The Tour Specialists Tour Blog
Amazing 3 Day 2 Night Liveaboard Snorkel and Dive Trip Great Barrier Reef
Posted on September 17, 2018 by Sophie Tabouel
Normally this dive trip is over 3 days and 2 nights but being the special Tour Specialist that I am, the great folks at Pro Dive allowed me to experience 2 days and 1 night as I had to get back to work and talk to our guests and book their Cairns holidays, tours and attractions.
And what an amazing 2 day liveaboard Great Barrier Reef tour and experience it was, I am still pumped at what I saw!
I would highly recommend this outer reef tour for both certified divers, snorkelers and people wanting to become fully certified in open water on one of their scuba diving courses.
Our Great Barrier Reef adventure was to start nice and early, with check in at 6:20am at the Pro Dive shop in Cairns CBD, where we were outfitted with our scuba diving and snorkelling gear by the friendly and welcoming team.
As the sun rose, we were taken by mini bus down to the Cairns Marlin Marina where we were to board our boat which was to be home for the next few days of sleeping out on the Great Barrier Reef.
I was so super excited I could not wait to get on board and settle into my cabin accommodation and get to know all the guests and crew on the boat.
Be Prepared Before Your Great Barrier Reef Tour
It was a beautiful morning, though a little bit windy; and because I am prone to sea sickness I made sure I took some Travelcalm tablets a few hours before boarding the boat so they had digested in my body and could do their job to alleviate sea sickness.
Once aboard, we were greeted by the fantastic team! They introduced themselves to us and made me feel right at home.
As I was the only snorkeler on board the boat, I thought I would be left out but this was definitely not the case.
One of the team members, that was volunteering, took me up to the top deck and gave me a fully personalised briefing and that certainly set the mood for the next 2 days and 1 night on my Great Barrier Reef tour…
The 2-hour trip cruising out to the Outer Barrier Reef ledges went quickly and for the first time I didn’t even get sea sick which I was very happy about indeed!
I went and personally introduced myself to every team member. They were all very highly professional and made me feel like a was a good friend.
As I am a travel planner with the Cairns Holiday Specialists and The Tour Specialists, I do like to sit back and watch the team members interacting with the guests. I was amazed at how they all made a big effort to ensure every guest felt comfortable with their friendly and professional manner.
Day 1 Sleep On The Great Barrier Reef Dive & Snorkel Trip
Our first anchorage of the day was at Petaj Bommie on the famous Milln Reef.
Out of professional interest I attended the scuba dive briefings with all the dive guests and then I was privilidged to have a personalised snorkeling briefing afterwards where they explained the best area was to snorkel on this particular coral reef.
There was not stopping me, I was straight into my swim and snorkel gear and I was in the water in no time!
I had only been in for around 5 minutes, when a beautiful white tip reef shark majestically swam past me not even a meter away, it was beautiful.
I was amazed how vibrant and alive the reef was, the colours of the corals, the abundance of fish considering all the talk about how the reef is dead or dying. To me it looks like we either were in an amazing one off gorgeous patch or the reef is on the recovery again.
I was enjoying myself so much I ended up losing track of time and got picked up by the tender to be taken back to the boat for lunch. (How funny)
Lunch on The Great Barrier Reef
I know you don’t go out on a liveaboard dive trip for the food, but I have to say the food was really incredible. There was one cook, in a small kitchen, cooking for us all and you could tell she loved her job.
The food was amazing and so so much of it! She took the time to chat to all the guests on board as well.
After lunch we were given a presentation on Milln Reef by a marine naturalist; he was very knowledgeable and so passionate about his job and the Great Barrier Reef.
Time To Explore The Reef Again
The skipper and crew got to work and we cruised off to our next dive location.
Once our lunch was settled and we had a little rest it was time for another snorkel for me and some scuba diving for the others at our next stop The Whale on Milln Reef!
I was so excited as this is where I was going to do my introductory scuba dive in open water!
Usually this dive trip is a 3 day 2 night liveaboard and they conduct the introductory dives on the second day, but because I was only staying 1 night a team member personally took me out on a private introductory scuba dive.
They were very accommodating and I did feel quite special indeed!
Scuba diving is a fairly new to me but my wonderful dive master made me feel comfortable and confident and I had no issue getting into the water.
He was very experienced and professional. I am sure he could have made any first-time diver feel at ease.
I cannot put into words how beautiful the reef was… just WOW! The beauty of our outer Great Barrier Reef is just breathtaking.
Diving towards and around a coral formation that resembled a mushroom from Super Mario Bros. I saw the biggest Maori Wrasse I had ever seen.
When I thought things could not get any better, we saw a green sea turtle sitting on coral. We got so close he was only centimetres away! He was beautiful I didn’t want this moment to end.
Salt water activities such as snorkeling and scuba diving certainly do give you an appetite and I couldn’t wait for dinner! We were once again spoilt with amazing food by our lady chef and the wait staff!
Sunset Over the Great Barrier Reef
Watching the sunset over the reef is really something special and one of my best memories. It was just beautiful and you should seriously experience it for yourself. The water was very calm as the sun was setting and it made me feel at peace as we just calmy drifted on the glassy ocean.
It was then time for the night diving to start. As I am not a certified scuba diver I was unable to try the night dive as you need to be experienced to dive in the dark so I sat back with a glass of red wine and watched all the other divers enjoy themselves in the water below with their torches.
I lay on the deck looking up at the stars. It was unbelievable, the sky was very clear, the moon was glistening and I saw so many planets.
After a busy day snorkeling on the Great Barrier Reef I welcomed bed time with open arms. The cabins where comfortable and clean and I was sharing mine with another guest however they are set up in such a way you feel like you have your own space. The gentle rocking of the boat put me to sleep within minutes.
Day 2 Snorkelling The Great Barrier Reef
The next morning, watching the sun rise over the reef was also a very special moment and I am thankful to have had that opportunity. I will be holding on to that memory for quite some time. We are now at the beginning of day two and by then all the guests on board are now talking as friends and sharing their underwater experiences.
I was tendered out by boat to the best snorkel site on a coral bommie! The water was so warm even though it was early morning. The sun was shining on the reef and made the colour of the coral just glow.
The next stop, and my last stop, was the Ski Slopes at Flynn Reef. The crystal blue waters were breathtaking. The team knew I needed to leave soon so they got me into the water first so I could spend more time snorkeling.
This was my favourite location and within minutes I saw (again, lucky me) a green sea turtle, cruising through the waters and was able to swim just next to him!
I knew my time had come to an end when the tender picked me up once again. I reluctantly picked up my belongings and said goodbye to my friends before being tendered to the other Pro Dive boat for my lift home back to Cairns!
I really did not want to leave, the idea of being a stowaway did cross my mind for a moment!
Even though the second boat was only my lift home, the Prodive team was again very welcoming.
On my way back to Cairns I kept my eyes wide open for whales and was blessed to catch a glimpse of one as it breach out of the water.
I am very grateful I had the opportunity to spend a night on the Great Barrier Reef with some amazing people (crew and guests) and I can only highly recommend this liveaboard dive trip now with my first hand experience as a Tour Specialist.
Book your dive trip here or ring us on 1300 761 612.
Author: Claire Redshaw – Tour Consultant for The Tour Specialists
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