The Great Barrier Reef stretches over 1,600 miles in the Coral Sea off the coast of Queensland in Northeast Australia. Known as the GBR, it is the largest reef system in the world and is alive with billions of organisms – tiny coral polyps that make up the abundant 2,900 reefs. These reefs surround 900 islands and can even be seen from outer space. If you want to discover the Great Barrier Reef, considered by CNN as one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, contact the best in Port Douglas – Blue Dive.
Blue Dive teamed up with Poseidon in Port Douglas, Australia to take us to the outer reef, the Agincourt Ribbons Reefs for a day of diving (http://www.bluedive.com.au/pages/map.php). The Poseidon Cruise Boat is one of the best organized dive boats I’ve ever been on and the snorkeling and dive staff are very professional and friendly to ensure everyone’s safety and fun. The Poseidon also provided yummy breakfast snacks with hot coffee and tea, and a delicious buffet lunch. Poseidon’s Captain David Miller selected some great dive locations with calm waters and great visibility – North Bay, Wreck Bay, and Blue Lagoon. Captain Miller has years of experience navigating the GBR and has some great stories about sailing, including a recent trip to PNG (Papua New Guinea).
Our first few dives in the GBR exceeded our expectations….which were high to begin with! Mark Fraenkel, Master Scuba Diver Trainer and Owner of Blue Dive, took us on a private dive to some remote locations while the snorkelers went in another direction so we had the reefs to ourselves as we quietly entered into the underwater world and could see the sealife up close.
Every dive is unique and we were amazed at the myriad of colors and sealife we saw – table coral, cabbage coral, starfish, feather star and fire coral, peneapple sea cucumbers, giant clams, bat fish, white tip reef sharks, clown fish, juvenile lionfish, and hundreds of “Nemos” playing in anemone.
Mark guided us through towers of colorful coral, playgrounds of fish, and spotted some sharks, and his trained eyes found other species endemic to this expansive reef. We trusted his years of experience with his PADI 625299 Master Scuba Diver Trainer with Extended Range qualification with Technical Diving International, and his experience as a diving instructor in the Egyptian Red Sea and on the Great Barrier Reef and has dived extensively around Australia including Tasmania, the UK and many other parts of the world.
Mark teams with co-owner Jorg Van Santvliet operate Blue Dive hands-on, and provide tailored diving for the discerning traveller.
Blue Dive also runs PADI Advanced Courses, popular Digital Underwater Photography and exciting Underwater Video Courses. They cater to private day scuba trips and will work with you to guarantee a fantastic dive experience.
Photos are courtesy of Oak Beach Productions (www.oakbeachproductions.com.au)