Heading to the Great Barrier Reef on The Spirit of Freedom

Filed in Dive Adventures, Diving Great Barrier Reef by on August 30, 2016 10 Comments

After a couple of days resting at the Shangri-La in Cairns, I was ready for another dive adventure. I booked myself on the Spirit of Freedom, a 124 foot live aboard dive vessel. After the Arenui, I was ready for a let down, but in truth, I enjoyed the Spirit of Freedom very much. The Spirit of Freedom is the only dive liveaboard on the Great Barrier Reef where every cabin has its own bathroom! We each had our own little “cubby” for our dive equipment, and ample room for cameras and gear. Not luxurious, but it was a great boat. The crew of the Spirit of Freedom were awesome, especially the Cruise Director, Ren! Unlike the Arenui in Indonesia, the divers on the Spirit of Freedom had the choice of whether or not to go with a Dive Master. Each buddy group could go on their own if they so desired. As a solo diver, I went with the Dive Master, and so had a small dive group of four, which I like best anyway…unless I am in a spot well known to me. Dive Masters know where all the cool animals and creatures are, so I usually prefer to head off with them.
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All of these photos are from my very first dive on the Great Barrier Reef! Til next post!

 

RR10 - Rod's Rock Poster

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

Clark’s Anemone Fish

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

Lionfish really are gorgeous

 

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

Nudis are so small and so colorful!

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

Another nudi!

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

There were nudibranchs everywhere! There are two here, mating.

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

A giant clam!

 

Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom

Another clam, see the inside of the mollusk!

 

Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom

Red Spiny Cheek Anemonefish

Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom

How I love these skunk anemone fish!

 

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

Huge Cuttlefish!

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

Is this the craziest sea cucumber EVER??? The Prickly Red Spiky Cucumber is over harvested as a “luxury” seafood, and is now endangered.

Great Barrier Reef, Spirit of Freedom, Scuba diving Australia

This sea cucumber was huge, so incredible to watch, and on its body I found a nudibranch!

Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom

A featherstar hanging out on a Prickly Red Sea Cucumber!

Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom

Gorgeous coral

Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom

Great Barrier Reef, Ribbon Reefs, Spirit of Freedom

Staghorn coral is abundant in both Indonesia and the Ribbon Reefs

Great Barrier Reef

Cool Pleurobranch!

 

 

 

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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at travelswithtam@gmail.com

Comments (10)

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  1. Nancy Murphy says:

    Yes that Lion Fish is rather regal–and it looks like he knows it!

  2. These photos are just a huge “wow!” The giant clam and the cuttlefish are favorites, but some of the others are amazing, too! What kind of U/W camera and lens are you using to be able to get the close-up pix? I am so envious… Wish I could dive in some of the amazing places you have had the privilege of going!
    Debbra Dunning Brouillette recently posted…Scuba diving on Looe Key Reef, Florida Keys: a sanctuary for sea lifeMy Profile

  3. Elnora Cameron says:

    Tam, so much has been written about what bad shape the Great Barrier Reef is in, but your pictures belie those gloomy statements. What is your impression of the health of the reef?

    • Tam Warner says:

      The Great Barrier Reef is definitely in trouble. The photos look good, and some spots are okay, but there are so many coral skeletons. I have heard there is a 95% chance it will be gone in 20 years…I don’t know. Indonesia was much, much healthier.

  4. Roz Warren says:

    Wonderful. As usual. Thanks.

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