraid of colors, fish and marine life including large pelagics. Of the large pelagics, it was a pleasure to see all the different varieties of sharks (all of them were healthy and fat), Napoleon/Maori Wrasse & the giant Potato Cod. The shark feeding dive and Steve’s Bommie were my favourite dives. We were hoping to see the coral spawning during one of the night dives, but we weren’t lucky that night. But we saw turtles, wrasse and even a Shark on that night dive, which more than compensated missing the coral spawning.

I met divers from all over the world in this trip and made lots of new friends. It was nice to chill out in the evening after the end of a days’ diving with a glass of wine/beer and share stories. Anyways, all we did in the boat was eat, dive, eat and then dive again (there was a fresh meal ready for us after every dive)!!! We expressed our gratitude to the SOF staff on the last day by making them eat first (we served them) and then we even did the dishes. It was fun.

A word of caution: Lot of corals have been damaged by insensitive divers who inadvertently touch or break them because they are not controlling their buoyancy. On one of my dives, there were some divers who were trigger happy and were so engrossed in taking photos that they were touching corals or even standing on them to brace themselves to take photos. This was really sad. We complained to the dive director and he in turn mentioned in the next dive orientation to all the divers to be more careful of buoyancy and not touch anything. I think we should act more responsibly while diving and preserve the corals that we love so much!!!

Liveaboard diving in the Great Barrier Reef was one of the items on my Bucket List (i.e., “Things to Do Before I Die”). I am glad that I have achieved this milestone and it lived up to my expectations. One visit is not enough to this largest living organism on earth (Great Barrier Reef) and I am sure I will visit it again in the future.

Thank you Joel (DiveTheReef.com) for your help in handling all the reservations and making my life easier. I was really impressed by your prompt service. I will definitely contact you again when I plan to revisit the Great Barrier Reef.

(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.

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