The ‘Outer’ Great Barrier Reef
Following on from a very awesome day on the Yongala wreck, we headed to Cairns to take on the Great Barrier Reef. We arrived in to town – to the backpacker favourite, Gilligans – pretty late, so while all the cool kids were getting the party started downstairs, we went straight to sleep, ready for our wholesome 6am start.
So, bright ‘n sparkey, with the great team Pro Dive Cairns, we boarded the MV Scuba Pro on a 3-day / 2-night tour to Milln and Flynn Reefs.
Given the popularity of Cairns and the Reef with international guests, the boat catered for various nationalities – I think Pro Dive at the time had German and Japanese staff – and as it happened, our boat was almost solely Germans.
But not to worry, as default dive buddies, we were sorted!
> And it’s lucky that we have the same attitude to diving – ‘quick, we can go, let’s go!’. First in and last out, that was our M.O.
Our first stop was Milln Reef, where we dived the sites Petaj and The Whale. It is very easy diving, in our first 5 dives we didn’t really even break the 20m mark, but so pretty! The water was clear, and we got to see plenty of clown anemones (and domino anemonefish), puffers, Titan Triggerfish, white tip reef sharks, parrotfish, stingrays, batfish and so on and so on. So many things!
A higlight – on our early morning dive, we found an octopus just hanging out off the bommie ‘The Whale’. Cheeky little guy, he was so close, but being on the outer of a circular bommie, no one was looking out in his direction. But I was ;).
We then headed to the nearby Flynn Reef, for Tennis Courts, Gordon’s and Tracy’s. These sites were even more shallow than before, on a couple of the dives we didn’t drop below 12m.
Being on a liveaboard, we did both dawn- and night- dives, which are such a great way to begin and end a day. Night dives were particularly fun, as the lights off the back of the boat attracted the fish, which attracted the sharks, which gave us a good show.
The dives weren’t guided, so it was like being intrepid adventurers. Which suited Kristy and I just fine, we like tiki-touring about. And it was due to this curiousity that we had a great find – a Tassled Wobbegong hiding in a cave! Now, while it’s not advisable to stick your head in a cave when you can’t quite tell what the large creature inside is, well, that’s how we roll.