Down Under Cruise and Dive-Osprey V- Day Trip
- 7.30-8.00am board vessel
- 8.30am depart Cairns
- 10.00am Arrive Hastings Reef
- 1.00pm Arrive Saxon Reef
- 3.00pm Depart for homeward journey
- 4.30pm Arrive Marlin Jetty
My friend and I arrived a bit late (as usual for me) and after checking in at reef fleet terminal made the 8.15am sprint down to Osprey V. Crew were very relaxed and welcoming.
Started by sorting out necessary mask and fins equipment and stored in the numbered open lockers on top deck. (This was very practical as it meant when we got to the reef there was no delay in getting into the water).
Morning tea/coffee and muffins are served before departure.
On the way out to the reef (1 ½ hour trip) the crew split the passengers up into their respective groups and conduct necessary briefings. Dive briefings are all done in the top saloon which is good as it is private with no interruptions.
The crew do a great job of letting everyone know the times of their dives/ snorkel activity and what the best way is to structure they’re own day (based on what it is they are doing). I was doing two cert dives (1 at each reef).
The cert divers were in the water within 5 mins of arriving at Hastings reef. This is the deeper of the two sites (16m) which works well for staying comfortably within your safe dive time/depth ratios. In the 35 minute dive we saw some pretty cool soft and hard corals, heaps of clown fish, a few rays, a reef shark (I was the only one to actually miss the shark…which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!), morey eel, and some frisky trigger fish. Visibility was good and overall state of coral was good with fish life very abundant and impressive.
Back on Board to chill out for half an hour before lunch was being served.
Lunch is very impressive BBQ lunch, with a great range of salads, prawns, fish, Steak, sausages etc…. Typically, I ate 3 x more than I needed which led to an obligatory post lunch snooze.
Departed Hastings bound for Saxon. 10-15min transfer. Once again cert divers in the water within 5 minutes of arriving at 2nd site. Shallower site (max 12m) but the visibility was spectacular with a few sandy patches really helping to reflect the sunlight. This was the better of the two sites from my perspective. Saw some cool corals again with the highlights being Wally (Mauri Wrass), giant buffalo Parrot Fish, and Massive school of sweetlip.
Back on Board and pretty Pumped!. Beer o’clock. Settled into a couple of beers on the front deck chatting with other passengers. Before long crew were doing their head count and we were on our way back home. One the homeward cruise passengers had fresh fruit platters, complimentary wine/champagne, cheese and crackers and topped off with live entertainment in downstairs cabin.
Best Crew Member: Joe – Cert Diver Master. Genuinely excited to be at the reef taking people diving and really does everything to help passengers get the most out of their experience.
The trip is best suited to active/mobile reef goers who want an interactive in-water experience. Probably more suited to the younger people (under 40’s), the trip caters for both snorkellers and divers.
Onboard was an interesting mix of German, Swiss, French, US, Canadian, Aussie and Japanese clientele – all of whom seemed to be enjoying their day.
Down Under Cruise and Dive-Osprey V- Day Trip, is a great value, full day out at the outer reef, visiting 2 beautiful reef sites. The vessel is fast and comfortable with plenty of seating and a front deck for sun baking or chilling out.
The crew organise the day perfectly so that the day flows and there is no queuing.
Overall: THUMBS UP!
Other Outer Barrier Reef Day Trips from Cairns