Scuba Diving From Liveaboards
Scuba diving has come a long ways from where it started as a macho, high risk activity to where it is today, a recreational sport enjoyed by families.
As with any sport or learned activity there is different level of experience and competency.
There is also a wide range of individual interest as to what is important to a diver.
Some scuba divers may enjoy the macro side of the reef, small marine life and things like Nudibranches.
Others are looking for the large pelagic species.
Some may like deeper dives while other even experienced divers would rather have a shallow dive.
There will be those just starting, even only planning on starting to those who have thousands of dives.
While it would seem to be very difficult to accommodate such a wide variety of expectations the dive operators, both day operators and multiple day Liveaboard operators, with help from the Great Barrier Reef are able to meet the needs.
The Outer Reef
The outer reefs, especially those in the Cairns area, provide some of the best diving on the reef and in the world.
The ocean side of the reef provide more of a wild side, with currents and wall dives most beyond diving limits.
While the lagoon side are more gentle and provide a range of areas to dive.
Some areas are perfect for snorkeling and learning to dive, while just a short distance away is deeper water to challenge the skilled diver.
The Great Barrier Reef provides a number of different dive sites that are suitable to a wide, range of diving abilities at just one location.
We will discuss a dive site called the “Ski Slope” on Flynn reef as an example. The site is on the inside edge of the Reefs lagoon.
This would be the calmer side of the reef, as the ocean waves would have been greatly reduced as they travelled across the top of the reef.
Snorkelers and students will find that at they have a relatively flat reef to explore that starts at just 2 meters of depth and slopes to about 10 metres.
As the average visibility on the reef is over 15 metres this allows snorkelers and discover divers the ability to see every thing in their range.
A discover diver also know as an intro diver or resort dive is a program for non-divers to try scuba under control and calm conditions with a dive instructor.
They are allowed to about 10 metres. This reef has a wide assortment of both soft and hard corals and is the home to many species of smaller reef fish.
Now for the name, ski slope. Some of the slopes to 10 metres are strips of sand giving the impression of ski slopes.
At the edge of the reef is a 20 metre wall giving a maximum depth at the site of about 35 metres very near the maximum depth for recreational divers.
More skill divers can drop over the wall and explore along it at the depth they are most comfortable with.
Larger marine life such as rays and sharks will also follow the wall and may even follow the ski slope to shallow waters.
Divers in a wide range of ability will find that this site provides all they need for a perfect dive.
The Ribbon Reefs is one destination that some of the Liveaboards travel too.
Experience scuba divers will find there dream dives among the Ribbon Reef with such dive sites as Steve’s Bommies and the Famous Cod Hole.
While not every dive site in the ribbons is suitable for new scuba divers and snorkelers most have something for them. That something can be outstanding.
Using Steve’s Bommie as an example.
A Bommie is like a tower that raises from the bottom to near the surface. Like sitting a huge soft drink can upright on the sea floor. In this case the floor is 35 metres below. .
Scuba Divers can descend to the floor and swim around the Bommies raising slowly as they go around, something like a corkscrew action.
The sides are covered with coral and there are many places for small fish to hide.
The top of the Bommies is fairly flat and is only 3 meters deep perfect for snorkelers and beginners.
The range of dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef makes it the perfect place for scuba divers of all experience levels.
Looking forward to seeing you aboard soon.