Dan and Justy Down Under


February 23, 2005

Dan or Justy

Ribbon Reef 9: Our first day of diving. The ribbon reefs were fringing reefs before the sea rose after the last ice age. The are long, sinuous and packed with a stunning array of life. Their remoteness removes rain and river runoff from the viz equation. They are also just too damn far for day boats to reach, and so are visited much less often. This adds up to great diving.

Diving that lives up to its billing. The pictures (and video!) will tell the story more effectively, but suffice to say any tick-list of creatures, critters, things and stuff to see in a tropical venue was present. Usually in abundance. We were quite pleased, and more than a little curious about how good Osprey Reef would be, considering it was 180km out into the Coral Sea...

First day aboard the Nimrod, a floating hotel-du-scuba. With a packed day of 5 dives, meals in between, and obligatory napping its a wonder i can still think. The first day took us to ribbon reef #9. These ribbon-like reefs fringe the eastern and northern ends of the GBR. The reef is spectacular and the viz good. I dove with only my skin ( a thin, non-thermal layer) for jelly protection. The water temp is 83F, which is almost bath water temp.

The dive deck is quite spacious, and with only 16 passangers, youd think the boat was half empty. She's actually 2 short of full capacity.

This evening, post dinner, we will steam out to Osprey Reef. This is a 10 hour ride as it takes us 100 nautical miles out to sea. This location is too far for any day boat, so only liveaboards like this one go out there. The viz promises to be grand, as do the marine life. There we can expect shark, manta rays and all manner of larger life.

Itinerary Highlights
January 20: Winery Tour
21-23: Moreton Bay Diving
25: Australia Zoo
26-30: Lady Elliot Island
February 13: Diving the Yongala
15-17: Cape Tribulation + Daintree Rain Forest
17-20: Atherton Tablelands
22-28: Coral Sea Diving Liveaboard
March 11-13: OzTek Dive Conference: Sydney
14: Fly to New Zealand
20: Poor Knights Islands Diving
31: Mt. Cook
April 2-4: Queenstown
TBD: To Be Dreamed

Digital Pix Courtesy of Shimmivision.com
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