The Coral Sea is one of those places that has to be on the bucket list of every spearo. Huge dogtooth Tuna, Spanish Mackerel, Wahoo and every single reef species that you could possibly imagine... add 30-40 metres vis and you have a spearo's paradise.
Here's how it went... We arrived at the Cairns Airport on Sunday morning to be greeted by North Queensland's tropical weather and met the crew that we'd be spending the next 5 days with (a really great bunch of guys at that). We hopped on an awaiting bus and headed up to Port Douglas, where we'd set off from. The bus took us right to the harbour, we headed down to the wharf and met Captain Peter Sayre with his mothership, the MV Phoenix. We all boarded the boat and eagerly listened to Peter's induction. He talked us through boat safety, dive safety, fish species, weather and the strategy. Having someone like Peter on board who has pretty much lived in the Coral Sea his whole life, really made the trip that much easier. Anything that you wanted to know, he'd have an answer for it. He knew all the reefs like the back of his hand.
Late Sunday night we set out, leaving Port Douglas, ready to hit the big blue ocean. We steamed out into the night and with the the slight rock of the boat under us, everyone was fast asleep in no time. As the sun rose on the next morning, we were just arriving at out first stop, Ribbons Reef no. 3. With the smell of a hot breakfast filling the boat, everyone was super pumped to get through breakfast and get onto the water.
The MV Phoenix tows two custom built dive tenders that are the perfect weapons for getting right up on the dive spot. We loaded all the gear onto the tenders and buzzed out in two groups of 5 to the first spot. Upon lading on the spot, it was hard to believe that water could be that clear! We could vividly see the bottom in 25m of water. As we jumped in we could clearly see a nice drop off the went from about 5m right down to 25/30m. After a couple of hours having a blast shooting reef fish, we decided we'd head back to the tender and check out a different spot. Of course as we're getting back onto the boat Wayne Judge decides to do one last dive. Watching from the boat, he disappears into the blue, out of sight for bout 40 seconds, he then pops up right near the boat with a big grin on his face as he grips a a nice 20kg Spanish Mackerel by the gills.
The following 4 days were filled with exploring different reefs, shooting plenty of great fish, and eating the best food for breakfast, lunch and dinner. With a solid 3-4 hours of diving every morning before lunch and hitting the water straight after to dive late into afternoon, by the 5th day everyone had caught their share of fish and explored loads of great spots. This trips really does take you to a spearo's paradise.